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Ayd Asraf

Corporate Senior IT Executive - Release Team, Aramex International

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Are "Bitcoins" the future of money?

It is clear that there is still a debate raging about the future of cash. Cash is one of the other traditional bastions of the old guard of financial servicing.

Yet with mobile wallets, ebanking, contactless everything and real-time transactions, does cash really have a future?

Some say ‘yes’, due to the unique attributes of cash, other says 'no' due to the recent disruptive invention that is called "Bitcoins".

For those whom are new to the term mentioned above, Bitcoin is a digital currency designed to be controlled through encryption rather than a centralized authority. Operating in exactly the same way as cash, Bitcoins are fully exchangeable as an anonymous form of currency in real-time across the internet and, shortly, at Point-of-Sale.

Seems tempting right? but cannot things go bad with all of this anonymity? knowing that Bitcoins has no refund feature and it's solely left to the consciousness of the second party to refund you your money, wouldn't that be a concern?

Let me know what you think about the future of money, Bitcoins or Cash? what do you think is good & bad about Bitcoins, as well as cash?

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  • Jan 28 2014: This is my up-to-the-minute opinion on this topic. Just in today's news, there is a report that a manager (Charles Shrem) of a bitcoin exchange service called "BitInstant", was arrested for money laundering for drug trafficking in the net trading drug black marketplace "Silk Road" in the U. S. Apparently the U. S. government agencies have never granted the Bitcoin as a legitimate currency, so that the money laundering has been applied only to the U. S. currency used to "buy the bitcoin to be used as drug trafficking. The following is a source article from the Yahoo News:

    "If you’ve made a fortune in bitcoins over the past year and think you can shield the gain from the tax man, you may be in for a rude shock: Tax authorities around the world have been closely studying the virtual currency, which in some cases is much less anonymous and untraceable than it might seem.
    Even if you’re willing to pay your fair share of your bitcoin earnings, prepare for some headaches. Bitcoin’s popularity has run well ahead of tax law, mostly because nobody can seem to decide what exactly bitcoins should be: A currency, like a dollar or a euro? A financial instrument like a stock or a bond? Or illegal altogether?
    The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) thinks it found a workable way to bring bitcoins in from the cold. In a response to the bitcoin brokerage Coin Republic, as reported by CoinDesk’s Jon Southurst, IRAS says it will treat bitcoins like a product—no different than an iPhone or an MP3 or a shrink-wrapped piece of software—which incurs taxes when it is sold for cash or used to pay for goods or services:
    The IRAS reminded Coin Republic that bitcoins do not fit the definition of ‘money’ or ‘currency’, so supplying them is seen as a good/service for taxation purposes rather than a currency exchange.
    The tax treatment is slightly different for individuals that buy bitcoins as part of a long-term investment, and later sell them at a higher price as a capital gain."

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