Bitcoin: Currency or commodity?

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52 Bitcoins are a modern-day nitvender. 66 I thought we’d finally get rid of bitcoin. 52 Cryptocurrencies are a hot-bed for criminal activity so it’s no surprise that the innocent make easy prey. It was NOT simply because energy was cheap. 02 Warren Buffett is still not a fan of investing in bitcoin.

81 Blockchain hype is an essential part of the crypto-craze, and its fading is cause to expect the eventual crash. 53 Nicholas Weaver, a researcher at the International Computer Science Institute at UC Berkeley. 58 The greatest bubble in history is popping, according to Bank of America Corp. 83 Cryptocurrencies are provably inferior when you don’t require censorship resistance. What Happens To Bitcoin after the hype is gone? A section and I’ll do my best to respond within 24 hours.

Bitcoin: Currency or commodity?

There are two big problems with bitcoin as a currency: its value is unstable and its transaction processing is too slow. A currency, Bitcoin is not, nor shall it be. This illustration shows a Bitcoin sign in Hong Kong. This surge in value has invigorated Bitcoin backers convinced this boost in value makes Bitcoin a more credible currency, that it is a sign of the cryptocurrency’s strength. Is Bitcoin the currency of the future?

The most important feature of a currency is that it be a stable store of value. For comparison, over the same month, the exchange rate between the euro and the U. Another basic feature of a currency, beyond being a stable store of value, is to facilitate transactions. Barter’s big drawback is it is inconvenient.

Currency solves those problems meaning I can buy groceries without having to sell economic services to the supermarket. Yet, to protect the security of the blockchain that makes cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin so secure, processing of Bitcoin transactions is very slow. In fact, because of a limit on the number of transactions which can be completed in a day, it sometimes takes days to complete a simple transaction. Resistance to changing these rules from people who mostly like the anonymity and untraceability of Bitcoin mean that Bitcoin cannot become a widely-used currency. Given these drawbacks, the only reasons to own Bitcoins are not to use them as a currency, but to either speculate on their asset value or use them to shield transactions from others. Without a stable value Bitcoin cannot truly be a currency.

Rather it is a commodity asset that one trades, like gold or silver, in hopes that its value will rise and yield a trading profit. Clearly, from the popularity of Bitcoin, those limited uses still have quite a bit of value to a nontrivial number of people. I have no objection to these people’s use of Bitcoin for those purposes. However, people should stop expecting it to become a currency that ordinary people use for ordinary transactions. It is destined to stay in its niche as a way to hide things or speculate. Jeffrey Dorfman is a professor of economics at The University of Georgia. His last popular press book is an e-book, Ending the Era of the Free Lunch. | IP Address in Hong Kong

Perhaps you too want to invest in Bitcoin. You’re just not really sure how. Here is your guide for buying the hottest cryptocurrency. Bitcoin mania doesn’t seem to be waning. Perhaps you too want to invest in Bitcoin—but you’re not really sure how. To be clear, this is not an endorsement for any cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple or otherwise. It’s also not a suggestion that you should invest in cryptocurrency at all.

Bitcoin: Currency or commodity?

Here’s what we do know: The markets for these largely untested, unproven digital assets are like teenagers—young and unpredictable. Want to get right to the buying? Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that can be bought, sold, or traded like a commodity. It can also be used to buy goods—pizza, cars, beer, whatever you’d like.


That means there is no central authority—in this example, the U. Treasury—to issue new money or track transactions. Those functions are built into Bitcoin itself—specifically, the so-called blockchain technology that powers Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies—which is one reason it’s such an attractive, and controversial, concept. What is the blockchain, you ask?

Think of it like a digital version of a public ledger, in which all transactions are recorded for everyone to see. It serves as the primary mechanism for trust in this financial system. Created in 2009, Bitcoin is the oldest cryptocurrency. Other cryptocurrencies have since emerged, including Ripple and Ethereum. Bitcoins, which are also called BTC for short, are the units of currency of the Bitcoin system.

The details of this democratic process are complicated. It involves mathematical problems of varying difficulty, software to solve them, and a schedule that ensures that solutions are discovered on a highly regulated basis. Blocks cannot be removed or altered once they’ve been accepted by the network. The Bitcoin system allows six blocks to be mined every hour. Because it gets more difficult over time, the system is expected to generate fewer Bitcoins over time.

