Rhys Bollen, ‘The Legal Status of Online Currencies – Are Bitcoins the Future?’

Abstract:
Bitcoin has been described as a decentralised virtual currency. Virtual currencies, such as bitcoins, are a form of money and a payment system. However, being a decentralised system, there is no central issuer, authority or register-keeper. Bitcoin is unique, not because it is a virtual currency, but because it is proof of concept of a decentralized non-issued electronic currency. Regulation of virtual currencies is at a very early stage. Most regulatory regimes are not well designed to cater for this type of payment system. However, creating and protecting trust is a crucial issue in the regulation and public acceptance of new payment services. It is generally accepted that adequate regulation is a key pre-cursor to consumer acceptance of new payment methods, including mobile banking and payments. This paper examines the legal and regulatory status of virtual currencies.

Bollen, Rhys, The Legal Status of Online Currencies – Are Bitcoins the Future?.

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