ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Let's Talk Bitcoins

Updated on November 21, 2016

Bitcoin

Source

Growing Popularity

Bitcoin may be described as the currency of the internet. It is a form of digital currency where encryption techniques are used for the purposes of regulating the generation of units of currency as well and to verify the transfer of funds. Created in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoins were created as reward for payment work, where users offer their computing power to verify and record payments in to the public ledger (Mining). Bitcoins may also be exchanged for other currencies, products and/or services. One of the reasons Bitcoins have become increasingly popular is because of the fact that the process allows for bitcoins to be used for purchases anonymously. Moreover, it allows for easy and cheap international payments since the Bitcoins are not tied to any country, institutions or regulations. The recent growth in popularity and acceptance of this system raised significant concerns because of the fact that no one really knows what will become of it in future.

The Future

While Bitcoin has been shown to have a number of benefits, its future remains uncertain. For good number of experts, this may very well be the future of online transactions and transactions in general. However, the fact that it is uncontrolled and has fluctuated widely since its inception has raised significant concerns. Currently, in the event that an individual sends their Bitcoins to another person, this cannot be undone unless the other person decides to reverse the transactions. This therefore means that it is almost an impossibility to trace where this currency goes due to anonymity. Given that this technology is increasingly being used, and thus becoming more and more popular, then it is very likely that both governments and financial institutions will get more involved, and find ways of regulating this technology. For a good number of users, the system is a pet project of encryptions wonks that will ultimately rival the likes of Visa.

Ethics

Source

Challenges

There have been reports that transactions has been taking longer to clear, at times taking about 40 minutes to process payments. This, for those purchasing things in stores (groceries etc) may be a lot of time to wait around. These little issues will eventually draw financial institutions to get involved, and in the processes of correcting them, end up regulating the entire system. On the other hand, the reality is that there are many people who do not know about Bitcoin let alone how to use it. However, as it continues to become more popular in the public eye due to the strengths it holds (international transactions and anonymity among others) there will be a need to educate people about it in order to prevent possible financial problems for the users. This also means more involvement of financial institutions and ultimately some form of regulations.

Today more than ever, technology is rapidly advancing, with more and more people connecting on the internet through computers and smartphones. As a result, I see many more people becoming familiar with this technology, resulting in a global adoption of the technology for future local and international transactions. This will however be followed regulations and control to manage its use.


Ethical Issues

Currently, some of the strengths of this technology are also its weaknesses. For instance, one of the strengths of the technology is that it allows for individuals to carry out transactions without having to use their names. Instead of names, people use given ID numbers for identifications. While this sounds like a major strength for a majority of people, it opens a door for a number of problems. A good example is a scenario where a user takes a loan from another user with the promise to repay the Bitcoins within a given period of time. In the event that such Bitcoins are used for such activities as gambling in Casinos, and lost, the original owner may not be able to get to the person they loaned the Bitcoins to, but can trace the money to the casino. Under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) of the United States, the original owner is allowed to have their Bitcoins back. This therefore means that the loser is the casino, which did not do anything wrong. The system therefore has the potential to allow some users to get away with such acts, and not facing the consequences of their actions. This therefore may leave innocent businesses serving people without being paid for their services. In such situations, only businesses may suffer while those who committed the crime get away. On the other hand, the fact that the system allows for private transactions means that some people can easily engage in various illicit activities such as transactions involving illegal drugs and even weapons. The other problem with the system today is that it allows for people to continue doing transactions without having to pay taxes since there is no regulation. This proves unethical given that some people get away without paying taxes while others continue doing so. This, for many governments is one of the major issues of the technology.

Mitigation

Education

One of the ways through which some of the ethical issues could be resolved involves education. The advocates of the technology need to establish a way to educate users about this virtual currency in order to avoid using it in the wrong way. It is evident that a good number of people do not fully trust or have confident on the system, which makes education necessary.

Reasonable regulation

While most people would prefer not regulation at all, it is clear that the lack of regulation opens the doors to a number of unethical activities, which may among others include transactions involving sex trafficking. To create a better image, reasonable regulation that will limit abuse while encouraging use and innovation will ensure that Bitcoin becomes the best transaction platform of the future. Given that the number of users is expected to grow in coming years, it will be prove necessary to have mechanisms in place that will not only protect users, but also hold them accountable in the event of criminal activities.

What's Your Thoughts On Bitcoins? Way To Go?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)