In Bitcoin We Trust?

Paola Subacchi

LONDON – Many regard the market for Bitcoin – the world’s leading cryptocurrency – as a game of winners and losers played out among hedge funds, amateur investors, geeks, and criminals. The huge risk inherent in a highly volatile anonymous digital currency is best left to those who understand the game well, or who don’t really care because they can mitigate the risk or absorb any losses. But Bitcoin recently has become more attractive for countries and individuals with limited access to conventional payment systems – that is, those least equipped to manage the underlying risk.

Earlier this month, El Salvador became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, enacting legislation that will take effect in September. This means that Bitcoin can be used to pay for goods and services throughout the country, and recipients are legally obliged to accept it.

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