The Bitcoin project arose in January 2009, with the objective of decentralizing creation of money and separating it from governmental or institutional control. It was considered one of the first uses of the crypto-currency concept. Even though the Bitcoin is virtual it is legally valid and is used for buying goods and services where it is accepted.
The Bitcoin community has grown considerably since 2010. The adoption of the currency for real economic areas has pass through various stages. Bitcoins are currently accepted for payments of services such as phones, internet hosting, gift cards, legal advice or tourism. One of its main attractions is that people can trade with a certain level of anonymity.
Various banks in the United States, as well as commercial centers like Walmart and 7-eleven allow cash deposits for conversion to bitcoins.
Bitcoin’s origin and the way it is used are among the most common criticisms, since it isn’t backed by any central bank, unlike the other currencies. In addition, transfers are not made person to person, but between virtual wallets that permit you to maintain your anonymity. This is one of Bitcoin’s most criticized elements, because it helps hide criminal activities.
Faced with this panorama, the American Stock exchange Commission issued an official alert aimed at investors, regarding the risks of bitcoin. “A new product, technology or innovation like Bitcoin can potentially lead to both fraud as well as high risk investment opportunities,” the announcement recognizes. “It can easily attract potential investors with the promise of high profitability in a new investment area, and it’s also possible that these become less skeptical in evaluating something outstanding, new and innovative.”
For those who insist on investing in bitcoins, the Stock Exchange Commission offers some practical advice: avoid projects that “guarantee” high returns on investments that proceed from unauthorized people or investment companies who are not registered with exchange regulators, and which come from unknown senders, without being requested.
In addition, the Commission warns that, due to bitcoin’s nature, the forces of law and order are facing many problems in carrying out investigations about rackets using this currency.