Author Topic: Bitcoin: Disruptive Force or Security Hazard?  (Read 1899 times)

Offline gregscript

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Bitcoin: Disruptive Force or Security Hazard?
« on: March 19, 2013, 03:41:16 PM »
Bitcoin is, by design, a subversive platform, circumventing central authorities to transfer funds between individuals and across borders – even, potentially, to highly restricted countries such as North Korea and Somalia. But beyond these underground corridors, can an unregulated and virtually unknown currency garner mainstream appeal?  
 
In the developed world, the answer seems to be no. While there were 8.8 million Bitcoins in circulation as of April 2012, security breaches have reduced both the currency’s market value and consumer trust. Further, the currency lacks resonance among those with access to robust financial systems.
 
Among consumers in emerging markets, however, Bitcoin might have the potential to gain traction – at least that is what Bitcoin advocates are hoping. And with developing countries experiencing exponential growth in mobile penetration, alongside limited access to formal banking services, they may be right. While Bitcoin is still an alien concept for many, even for those who closely watch the payment services industry, the peer-to-peer digital currency (one of the most popular to emerge thus far) has a certain appeal among individuals who have long been excluded from traditional financial systems.
 
In contrast to other mobile payment technologies, even those touted as “disruptive” forces like Square or Isis, Bitcoin’s decentralized network has the potential to truly unsettle the existing financial system, transferring agency from banks and governments into the palms of individuals. In fact, the currency can be created on the Internet by anyone, through a free application called a Bitcoin Miner. Once created, Bitcoins can be encrypted and then transferred anywhere in the world, without interference from central authorities or financial institutions.
 
As an entirely digital platform, accessible wherever there is Internet, Bitcoin could become a key player in the mobile payments realm. The open-source “Bitcoin for Android” application launched last year allows users to store and transfer Bitcoins directly from their smartphone. Rudiger Koch, a consultant for Bitcoin exchange Intersango, has suggested that the Bitcoin network might soon expand to low-cost cellphones as well, through an application that would process transactions using bar code or QR-code technology.
 
A New Currency for Africa?
 
Bitcoin’s mobile accessibility would make it a viable platform in developing contexts, where mobile phones abound, but traditional financial systems are often weak or inaccessible. With an already vibrant mobile money market expected to exceed $200 billion in 2015, Africa could represent a real opportunity for Bitcoin exchanges.
 
In fact, decentralized digital currencies such as Bitcoin may hold certain advantages over the African’s dominant mobile payment platforms. While services like M-Pesa are often constrained by national or regional borders, Bitcoin can transcend international barriers. Further, according to an article by ITWeb Africa, the decentralized nature of Bitcoin gives it an inherent advantage over mobile payment systems, which are often tied to specific mobile operators or financial institutions. As an open-source, peer-to-peer network, Bitcoin can be used on any Internet-enabled device, regardless of network or affiliation.
 
In developing regions, where remittances often represent a significant portion of the GDP (for example, 25 percent in Lesotho), Bitcoin also has the potential to streamline international money transfer by cutting out the middleman. Using Bitcoin, individuals would be able to bypass costly remittance services and receive their money almost instantaneously.
 
Hacking the Unhackable
 
However, as the previous article suggests, Bitcoin is still relatively new, and thus potential security risks must be addressed before the currency can gain mainstream adoption. While the Bitcoin network itself is supposedly “unhackable,” users themselves represent a weak point in the system through which essential data can escape and enter the wrong hands. E-money specialist John Matonis wrote that while Bitcoin cryptography is secure, “the current weak area for safety is in how individuals choose to store and protect their Bitcoin balance,” a variable that is impossible to fully control.  
 
In fact, the “unhackable” network has seen a surprising number of large-scale hacking scandals, reducing both the market value and consumer trust. Reports of a $500,000 digital heist last year caused the value of Bitcoin to drop to $5, from a peak of $30 prior to the scandal. In May, Bitcoin exchange site Bitcoinica had to suspend operations after hackers stole an estimated $90,000 from its online wallet.
 
Further, virtual currency without a central regulatory authority could, like cash-based markets, foster criminal activities and tax evasion. These concerns were raised in an FBI intelligence assessment on Bitcoin, which asserted that Bitcoin provided a “venue for individuals to generate, transfer, launder, and steal illicit funds with some anonymity.” These concerns were validated in June 2011 with the emergence of the “Silk Road” online marketplace – where individuals could sell illegal drugs in exchange for Bitcoins.
 
However, while the unregulated nature of the currency leaves it vulnerable to security threats, it also makes Bitcoin a powerful tool for democratizing access to financial services across the globe. Thus, although it may not be a silver bullet for developing countries, it should not be discounted as a possibly disruptive force in the near future.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »

Offline boitecom

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Re: Bitcoin: Disruptive Force or Security Hazard?
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2013, 04:56:26 PM »
Quote from: "gregscript"
Bitcoin is, by design, a subversive platform, circumventing central authorities to transfer funds between individuals and across borders – even, potentially, to highly restricted countries such as North Korea and Somalia. But beyond these underground corridors, can an unregulated and virtually unknown currency garner mainstream appeal?  
 
