Virtual Currencies - From Secrecy to Safety: The Evolving Landscape in the Bitcoin Era (Digital Money Series Book 2)
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The spectacular rise of Bitcoin has heralded the birth of a new industry: Virtual Currencies. Today there are over 700 different types of virtual currencies in this burgeoning billion-dollar industry. However, the debate about whether virtual currencies can really disrupt the financial service world is still raging, and governments around the world are yet to take a clear stance on whether virtual currencies are legal or desirable.
This book provides a comprehensive guide to virtual currencies, examining them from the perspective of bankers, financial services companies, telecom providers, merchants, governments and consumers. In it, you will find answers to questions like:
• How do virtual currencies work?
• Are Virtual Currencies just a fad, or do they have a longer term role?
• What will they mean for financial services, merchants and consumers?
• How will they affect the world economy?
• Who will profit from a Virtual Currency revolution?
• What makes a Virtual Currency succeed?
• How to choose a partner in this fast-moving, high risk industry?
The first section “Money Goes Digital” introduces the notion of digitisation of value transfer and discusses what virtual currencies are, how they work, how they currently market themselves, and what regulations are in place to govern them. The second section “The Coming Storm” discusses how much virtual currencies can disrupt the established payments and financial services industry, looks at the specific areas that might be affected, and considers what incumbents could do to make the most of the innovation. The third section “From Secrecy to Safety” discusses what virtual currencies need to do to break into the mainstream financial services market, and what can incumbents do to profit - or at least not lose out - from the changes that seem imminent. Finally, the book considers the structure of future virtual currency economies, the possibility of state-backed virtual currencies and the problem of speculation and price bubbles.
Written to be accessible, the book provides a sweeping perspective on the world of virtual currencies. If you want to use, work with or provide a virtual currency service, this book will guide you through the decision-making process, helping you to find the business model that works best for you and your wallet.
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