On the regulation front, Wallstreet Journal reports that France is planning to implement new rules for financial institutions (like banks, investment houses, money exchanges, and any other possible bitcoin distributor) that will force them to collect and verify the identities of their users before opening any accounts for them to trade/buy/sell Bitcoin. These new rules are expected to be put in place by the end of this year (2014). The move will expose Bitcoin, which will now be classified in france as an asset, to taxation under France’s “Fortune tax“.
Bitcoin value now hovers around 620-640 USD per coin. But The Telegraph online version reports that there are estimations that the crypto-coin rising interest will bring to a soar in value to 2000 USD by the end of the year. Geof Lewis, a partner at the Founders Fund, made this statement at CoinSummit in London about a week ago. His statement is backed by Millionaire investor Roger Ver who’s been also known as “Bitcoin Jesus“. Ver even claimed that 2000 USD is a fairly conservative estimate, and that the value will continue its upward climb to thousands and tens of thousands of dollars, due to the finite nature of Bitcoin and it’s global spread.
Now Italy is trying to hitch a ride on the regulation bandwagon as Italian authorities issue warnings regarding Bitcoin usage in money laundering operations, terrorism financing, and mafia activities. Luigi Ciampoli, the Attorney General of Rome, urged for regulation in order to allow the government to trace and identify all those who deal with digital currency.
Does it seem a little grim? Well, not all is lost. The more regulation tries to slap its tentacles around Bitcoin’s slippery neck, the more solutions are being worked on around the open code community to offer more anonymity and freedom of global transactions. One of the more interesting ones is Etherum which is planned as a globally scalable platform for secure transactions using a new decentralized cryptocurrency named “Ether”. It will include tools that will permit direct dealings between individuals without the need for a third party (aside from the platform itself). However, it does seem to pose a challenge for the good not-so-old Bitcoin. Gavin Andersen, the lead developer of Bitcoin, believes that the actual Bitcoin 2.0 can implement most needed changes within Bitcoin itself without needing to switch the world to a new cryptocurrency.
What do you think?