The number of cryptocurrencies available over the internet as of December 31, 2017 is >1400 and growing. A new cryptocurrency can be created at any time. By market capitalization (see Coinranking), Bitcoin has been the largest blockchain network, followed by Ethereum and Ripple.

  • Bitcoin: The first decentralized ledger currency founded by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto (is it Craig Steven Wright?) in 2009. It’s currently the cryptocurrency with the most famous, popular, notable and highest market capitalization.
    • Bitcoin Cash is a hard fork from Bitcoin with increased block size from 1 MB to 8 MB.
  • Ethereum: Supports Turing-complete smart contracts and was founded by Vitalik Buterin in 2015.
    • Ethereum Classic is an alternative version of Ethereum whose blockchain does not include the DAO Hard-fork.
  • Ripple: Founded by Chris Larsen & Jed McCaleb in 2013 is designed for peer to peer debt transfer and is not based on bitcoin.

How it works

Crypto = Using Digital Encryption. Currency = A System of Money. In order to understand how cryptocurrency functions, there are main eight concepts to become familiar with:

  • Encryption
  • Decentralized
  • Distributed Systems
  • Open Source Code
  • Transactions
  • Public Ledgers
  • Nodes
  • Mining
The eight concepts explained (click to expand)
  • Encryption is the process of converting information or data into a code, especially to prevent unauthorized access. When using cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange, instead of using a single key for both encryption and decryption, separate encryption keys are used for both. A user generates a pair of keys that are mathematically linked to each other. One key (the public key) is used for encryption and the other (the private key) is used for decryption. The public key is shared (used as a wallet for payment) where anyone with this address can send encrypted information (bits of data, bitcoin) to another party. Once encrypted, the information can only be decrypted with the corresponding private key.
  • Decentralized are the transfer of decision making power, assignment of accountability and responsibility for results. It is accompanied by delegation of commensurate authority to individuals or units at all levels of an organization (bitcoin protocol). Cryptocurrencies are a standard, or a protocol just like HTTP, IP, or the internet and they aren’t wholly owned by any individuals. It’s a network centric system that operates by simple mathematical rules that everyone who participates on the network agrees upon. Through this simple mechanism and invention, they operate within a decentralized network of computers to agree on what transactions occurred.
  • Distributed Systems as a model whose components are located on a network of computers. These computers communicate and coordinate their actions by passing messages along to one another. This is the system by which nodes are governed.
  • Open Source Code software that can be freely used, changed, and shared (in modified or unmodified form) by anyone. Open source software is made by many people, and distributed under licenses that comply with the Open Source Definition. Cryptocurrencies are typically open-source. This means developers can create API’s (application program interface) without paying a fee and anyone can use or join the network.
  • Transactions are made in an instance of buying or selling something; a business deal. When you send Bitcoin, a single data structure (Bitcoin transaction) is created by your wallet client using an encrypted electronic signature. It is then broadcasted to the network via a public ledger to provide mathematical proof that the transaction actually occurred. Bitcoin nodes on the network will relay and rebroadcast the transaction, and if the transaction is valid, nodes will include it in the block they are mining.
  • Public Ledgers or Blockchain (originally block chain) is a distributed database that is used to maintain a continuously growing list of records, called blocks in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly. The public ledger consistently grows as ‘completed’ blocks are added to it with a new set of recordings. The blocks are added to the blockchain in a linear, chronological order. Each node (computer connected to the Bitcoin network using a client that performs the task of validating and relying transactions) gets a copy of the blockchain, which gets downloaded automatically upon joining the Bitcoin network. The blockchain has complete information about addresses and their balances right from the genesis block to the most recently completed block.
  • Nodes are points of intersection/connection within a network. A node is simply a computer that is participating in the global Bitcoin network by speaking a protocol, ‘the Bitcoin’ protocol, that allows these intersections on the network to communicate with each other. What they do is essentially propagate transactions and blocks. Nodes that are participate on Bitcoin serve the most important purpose; every one of them acts as an authoritative, verifier of every single transaction and block. This type of node is more precisely referred to as a fully validating node. The node takes the transaction data, and independently verifies every aspect of that transaction. It authoritatively reconciles it with its own copy of the ledger to determine whether the funds have been double spent. If you send a node a transaction that is incorrect, it will not only reject the transaction, it will stop talking to you. A node that tries to propagate incorrect information is quickly isolated, the nodes it attempts to communicate with will ban and disconnect from it. The most important concept to recognize and take away from this is the nodes on the network don’t trust each other. Miners (see below) receive the transactions that nodes decided were valid, and they give back blocks at the pleasure of the nodes that will decide if they are worthy of being propagated because they are valid. The validity of the consensus rules is not determined by miners, they sequence transactions into a block. The validity of the consensus rules is determined by nodes, because they will not propagate lies.
  • Mining is the process by which transactions are verified and added to the public ledger and is also the means through which new bitcoin are released. Anyone with access to the internet and suitable hardware can participate in mining. The mining process involves compiling recent transactions into blocks and trying to solve a computationally difficult puzzle. The computer (or cloud of computers) who first solves the puzzle gets to place the next block on the blockchain and claim the reward for solving this math problem and providing this critical function to the system. The reward (new bitcoin) incentivize mining; both the transaction fees associated with the transactions complied in the blocks as well as newly released bitcoin. The amount of new bitcoin released with each mined block is called the block reward. The block reward is halved every 210,000 blocks or roughly every 4 years. The difficulty of mining adjusts itself with the aim of keeping the rate of block discovery constant. Thus, if more computational power is employed in mining, then the difficulty will adjust upwards making mining harder over time.

