The Bitcoin world reacted with a mixture of acceptance and resignation to a Newsweek magazine report that the creator of the digital currency is a 64-year-old Japanese-American man living in the Los Angeles area.
With the shutdown of Tokyo-based Mt. Gox, once the world’s largest exchange for digital currency transactions, other companies in the Bitcoin universe worked to defend the nascent industry’s reputation.
Entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley to Wall Street say they don’t care much for Bitcoin as a currency to supplant the U.S. dollar. As a payment technology they could use to undercut Visa Inc., Western Union Co. or Citigroup Inc., they say they like it a lot more.
It’s that time of year when journalists let their creativity run rampant to produce 10-Best and 10-Worst lists, revisit the year’s biggest whoppers (look no further than the Oval Office), and offer prognostications for the coming year. With that in mind, I’ve gleaned the five most important lessons from 2013, which are all but guaranteed to be forgotten next year.
Detroit has become the largest U.S. city to crumble under the weight of huge, unfunded public employee benefits such as pensions and retirement health care. It is unlikely to be the last: Recent bond-rating downgrades in Chicago and Cincinnati indicate that more municipalities could be forced to seek bankruptcy protection.
Bitcoin’s rally is accelerating as the U.S. Department of Justice’s description of the digital currency as a “legal means of exchange” bolsters the prospect of wider acceptance as an alternative payment system.
A bullet point on Page 18 of President Barack Obama’s 2014 budget sounds ominous: “Prohibit Individuals from Accumulating Over $3 Million in Tax-Preferred Retirement Accounts.” That it appears in a section titled “Strengthening the Middle Class” is odd since such a proposal would seem to undermine the goal.