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Author Topic: [2017-01-17] Mint: Beijing, Bitcoins and Basel  (Read 396 times)
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January 18, 2017, 01:43:35 AM

Beijing, Bitcoins and Basel

Some months ago, I wrote a column that attempted to provide a simple explanation of Bitcoin, and its underlying technology, Blockchain. I used the example of promissory notes, and their dark side, the hawala system, to explain how the technology is designed to work. Pre-defined amounts make up the “block” and the hands it passes through form the “chain” with Internet technology ensuring that the size of the block cannot be tampered with, and that the defined block instantly shows up in the databases of all trading parties in the chain. I had also predicted that national governments would begin to step in to regulate Bitcoin and its competitors, which are still largely unregulated and therefore unsuppressed as cash substitutes.

It appears that the comparison to the hawala system was apropos, after all. Regulation is around the corner. Bloomberg reported on 6 January that the value of Bitcoin had tumbled by over 22% the previous day, before staging a partial comeback. This was largely due to jitters around government regulation of Bitcoin in China.
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