How Bitcoin works under the hood

Bitcoin: How Cryptocurrencies work

Limits & Regulations

See also: Legality of bitcoin by country or territory. Theoretically, there is no limit. Realistically there are only so many cryptocurrencies that will be accepted in a large enough scale for conventional use.

However, each cryptocurrency has a defined limit. For example bitcoin currently has a limit of 21 million coins. Others are in the billions, and others have no limit. Because it is all just code, these settings can be changed at any time, although very unlikely because everyone has to agree to change it. It can also be duplicated an infinite number of times. Anyone can start their own currency, although it is very unlikely to take off. There are hundreds of currencies but most are worthless.

Moreover: Banks and Governments (in some countries that might be very well the same) naturally are not happy with the current system of how cryptocurrencies are traded and develop as they have no control over it, may be able to track only within limits and could not collect their share. In these respects, a lot has happened in 2017 and will most likely continue doing so in 2018 and thereafter.

Click below to learn more about limits & regulations by country as of end 2017:

Limits & Regulations by Country (click to expand)
  • Abu Dhabi: Issuers and intermediaries of virtual currencies and “security” tokens may be subject to regulation—depending upon the nature of the product and service. On Oct. 9, 2017, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi issued guidance on the regulation of initial coin/token offerings (ICO) and digital currency as supplemental guidance to the existing 2015 Financial Services and Markets Regulations..
  • Argentina: Virtual currencies are not legal tender under the country’s National Constitution, which designates the Central Bank as the only authority that may issue legal tender. On Nov. 2, 2017, Argentina’s largest futures trading market, the Mercado de Termino de Rosario (Rofex) has been considering offering services to investors in digital currencies and plans to make an announcement by the end of 2017.
  • Austria: Austria regulates financial services involving virtual currencies.
  • Australia: Digital currency exchanges will be subject to registration and regulation in mid-2018, once amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act of 2006 take effect. Digital currency transactions are no longer subject to goods and services taxes (GST) but remain subject to incomes and capital gains taxes. On December 7, 2017 the Australian Parliament passed amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act of 2006. On Dec. 8, 2017, The Australian Taxation Office updated its guidance on GST and digital currency to address tokens and ICOs. On Oct. 18, 2017, Australia approved legislation introduced on September 14 to remove the double taxation on digital currency. On Aug. 8, 2017, Australian senators from both major political parties announced that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) should formally recognize bitcoin and other digital currencies as official forms of currency. On March 20, 2017, Australia’s securities and investments regulator, ASIC, released guidance on the use of distributed ledger technology (including blockchain) in financial services and financial markets.
  • Bangladesh: Bangladesh Bank issued a warning against conducting transactions in cryptocurrency, and reportedly stated that such use is punishable by up to 12 years in jail.
  • Belgium: The National Bank of Belgium has warned investors and the public of the dangers of virtual currencies and declared that they are not legal tender, and the Minister of Justice has announced his intention to impose strict regulations on virtual currency activities. On June 16, 2017, the National Bank of Belgium issued a report on the threat of digital currencies to monetary policy concluding that “any threats to monetary stability caused by digital currencies issued by private players are rather limited at this point”.
  • Bermuda: Government intends to begin regulating virtual currencies and ICOs in 2018. The Government of Bermuda announced it will begin to regulate virtual currency exchanges, coins and securitized tokens, in early 2018. The new regulation would include the activities of firms, operating in or from Bermuda, that use distributed ledger technologies (DLT) to store or transmit value.
  • Bolivia: Virtual currency has been explicitly banned.
  • Brazil: The Central Bank of Brazil has not yet regulated virtual currencies, but has issued the now-standard warnings about their use.
  • Bulgaria: Personal income from the sale or exchange of bitcoin is taxable, and will be treated as income from sale of financial assets.
