Argumentative Essay On Bitcoin

1457 Words 6 Pages
Major advances in technology in the last two decades have drastically changed the entire world, causing many long-established systems and devices to quickly modernize or risk becoming outdated. To name a few things that are now essentially obsolete: disposable cameras, physical maps, and public telephones. The next two decades will undoubtedly bring about a similar state of change, and among the systems that may very well be forced to evolve is one of the oldest and most fundamental in human history—currency. Before the Internet, currency had been exchanged in person or by mail for millennia. Now, nearly anyone can buy a product or service from someone else around the world. However, doing so generally costs the buyer or the seller (sometimes …show more content…
Some misconceptions about Bitcoin stem from the fact that the technology is relatively new and includes features that are still in development. Many merchants and consumers are unaware of Bitcoin, which is why people need to be informed and educated about it in order to apply it to their businesses and lives. Because the number of bitcoins that have been mined so far remains limited and the demand for them increases every day, Bitcoin has been criticized for its extreme volatility. As Kevin Maney describes it, “Over the past year, bitcoin prices have seen more sky-high ups and steep crashes than a North Korean test missile” (Maney, 2). While this originally caused some investors to rush to buy into Bitcoin, this sort of volatility is typically not a positive indicator for a system of currency. However, Bitcoin’s prices are expected to decrease as time goes on and more businesses, consumers, and investors begin to accept …show more content…
By offering almost complete anonymity by design, and due especially to the current lack of regulations, Bitcoin has become highly attractive to users, both law-abiding and criminal. “[Bitcoin] creates a unique payment system that can be used for illegal means such as money laundering, trading in illegal goods and services, financing terrorism, fraud, and tax evasion” (Levin, et al., 10). One well-known criminal activity that wrongfully took advantage of the benefits of Bitcoin was Silk Road, “the infamous online marketplace for illegal goods and services that federal authorities shut down in late 2013” (McGlynn, 795). A former Eagle Scout and citizen of California named Ross William Ulbricht, who operated under the alias ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’, ran the underground Silk Road Website, which accepted bitcoins exclusively as payment for the sale of drugs and other illicit goods. When the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) arrested Ulbricht and shut Silk Road down, they seized over 170,000 bitcoins, which were valued at over $70 million, as of November 15, 2013 (Levin, et al., 12). This and other cases show the government’s determination to regulate the use of Bitcoin and other digital currencies in an effort to combat their use in criminal

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