The final week of 2015 brought exciting indicators for bitcoin and the blockchain heading into 2016. Price stabilization, venture capital investment, financial institutions’ investment and bitcoin’s ability to enhance cross-border payments all paint a positive future for the new year, despite the challenges of cryptocurrency’s association with illegal activity and the uncertain impact of regulatory initiatives.
Another positive sign was the increasing attention from major financial media such as Forbes, Fortune and The Wall Street Journal.
Fortune carried a feature summarizing both the positive and negative indicators and concluded the positives outweighed the negatives heading into 2016.
Bitcoin Challenges Continue
On the negative side, Fortune noted that illegal activity continues to undermine the development of digital currency. In early December, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged mining companies owned by Joshua Garza – ZenMiner and GAW Miners – with operating a Ponzi scheme. Garza, the SEC claims, earned $20 million selling shares in “hashlets.”
Illegal activity even afflicted an organization formed to promote bitcoin, the Bitcoin Foundation. Near the end of 2015, the foundation