  • Canada: Canadian lawmakers seem to be taking a lighter approach to regulating virtual currencies, with a ‘regulate-and-embrace’ policy, focusing primarily on anti-money laundering concerns. In Nov. 2017, the Bank of Canada has issued a discussion paper addressing whether a central bank should issue digital currency (CBDC) that could be used by the general public. On Nov. 2, 2017, the Ontario Securities Commission granted regulatory relief to Toronto-based Funder, Inc. to allow Ontario’s first regulated ICO/ITO. On May 25, 2017, the Bank of Canada stated that its experiment with blockchain, or distributed ledger technology, showed it is currently not compatible with operating the country’s centralized interbank payment systems.
  • China: Financial institutions and third-party payment providers are banned from accepting, using, or selling virtual currencies. Although its use remains legal, the People’ s Bank of China has required exchanges to register with the appropriate regulatory authorities and has suggested it will closely watch the markets. The People’s Bank of China has allegedly warned banks from working with virtual currency-related businesses. On Sept. 4, 2017, China banned all companies and individuals from raising funds through ICO activities, reiterating that ICOs are considered illegal activity in the country.
  • Colombia: Colombia’s financial regulatory body (SFC) has prohibited banks from working with virtual currency. The SFC and the Central Bank have also indicated that bitcoin is not a currency.
  • Croatia: Informal statements by the Croatian National Bank are favorable regarding the legality of bitcoin.
  • Cyprus: Virtual currencies are not illegal in Cyprus, but Central Bank has warned about their use.
  • Czech Republic: Czech Ministry of Finance has indicated that virtual currency transactions are subject to anti-money-laundering laws and reporting requirements.
  • Denmark: Financial Supervisory Authority has issued warnings about the risks of virtual currencies, similar to other European nations, and has suggested there may be amendments to regulations regarding virtual currencies. Currently, it does not appear that virtual currencies are regulated, at least under money laundering or financial institution regulations.
  • Ecuador: Ecuador has banned issuance, promotion, or circulation of virtual currencies, and plans to issue its own digital currency for use as legal tender.
  • Estonia: Informal cautions regarding use of bitcoin in response to email inquiries; bitcoin income is treated as capital gains. On Aug. 23, 2017, Estonia proposed the launch of its own state-managed cryptocurrency, “estcoin,” which would be launched using an ICO. On Sept. 7, 2017, European Central Bank President Draghi rejected Estonia’s plans to launch its own state-run digital currency, “estcoin,” and indicated that the ECB would not allow Estonia or any other EU member state to introduce its own currency.
  • European Union: European Banking Authority issued warnings to the public about the risks associated with virtual currencies, and recently indicated it will apply anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing rules to virtual currencies. On Sept. 7, 2017, European Central Bank President Draghi rejected Estonia’s plans to launch its own state-run digital currency, “estcoin,” and indicated that the ECB would not allow Estonia or any other EU member state to introduce its own currency.
  • Finland: Based on informal interviews, the best indication is that virtual currencies are treated as commodities in Finland.
    On Nov. 22, 2017, Finland’s Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) issued a warning that initial coin/token offerings (ICOs/ITOs) and cryptocurrencies are risky and highly speculative investments.
  • France:
    Bank of France has issued warnings similar to other European nations. There were informal indications that France might have been willing to allow virtual currency companies to operate as payment service providers under French law, and France has now indicated it will implement customer identity verification rules for virtual currency platforms.
  • Germany: Virtual currencies are financial instruments under German law and, more specifically, are a form of “private money” that can be taxed as capital. Certain uses may also require a license or permit. On Nov. 15, 2017, Germany’s Federal Financial Authority (BaFin) released a statement warning consumers of the risks of initial coin offerings (ICOs).
  • Hong Kong: Informal guidance suggests that regulatory authorities are monitoring virtual currencies, particularly with regard to money laundering. Virtual currency considered a virtual commodity and not legal tender.
  • Iceland: Regulates virtual currencies as electronic currency through the Icelandic Exchange Act, which effectively prohibits entities from engaging in the exchange of virtual currency.
  • India: The Indian government does not (yet) regulate cryptocurrency exchanges. Reserve Bank of India has issued warnings to the public about the risks associated with virtual currencies and has suggested it is examining virtual currencies under India’s existing legal framework. On Nov. 16, 2017, the Indian Supreme Court issued a notice to the central bank and several other agencies asking them to respond to a petition made to the court to regulate bitcoin. The petition called on the Court to make cryptocurrencies accountable to the exchequer, expressing concerns about the untraceablility of digital currency transactions.
