Some of the characters attracted to the digital currency bitcoin continue to be the biggest rivals to its success.
Earlier this month, the SEC charged two bitcoin mining companies, GAW Miners and ZenMiner, both owned by Joshua Garza, with operating a Ponzi scheme. The SEC says that Garza made $20 million in ill-gotten gains by selling customers shares in “hashlets.” Forget what that actually means—for the sake of the public image of bitcoin (both the digital currency and the underlying technology that powers it), it doesn’t matter. What matters is that this fraud, only the latest bitcoin-related criminal activity, brought on another round of bad headlines for the still-nascent industry.
As entrepreneurs continue to raise money to build exciting applications for the technology, criminals continue to demonstrate that it can be exploited to circumvent the law. This is one of the biggest hurdles that bitcoin faces. And there are other hurdles. But 2015 was mostly a very good year for the industry. Here are some of the main arguments that paint a case against and for bitcoin in 2016.
The bear case
1. Reputation. For many, the first person associated with bitcoin is still “Dread Pirate Roberts,” the infamous pseudonym of Ross