In the developed world, the answer seems to be no. While there were 8.8 million Bitcoins in circulation as of April 2012, security breaches have reduced both the currency’s market value and consumer trust. Further, the currency lacks resonance among those with access to robust financial systems.
 
Among consumers in emerging markets, however, Bitcoin might have the potential to gain traction – at least that is what Bitcoin advocates are hoping. And with developing countries experiencing exponential growth in mobile penetration, alongside limited access to formal banking services, they may be right. While Bitcoin is still an alien concept for many, even for those who closely watch the payment services industry, the peer-to-peer digital currency (one of the most popular to emerge thus far) has a certain appeal among individuals who have long been excluded from traditional financial systems.
 
In contrast to other mobile payment technologies, even those touted as “disruptive” forces like Square or Isis, Bitcoin’s decentralized network has the potential to truly unsettle the existing financial system, transferring agency from banks and governments into the palms of individuals. In fact, the currency can be created on the Internet by anyone, through a free application called a Bitcoin Miner. Once created, Bitcoins can be encrypted and then transferred anywhere in the world, without interference from central authorities or financial institutions.
 
As an entirely digital platform, accessible wherever there is Internet, Bitcoin could become a key player in the mobile payments realm. The open-source “Bitcoin for Android” application launched last year allows users to store and transfer Bitcoins directly from their smartphone. Rudiger Koch, a consultant for Bitcoin exchange Intersango, has suggested that the Bitcoin network might soon expand to low-cost cellphones as well, through an application that would process transactions using bar code or QR-code technology.
 
A New Currency for Africa?
 
Bitcoin’s mobile accessibility would make it a viable platform in developing contexts, where mobile phones abound, but traditional financial systems are often weak or inaccessible. With an already vibrant mobile money market expected to exceed $200 billion in 2015, Africa could represent a real opportunity for Bitcoin exchanges.
 
In fact, decentralized digital currencies such as Bitcoin may hold certain advantages over the African’s dominant mobile payment platforms. While services like M-Pesa are often constrained by national or regional borders, Bitcoin can transcend international barriers. Further, according to an article by ITWeb Africa, the decentralized nature of Bitcoin gives it an inherent advantage over mobile payment systems, which are often tied to specific mobile operators or financial institutions. As an open-source, peer-to-peer network, Bitcoin can be used on any Internet-enabled device, regardless of network or affiliation.
 
In developing regions, where remittances often represent a significant portion of the GDP (for example, 25 percent in Lesotho), Bitcoin also has the potential to streamline international money transfer by cutting out the middleman. Using Bitcoin, individuals would be able to bypass costly remittance services and receive their money almost instantaneously.
 
Hacking the Unhackable
 
However, as the previous article suggests, Bitcoin is still relatively new, and thus potential security risks must be addressed before the currency can gain mainstream adoption. While the Bitcoin network itself is supposedly “unhackable,” users themselves represent a weak point in the system through which essential data can escape and enter the wrong hands. E-money specialist John Matonis wrote that while Bitcoin cryptography is secure, “the current weak area for safety is in how individuals choose to store and protect their Bitcoin balance,” a variable that is impossible to fully control.  
 
In fact, the “unhackable” network has seen a surprising number of large-scale hacking scandals, reducing both the market value and consumer trust. Reports of a $500,000 digital heist last year caused the value of Bitcoin to drop to $5, from a peak of $30 prior to the scandal. In May, Bitcoin exchange site Bitcoinica had to suspend operations after hackers stole an estimated $90,000 from its online wallet.
 
Further, virtual currency without a central regulatory authority could, like cash-based markets, foster criminal activities and tax evasion. These concerns were raised in an FBI intelligence assessment on Bitcoin, which asserted that Bitcoin provided a “venue for individuals to generate, transfer, launder, and steal illicit funds with some anonymity.” These concerns were validated in June 2011 with the emergence of the “Silk Road” online marketplace – where individuals could sell illegal drugs in exchange for Bitcoins.
 
However, while the unregulated nature of the currency leaves it vulnerable to security threats, it also makes Bitcoin a powerful tool for democratizing access to financial services across the globe. Thus, although it may not be a silver bullet for developing countries, it should not be discounted as a possibly disruptive force in the near future.
Hi gregscript,
With the Cyprian banking holiday and government confiscation of bank savings, Bitcoin, a peer to peer digital currency has seen a lot of speculation and subsequent rise in value.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »
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Offline technique

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Re: Bitcoin: Disruptive Force or Security Hazard?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2013, 09:28:48 PM »
I have  Bitcoin  from firstnationalib, and it is performing well. Never had any problems with them  ;D ;D ;D
Donc, je n\'ai aucune idée de ce qu\'ils vont faire.