  • Indonesia: Virtual currencies are not legal tender, and using virtual currencies violates the country’s information and electronic transaction laws and currency laws.
  • Iran: Iran intends to implement strict regulations for digital currencies. On Dec. 2, 2017, bucking international sanctions, the High Council of Cyberspace in Iran (HCC) announced that it will accept the use of bitcoin but the digital currency will be subject to strict regulation.
  • Ireland: The Central Bank of Ireland does not regulate bitcoin. Ireland’s Revenue Commissioners are monitoring bitcoin for tax-related developments.
  • Isle of Man: The government intends to put economic infrastructure in place promoting virtual currency businesses, subject to anti-money-laundering requirements. In 2016, the Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC) and Treasury approved regulation to allow digital currencies including bitcoin to be accepted as cash.
  • Israel: The Israeli central bank and Finance Ministry has issued warnings to the public about the risks associated with virtual currencies. On December 27 media reports said Israel’s markets regulator will propose regulation to ban companies based on bitcoin and other digital currencies from trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. In Jan. 2017, Israel’s government said it was set to apply capital gains tax to bitcoin sales, categorizing digital currencies as a type of property.
  • Italy: A law requiring identification of parties in bitcoin transactions has been proposed in the Italian Parliament, but no regulation yet. Virtual currency is not legal tender.
  • Japan: Japan approved a law regulating Virtual Currencies on May 25, 2016 which was promulgated on June 3, 2016. The law was enacted and came into effect on April 1, 2017. On Sept. 30, 2017, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) of Japan granted its first licenses for digital currency exchanges to 11 companies. On April 1, 2017, Japan’s Financial Services Agency enacted a new law authorizing the use of digital currency as a method of payment, essentially granting it the same legal status as any other currency. The law follows months of debate which ultimately brought Bitcoin exchanges under anti-money laundering/know-your-customer rules, and resulted in the categorization of Bitcoin as a kind of prepaid payment instrument.
  • Jordan: Virtual currencies are not legal tender in Jordan and the Central Bank has warned against their use. Banks, currency exchanges, financial companies, and payment service providers operating in Jordan are prohibited from dealing in virtual currencies.
  • Lebanon: Bank of Lebanon has issued warnings to the public about the risks associated with virtual currencies, and has said that financial institutions and exchanges cannot, be decree, deal in virtual currencies as “e-money.”
  • Luxembourg: The issuance of virtual currency is not regulated “from a monetary point of view.” Financial services providers, which could include virtual currency businesses, must receive authorization from the Minister of Finance.
  • Malaysia: Virtual currencies were previously not legal tender in Malaysia, but the government will enforce new cryptocurrency regulation soon. On Nov. 6, 2017, the chairman of Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) said at a finance conference that the SC is working on regulations and guidelines for the use of digital assets and cryptocurrency.
  • Malta: Malta’s government is reportedly developing a broad national strategy that will see the government embrace bitcoin and blockchain innovation to promote and adopt the technology. On Oct. 23, 2017, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) published draft regulation for collective investment schemes investing in virtual currencies, which would be narrowly applicable to Professional Investor Funds (PIFs) that have investing in virtual currencies as their objective.
  • Mexico: Virtual currencies are not legal tender currency, and the Bank of Mexico has warned of risks of using virtual currencies.
  • Morocco: The use of cryptocurrencies is outlawed in Morocco. On Nov. 21, 2017, Morocco’s foreign exchange authority, the Office des Changes, stated in a press release that transacting with cryptocurrencies within Morocco violates existing regulations.
  • Netherlands: The Netherlands do not regulate bitcoin under its Act on Financial Supervision, but its national bank has released consumer warnings regarding the use of virtual currency.
  • New Zealand: Informal warnings about the risks associated with virtual currencies; suggestion from Commerce Commission that virtual currency may be regulated. On Oct. 25, 2017, New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA) published commentary on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency services to supplement its online resources for investors. The FMA indicated that the specific characteristics and economic substance of an ICO determine whether the coins/tokens offered are a financial product and how (or if) it should be regulated.
