Bitcoins, ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, commonly known as "digital gold", are gaining exposure globally through various media outlets even though very few countries officially recognize cryptocurrency as legal currency. Official national-level regulatory positions relative to cryptocurrency may be separated into three main groups: totally against, legalized, and uncertain. The most interesting situation is uncertain because of the market basis at stake if governments turn away from digital gold.
For those countries with some official recognition of cryptocurrencies, several approaches for regulating the market are being tested with varying levels of favorability toward fostering the growth of digital currency*. No consensus approach has yet emerged from amongst early regulators, including India, New Zealand, Poland, and Switzerland, among others.
*Regulations evolve rapidly, so the analysis can differ from recent developments.
Bitcoins in circulation - the total number of bitcoins that have already been mined; in other words, the current supply of bitcoins on the network. Market Capitalization - the total USD value of bitcoin supply in circulation, as calculated by the daily average market price across major exchanges. USD Exchange Trade Volume - the total USD value of trading volume on major bitcoin exchanges. See also: Bitcoin Price Index, 2009 to 2017
Bitcoin is one of the world's most popular digital currencies, meaning that it is exclusively created and held electronically. But, what do we actually know about digital currencies and the potential of these currencies to replace conventional money? Like conventional money, the major function of a digital currency is to serve as a means of payment, whether that is in exchange for goods or real currency, such as dollars and euros. In addition, similar to how a normal currency's exchange rate is set, the price for bitcoins - per the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (XBP) - is based on market dynamics and expressed as the midpoint of the bid/ask...