Co-founder & CEO, Bitxoxo
Evolution of things has been a constant phenomenon, starting with the evolution of life and humans, of which, the barter system has come a long way. A system that started off with basic trading of food for livestock, livestock for resources like wood or maize, etc. eventually evolved and precious metals such as gold, silver etc. started being used instead.
Following this ancient trend of evolution, we are now headed towards the next stage of financial evolution with crypto-currency, which is popularly known as bitcoins.
This crypto-currency, which has evolved over a period of a decade or a little more, was developed anonymously and is maintained by a collective group of intellectual minds in technology. Of all the aspects, of this new form of money, which is created and held digitally, the fact that no government owns it or gets to decide its value is the most critical.
However, prior to delving deeper, into these critical aspects of the currency, we will first try to answer some basic questions, shedding some light on the genesis of the currency, such as how was it created, who created it etc. In answering these questions, we would like to begin reiterating the fact that, nobody till date has been able to find a straightforward answer to this question. This is mostly because the person who created bitcoin still remains unidentified.
All people have been able to discover till date is a pseudonym – Satoshi Nakamoto. Nothing more than that has been determined till date, because his accounts are no longer active, with the coins in his wallet unspent. From the way it appears, Satoshi Nakamoto suddenly disappeared from the world.
However, refuting this theory, as per a recent article published by Fast Company, Satoshi Nakamoto is perhaps a collective name for a group of three people viz. Neal King, Vladimir Oksman and Charles Bry.
There are also alleged stories around the three of them filing for a patent related to secure communication just two month prior to the purchase of Bitcoin.org domain. However, these are purported stories, which could either be plain coincidence or perhaps not.
Nevertheless, apart these ambiguous stories attached to bitcoins, some definitive facts we have on the crypto-currency are; A whitepaper work, stating the foundation and operation of bitcoin was published on October 31st 2008, which was titled as ‘Bitcoin-A peer-to-peer Electronic Cash System’.
This whitepaper was posted to a cryptography mailing list, published under the name Satoshi Nakamoto. Following that, an unknown entity or person is known to have registered Bitcoin.org domain, on August 18th 2008. A development that seemed like a natural progression of the series of events witnessed pertaining to Bitcoin, the first version of bitcoin was announced on Jan 8th 2009, and shortly thereafter, bitcoin mining commenced.
Ensued by such events, ever since, there has been no looking back for the crypto-currency. It has, in fact, been accepted as a complimentary mode of transaction in many countries today. However, whether this form of currency is legal or illegal; the answer to that question varies from country to country and their respective laws and popularity among active users. It must be noted that these countries are still testing the waters and therefore haven’t given the currency a complete legal status though.
Countries such as United States, Canada, Australia and the European Union have maintained a friendly stance towards the currency and brought it under the government jurisdiction in order to prevent the use of Bitcoin for illegal transactions.
As a matter of fact, some prominent businesses such as Dell, Overstock.com, Dish Network etc. welcome payments in Bitcoin.
Likewise, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) views Bitcoin to be an asset; The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) considers Bitcoin Transaction trade method based on appropriate taxes belong to the use and user.
As far as the EU is concerned, while it has followed the developments of crypto-currency, it hasn’t really declared a real stance towards the currency. Ensued by that, countries belonging to the union have come forward with their own respective Bitcoin policies.
While this was the list of countries that have accepted Bitcoin, there are still quite a few countries that continue with their suspicions around Bitcoin, owing to its volatile and decentralized nature.
Counties such as Iceland, Vietnam, Bolivia, Krygyzstan, Ecuador, Russia and China have completely forbidden the use of Bitcoin in those countries.
In most of the cases, the currency's anonymity and decentralized nature has been a major bone of contention for all Governing bodies to approve it as legal.