These days, many people have heard about a new name: the Bitcoin. What is the Bitcoin? By its inventor, Nakamoto’s definition, the Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer, decentralized, encrypted digital currency(Nakamoto). For a long time, the Bitcoin was a currency only recognized and used in the circle of geeks, but recent months, the Bitcoin successfully drew the public’s interest in its roller-coaster-like price. Simultaneously, more and more Bitcoin alternatives, for example, Namecoin, Litecoin, PPCoin, Betacoin, etc. came out following the same path Bitcoin had gone through. Despite their different names but similar patterns, these attention-grabbing digital currencies have sparked a heated debate: is it possible, that someday digital currencies like the Bitcoin replace notes and coins we use nowadays?
To firm defenders of the Bitcoin, this goal seems quite approachable. Many of these chose to accept the Bitcoin for some philosophical or political ideals: unlike traditional currencies issued by the governments, as an Internet product, the Bitcoin is fully decentralized and requires no central bank or authority. This unique idea has attracted a lot of supporters for the Bitcoin. They believe the Bitcoin, not monopolized by any governments, has the nature of freedom and democracy. David Marcus, president of PayPal, once publicly showed his support for the Bitcoin: “I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at it… and it’s truly fascinating.(Spaven)” While oppositely, many people argue that the Bitcoin is too idealistic to function as a currency, claiming it has no inner value and the market has already become a gambling for speculators. “It’s a bubble.” Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve chairman, said the Bitcoin pr...
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...ory. Bitcoin, as a unique product of technology, is born with the nature of freedom. However we can see, on a economic topic, freedom is not a panacea. Without any regulation, the Bitcoin is leading us to a digital Dystopia—a society full of fraud, money laundering, speculation—and the most horrible thing is, they are anonymous and untraceable. Though the Bitcoin, as a currency, is half-dead, digital currencies still have a bright future, if digital currency transactions are treated as a legal currency under the law, receiving full contractual enforcement in every aspect. Also, law enforcement should become familiar with new technology products, and have the ability to investigate and punish illegal activities. I believe in the near future, with proper but essential regulation, the digital currencies will go further and provide our world with limitless probabilities.
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