Controversy has yet again clouded the virtual currency system Bitcoin after Autumn Radtke, chief executive of First Meta Pte Ltd, was found dead at her Singapore home on Feb 26.
“Singapore police are investigating what they have called the "unnatural" death of a 28-year-old American woman who ran a small exchange that traded virtual currencies, including bitcoins, from the Asian city state,” Reuters reported.
While the story about the CEO’s death is still developing, here are some facts that you should know about the digital currency which was introduced in 2009.
- Bitcoin was invented by a mysterious programmer (or a group of them) pseudonymously called “Satoshi Nakamoto”.
Satoshi in Japanese means wise or a person with intelligent ancestors. Nakamoto on the other hand is a family name.
The inventor – who is still unknown – still holds more than four per cent of all coins in existence.
- The Bitcoins makers might be connected to Ross Ulbricht, the mastermind behind online drugs market Silk Road who was arrested and charged last year.
Although the claim was taken back, two Israeli mathematicians wrote a paper, establishing the financial link between the two.
- The virtual currency is not guaranteed by any central bank, so it’s a risk to invest in these things. 'The Strait Times' stated an example:
“10 BTC (1 BTC= 640 USD) today may be worth nothing tomorrow if online exchanges suddenly shut down, or buyers and businesses stop accepting them.”
Short version: Think before you invest.
- Bitcoin is not recognized in all the countries of the world. Russia, Iceland, India, China, Indonesia and Thailand do not accept this virtual currency.
- It has long been speculated that Bitcoin may turn out to be a Ponzi scheme, given that all transactions are public and it is vulnerable to money laundering. According to a 2012 case study report by the European Central Bank, the currency shares some, but not all, characteristics of Ponzi schemes
“It is not easy to assess whether or not the Bitcoin system actually works like a pyramid or Ponzi scheme,” the conclusion stated.