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Is Bitcoin Selling its Soul to the State?

[Reading Time: 5 minutes]

This question or some variation of it has actually been posed to me by many virtual currency enthusiasts over the past few months.  It so happens that the financial services regulations applicable to many new virtual currency businesses have been seen as impinging upon the core features that make Bitcoin so innovative and potentially disruptive.

First, the hope for complete anonymity was shattered by the statutory obligation to implement know-your-customer procedures at the currency translation points.  Second, the irrevocability of transactions was dampened by the federal consumer obligation to provide for delayed executions, cancellations and refunds.  Is financial privacy next? 

One of Bitcoin’s most salient and innovative attributes is that its block chain, the public ledger where the entire history of every transaction ever conducted is stored, is publicly viewable by anyone with the right tools.  Given this unique window into their virtual currency wallets, are Bitcoin users not at risk of giving up the right to the private use of a currency that cash affords them today?  I say at risk because it may still be possible to Continue reading

“Most Bitcoiners Are Unaware or In A State of Deep Denial”

[Reading Time: 8 minutes]

Interview with David Landsman, Executive Director of the National Money Transmitters Association (NMTA) – PART ONE

In the past couple of weeks I have noticed in my conversations with cryto-preneurs a growing, yet begrudging acceptance of the inevitability of having to comply with United States regulation if their ventures are to be viable.  However, many remain unperturbed and some even defiant.

After writing extensively on America’s convoluted regulatory regime, and the challenges ahead for Bitcoin entrepreneurs, this week I thought I would seek the thoughts and opinions of someone I respect a lot, who knows the money transmitter industry inside out, and who has for decades advocated for regulatory rationality and fair play –David Landsman, head of the National Money Transmitters Association, a U.S. industry advocacy group for small and medium-sized operators who toil through some of the same issues as the Bitcoin community is facing today. Continue reading

Performance+Compliance: The Business Challenge of the Day

[Reading time: 6 minutes]

As the twenty‐first century unfolds, new and higher stakeholder expectations challenge organizations to achieve performance goals and increase shareholder value while at the same time meeting increased regulatory and compliance standards.

In the eighties, companies realized the strategic significance of human resources and a revolution in management development broke out. In the late nineties, technology and connectivity triggered the phenomenon known as globalization.  Each wave brought about enormous opportunities for economic growth and development.  However, September Eleven and the unprecedented corporate ethics meltdown of the early years of the new millennium revealed that fast change is leaving many gaps behind.

It is a fact that technological innovation has helped streamline business processes and lower costs.  On the other hand, however, issues in areas such as data security remain only partially addressed.  As for us humans, we seem to have learned how to organize ourselves a little better.  However, in general, we are still struggling to work collaboratively across international boundaries, remain creativity‐challenged, and keep Continue reading

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