It is structured such that, for every four years the network is in operation, half the amount of Bitcoins that were created in the previous four years are generated. The bitcoin supply is capped at just under 21 million coins. So How Do I Buy Bitcoins? You can buy Bitcoins directly from other people using online marketplaces, no different than any other product or service. You’ll need one of these no matter which exchange you might use.

Bitcoin: Collapse

The wallet stores your private key, a secret number—a 256-bit string—that gives you access to your Bitcoins. Your private key also allows you the freedom to move across marketplaces. There different kinds of wallets, including software and hardware wallets. Software wallets are in essence applications, or apps, that you connect with your traditional bank account.

There are several to choose from: Coinbase offers a wallet, which is convenient because it is tied directly to its exchange service. Picked your wallet and your marketplace of choice? Now that you have all the ingredients ready, here’s how to complete the recipe. Go to the site of the wallet provider you’ve chosen and sign up.

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This step requires name, email address, and password. If you’ve chosen a software wallet, you will be asked to download the app. Download it through the Apple app store or Google Play, depending on whether you have the iOS or Android operating system. Visit the exchange you’ve picked out. Again, you’ll need your name, email address, password. Most exchanges require you to connect with your bank account to pay for your Bitcoin purchase.

Bitcoin: Currency or commodity?

Join a Pool

Some exchanges like Coinbase offer an app that acts as an exchange and a wallet. Through the app, you can both buy and trade Bitcoins as well as store them. That’s fine, but remember that just because you use the Coinbase exchange doesn’t mean you have to use the Coinbase digital wallet. There are many other digital wallets out there.

Bitcoin: Currency or commodity?

Select the amount of bitcoin you want to buy. Given the recent high price of Bitcoin, you can buy less than one Bitcoin on these exchanges. Bitcoin can be divided up to eight decimal points. This means you can buy 0. 00000001 Bitcoin, if it suits your budget. Depending on the exchange, you can buy Bitcoins with a credit card, bank transfer, or even cash.

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IRS Virtual Currency Guidance : Virtual Currency Is Treated as Property for U. These FAQs provide basic information on the U. United States or of any other country that is designated as legal tender, circulates, and is customarily used and accepted as a medium of exchange in the country of issuance — but it does not have legal tender status in any jurisdiction. The notice provides that virtual currency is treated as property for U. General tax principles that apply to property transactions apply to transactions using virtual currency.

Wages paid to employees using virtual currency are taxable to the employee, must be reported by an employer on a Form W-2, and are subject to federal income tax withholding and payroll taxes. Payments using virtual currency made to independent contractors and other service providers are taxable and self-employment tax rules generally apply. Normally, payers must issue Form 1099. The character of gain or loss from the sale or exchange of virtual currency depends on whether the virtual currency is a capital asset in the hands of the taxpayer. A payment made using virtual currency is subject to information reporting to the same extent as any other payment made in property.

Further details, including a set of 16 questions and answers, are in Notice 2014-21, posted today on IRS. Our currency rankings show that the most popular Bitcoin exchange rate is the XBT to USD rate. There is no official ISO currency code for Bitcoins, although XBT is commonly used. Notice: Bitcoin is not legal tender in any country and is not recognized as an official currency by any regulatory authority. XE does not endorse nor express an opinion as to whether or not Bitcoin is an official or legitimate currency.

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Click on a currency code to learn about it. Have more info about the Bitcoin? Why are you interested in the XBT? Bitcoin is a decentralized virtual currency. This currency is exchanged digitally and managed by a peer-to-peer network, rather than a central bank or authority. 21 million Bitcoins being reached by 2140. Each Bitcoin is a piece of code that has its own transaction log with timestamps.

Bitcoin: Currency or commodity?

The coins are stored in an owner’s virtual wallet and can be transferred and exchanged for goods and services. Bitcoins are associated with a high level of risk, as they are volatile, not time-tested, and currently under no regulation or legislation. There have been incidents of online Bitcoin wallets being compromised by hackers leading to theft of Bitcoins. Bitcoin is not recognized by the ISO and therefore does not have an official ISO 4217 code.

A currency code is generally built from the two-digit ISO 3316 country code and a third letter for the currency. Although “BTC” is often used in the Bitcoin community, BT is the country code of Bhutan. An X-code reflects currencies that are used internationally and so, XE has chosen to use XBT to represent Bitcoin. Introduced in 2009, Bitcoin was created by a developer or group of developers going by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.