  • Norway: Indications are that virtual currencies are not “money” or “currency” but are assets subject to capital gains taxes. On Feb. 9, 2017, following a recent European Court of Justice ruling, the Directorate of the Norwegian Ministry of Finance reviewed its position on the applicability of VAT exemptions to Bitcoin, and recently concluded that services relating to the exchange of Bitcoin are covered by the VAT Act’s exemption for financial services.
  • Philippines: Exchanges are not regulated by the Philippines Central Bank or other regulatory authorities in the country. The Philippines Government has been moving towards legalizing and regulating digital currencies, which would be deemed securities and placed under the supervision of the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Poland: Virtual currencies are not illegal, but are also not legal tender. They are subject to capital gains taxes and value-added tax. On Feb. 22, 2017, Poland’s Financial Ombudsman called on the country’s Ministry of Finance to regulate the local cryptocurrency industry, claiming that as Poland’s cryptocurrency market is experiencing rapid growth, it should be subject to regulations that would protect customers of cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • Portugal: Warnings from the Bank of Portugal about the risks of virtual currency, while clarifying that the Bank does not regulate bitcoin.
  • Russia: Digital currencies were previously banned as money surrogates under federal law, however, 2017 has seen a softening of Russia’s regulation of cryptocurrency. Plans to regulate cryptocurrency have made headway, and procedures for buying cryptocurrency are scheduled to be announced by the end of 2017. The Russian Ministry of Finance prepared a bill to be submitted on December 28. Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev said the bill, as reported by Tass on Wednesday includes a limit of 1 billion rubles [~ USD$17.3 million] that can be raised through an ICO, and a limit of 50,000 rubles [~$864] that each unqualified investor will be able to invest.
  • Serbia: Warning from the National Bank of Serbia that Bitcoin is not legal tender and cannot be subject to sale and purchase by banks and licensed exchange dealers. Warning that lack of legal protections over Bitcoin constitutes a risk and may result in financial losses.
  • Singapore: Virtual currencies are not “money” or “currency.” However, virtual currency businesses may be subject to anti-money-laundering regulations. Informal reporting suggests that virtual currency sales are taxed as income, investments are taxed as capital gains, and may be subject to goods and services tax. On Nov. 21, 2017, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) published a consultation paper proposing legislation for payment services. The proposed bill would expand the scope of regulation to include the purchase and sale of virtual currencies and other innovations used in domestic money transfers and merchant transactions via point-of-sale or online payment gateways.
  • South Africa: South African Reserve Bank has warned that virtual currencies have no legal status and are subject to lack of security, may lose value, and may not be convertible to legal tender.
  • South Korea: Virtual currencies are not legal currency, are volatile and risky, and have no intrinsic value. South Korea’s government said on December 27 it will impose additional measures to regulate speculation in cryptocurrency trading within the country. On. Dec. 6, 2017, Korea’s Financial Services Commission issued a ban on the trading of bitcoin futures, prompting several securities firms to cancel seminars scheduled in December for bitcoin futures investors..
  • Spain: Virtual currencies are reportedly taxable as an electronic payment system under gambling law, but its treatment under other areas of law is unclear.
  • Sweden: Informal statement from a tax official suggests that virtual currencies are not currencies in Sweden but instead will be treated as assets.
  • Switzerland: Swiss financial regulator has defined licensing requirements for bitcoin kiosk operators and said that virtual currency platforms are subject to anti-money laundering act, but other regulation unlikely because virtual currencies are perceived as a marginal phenomenon. Swiss ski resort St. Moritz announced it will begin accepting Bitcoin payments for lift passes, likely in response to the influx of cryptocurrency investors expected to visit the resort in January for the Crypto Finance Conference. On Sept. 29, 2017, Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) issued guidance on the increase in initial coin offerings (ICOs) within the country. Additionally, FINMA is investigating several ICOs to determine whether the issuers of those ICOs violated current regulations.
