Bitcoin lacks 'credibility and trust,' US SEC says

The U.S. SEC warns of frauds and scams involving the virtual currency

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is leery of bitcoin.

The agency issued a lengthy warning to investors on Wednesday about risks it sees in bitcoin and virtual currencies, much of which has been already iterated by bitcoin advocates or other regulators.

But the SEC, which is the top regulator for U.S. securities markets, also took a dig at bitcoin's short existence as another negative.

"As a recent invention, Bitcoin does not have an established track record of credibility and trust," the agency wrote in its advisory.

The statement perhaps conflates the pure technology of the bitcoin protocol that transfers the virtual currency, which has been vetted by cryptography experts as solid, with the nearly innumerable thefts, scams and failures of bitcoin-related businesses.

Bitcoin, which launched in 2009, has seen a fair share of challenges, including vacillating exchange rates and regulatory restrictions in countries such as China.

To back up its claim of bitcoin's track record, the SEC cited the February collapse of Mt. Gox, the Japan-based exchange that said it lost some 650,000 bitcoins and US$28 million in cash, confirming suspicions the exchange that once dominated bitcoin trading was in trouble.

Law enforcement and the SEC may also have trouble investigating bitcoin-related cases, the warning said, since banks are not involved with bitcoin transactions and there is no central authority to obtain information on users.

The SEC must rely on other sources for information in such cases, such as bitcoin exchanges or users. Seizing and freezing proceeds that are in bitcoin can also be difficult, the SEC said.

Of course, many of those supposed weaknesses are also what makes bitcoin attractive to certain kinds of users.

Read more: Gamblers bet on Bitcoin for anonymous online wagering

Tags U.S. Securities and Exchange CommissionInternet-based applications and servicesinternetgovernment

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?