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Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency — an online type of money which is created using computer code. It was invented in by someone calling themselves Satoshi Nakamoto — a mysterious computer coder who has never been found or identified themselves. Bitcoins are created without using middlemen — which means no banks take a fee when they are exchanged. They are stored in what are called virtual wallets known as blockchains which keep track of your money.
One of the selling points is that it can be used to buy things anonymously. However, this has left the currency open to criticism and calls for tighter regulation as terrorists and criminals have used to it traffic drugs and guns. Some people create powerful computers for the sole purpose of creating Bitcoins. But the number which can be produced are limited — meaning the currency should maintain a certain level of value.
Some people value Bitcoin because it is a form of currency which cuts out banking middlemen and the Government — a form of peer to peer currency exchange. And all transactions are recorded publicly so it is very hard to counterfeit. But the bubble appears to have now burst and questions remain over what market there is for it long-term.
Some shops and restaurants are accepting for purchases, but overall this is a tiny part of the market of the real economy. Bitcoin saw its value go through the roof last year - beating the 17th Century dutch Tulip Mania, the South Sea bubble and the dot com bubble of the early s to become the biggest economic bubble in history. In a speech delivered via video-link to the Inaugural Scottish Economics conference last month, Bank of England governor Mark Carney branded cryptocurrencies a 'failure' and a lottery.
The governor warned that the 'currencies' showed the 'classic hallmarks of bubbles' as he called for them held to the 'same standards as the rest of the financial system'. Last month Mark Carney launched a scathing attack on cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin today saying 'fools' were pumping up their values. The Bank of England governor warned that the 'currencies' showed the 'classic hallmarks of bubbles' as he called for them held to the 'same standards as the rest of the financial system'.
In a speech delivered via video-link to the Inaugural Scottish Economics conference in Edinburgh, Mr Carney branded cryptocurrencies a 'failure' and a lottery. The Governor added: 'A better path would be to regulate elements of the crypto-asset ecosystem to combat illicit activities, promote market integrity, and protect the safety and soundness of the financial system.
Mr Carney said that, in his view, crypto-assets do not 'appear to pose material risks to financial stability'. Despite his strong criticism, Mr Carney conceded that the distribute ledger technology which underpins cryptocurrencies can act to help the way payments are made evolve. These must now evolve to meet the demands of fully reliable, real-time, distributed transactions. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.
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Click Continue. Follow the instructions to finish opening your dispute. If you can't log in to your PayPal account, follow the steps to reset your password. To open a dispute : Go to Resolution Centre. Select the transaction you want to dispute. Select either I didn't receive an item I purchased or the item I received was significantly not as described or I want to report unauthorised activity , depending on the nature of your dispute. Follow the instructions to file your dispute. Did this help?
Yes No. Related topics Help Articles Community Posts. More ways to get help. For the uninitiated, bitcoin is a "virtual currency" that, depending on who you believe, is going to change the world by turning e-commerce on its head, or end very messily like a modern-day version of the "tulip mania" that gripped the Netherlands in the 17th century.
In recent months it has become a magnet for speculators and, last autumn, year-old Phillips, who freely admits he is a "a bit of a geek," decided to grab a slice of the action. But now he has lost the lot, and says PayPal is threatening to send in debt collectors. What seems to have happened is, in the space of one night, fraudsters hacked into legitimate PayPal accounts and, posing as these people, bought his bitcoins on eBay and made off with them.
This type of scam is not new, and usually PayPal comes down in favour of the individuals whose accounts were hacked. In this case, the account holders have had their money refunded. A virtual currency AKA "cryptocurrency" can be bought on an exchange using conventional money and then transferred to your personal digital "wallet".
You can then use this "money" to pay for goods and services — mainly drugs and porn, some claim — or convert it back into pounds, dollars or whatever. The "coin" doesn't exist physically — it exists only as a computer file. Last year, Phillips, a London-based visual effects artist, could see that bitcoin was starting to become a phenomenon.
I didn't want to miss out, so I started buying a few. Then I started trading with smaller cryptocurrencies, and had some success. By November, bitcoin's value had soared, fallen, then it rose again. Concerned about this volatility, Phillips decided, as he had "done quite well", now was the time to sell. So he listed his bitcoins on eBay and had no problems finding buyers. Phillips waited until the money was in his PayPal account, then sent the currency to the wallet address provided.
Hours later, the man reversed the payment. However, the way bitcoin works means that while you can't see who owns a wallet, anyone can view bitcoin transactions via websites such as Blockchain. It was a similar story with other eBay buyers that night. One bought two bitcoins 4 x 0. Phillips was reassured by the fact she had a decent eBay rating. As soon as the money hit his account, he transferred the bitcoins to the wallet address, and she emailed back saying she would be interested in buying more.
But in the morning all the money from her in his PayPal account had been put "on hold". PayPal, he was told, suspected her account had been hacked. It said it needed more information about the woman before it could release the funds, and suggested Phillips email her to speed things up.
She pinged back a pithy two-word response: "Fuck off! By this point Phillips was "panicking a bit — something was very wrong and I realised I may have lost my bitcoins and the money".