In just eight years, Bitcoin and the idea of “virtual currency” have gained acceptance and use both online and in the physical world. Spread by word of mouth and other “viral” means, decentralized virtual currencies have gone from a mere thought experiment to a tangible economic reality.
Today, one can use Bitcoin or other currencies not backed by the U.S. government to buy physical goods and services and online services. Established companies, such as Dell, DISH Network, Microsoft, and Papa John’s Pizza, all accept Bitcoin payments.
As with conventional currencies, participants in Bitcoin trade work for credits. A special program uses computational cycles on a participant’s computer processor to verify and record a vast public ledger of all Bitcoin transactions, called the “blockchain.” In return for their “e-labor,” participants receive a small reward for each successful completion of the blockchain verification process.
The introduction of Bitcoin, by a still-unknown individual...
The Federal Reserve has adopted new rules restricting its ability to bail out financially strained banks, complying with provisions in the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
The new rule limits the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending powers to “broad-based” programs, as opposed to targeted lending to individual banks.
Norbert Michel, a financial regulatory research fellow with The Heritage Foundation, says the Fed’s self-imposed rules amount to...
Lawmakers in Congress are fighting with U.S. Department Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and President Barack Obama over proposed new regulations on the investment industry.
Congressional Democrats are calling on the Department of Labor (DOL) to open a period for public comment after a final version of the rule is published next year, adding delays to the rule change’s implementation, during the final days of the Obama administration.
If DOL’s proposed rule takes effect, investment brokers would be...