  • Taiwan: Central Bank and Financial Supervisory Commission warned that virtual currencies are not currencies, but commodities and have no legal protection. Both plan to regulate virtual currencies.
  • Thailand: Thai law probably does not (yet) regulate virtual currencies, but that does not mean that exchanges are free to operate in Thailand.
  • Turkey: Turkey’s recently enacted law on payment services and electronic money does not apply to bitcoin.
  • United Kingdom: Reportedly, exchanges do not have to register under money laundering regulations. Virtual currencies are taxed under goods and services taxes based on profits from a sale. The UK is planning stricter regulations on Bitcoin. On. Nov. 14, 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK published a warning to consumers about the risks of investing in cryptocurrency contracts-for-differences. On Oct. 27, 2017, the UK Parliament discussed amendments to the European Union’s current Anti-Money Laundering Directive, which would include cryptocurrency. . The proposed amendments would bring digital currency exchange platforms and custodian wallet providers under the purview of existing legislation.
  • United States: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has not approved any exchange-traded products (such as ETFs) holding cryptocurrencies or other assets related to cryptocurrencies for listing or trading. SEC has not registered any initial coin offerings. On July 25, 2017, the SEC issued an investor bulletin about initial coin offerings, saying they can be “fair and lawful investment opportunities” but can be used improperly. The SEC has issued three enforcement actions against ICO sponsors- one halt and exposure of two alleged frauds. SEC Chairman Clayton has also expressed concern about market participants who extend to customers credit in U.S. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has designated bitcoin as a commodity and announced that fraud and manipulation involving bitcoin traded in interstate commerce and the regulation of commodity futures tied directly to bitcoin is under its authority. The CFTC allowed the CME and CBOE to launch bitcoin futures. CFTC also approved a platform for the trading and clearing of virtual currency derivatives for LedgerX, LLC, a swap execution facility and derivatives clearing organization. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says bitcoin must be treated as property for tax purposes. That means a capital gain or loss should be recorded as if it were an exchange involving property. It should be treated like inventory if it is held for resale, and therefore an ordinary gain or loss recorded. If it is used as payment, it should be treated like currency, but must be converted, and its fair market value checked on an exchange. Several U.S. states plan to approve the acceptance or promotion of the use of bitcoin and blockchain technology, while some have already passed them into law according to Bitcoin magazine, including Arizona (recognition of smart contracts), Vermont (blockchain as evidence) and Delaware (pending initiative authorizing registration of shares of Delaware companies in blockchain form). The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws voted in July 2017 to approve a model act providing for the regulation of digital currency businesses at the state level. The U.S. Treasury Department’s inspector general in November 2017 said it planned to review FinCEN’s cryptocurrency practices as they relate to money laundering and terrorism financing risks. FinCEN’s Guidance FIN-2013-G001 declared that “virtual currency does not have legal tender status in any jurisdiction.” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he had established working-groups at treasury looking at bitcoin and that it is something they will be watching “very carefully.”
  • Venezuela: On Dec. 3, 2017, Venezuela launched its own digital currency, the “petro”, backed by oil, gas, gold and diamond reserves. President Nicolas Maduro announced the launch, which he said would Help Venezuela advance its sovereignty and overcome the burdens of global economic sanctions.

Market Capitalizations

Market Capitalization is one way to rank the relative size of a cryptocurrency. It’s calculated by multiplying the Price by the Circulating Supply: Market Cap = Price X Circulating Supply. Go to Cryptocurrency Market Capitalizations to view data for currently more than 1500 cryptocurrencies.


“You’d better check out very carefully about the applicable laws & regulations in your – and don’t you forget about the nodes! – area before going into cryptocurrency gambling.”
Eric Roth

The virtual as well as physical societies are full of “Horray” for cryptocurrency trading and praises Bitcoins & Co. as the “New Gold” – but there are other opinions floating around too. Surprisingly – and therefore weighing in – from…

…the bailout receiver Godman Sachs

…and even the convict Jordan Belfort

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