The future is here, and it’s all digital.
That’s what we were told back in May, when we first learned of the possibility of digital currency.
It’s not quite like the past.
It has an exciting future.
But now we’re hearing that it’s not the future.
The idea of digital currencies has been around for decades.
They’re a way to send money and do things that you can’t do with cash.
That was the premise behind Bitcoin in 2009.
And it’s one of the few things that the U.S. government is actively trying to stop.
But even as Bitcoin’s popularity grew, the feds took notice.
The US Department of the Treasury, in a January 2017 letter to bitcoin exchange Mt.
Gox, said the currency “may not be secure or reliable” because it was “inherently susceptible to manipulation by a malicious actor or a government-sponsored actor.”
The threat, the letter said, “could lead to the loss of value of your bitcoins, as well as harm the integrity of the Bitcoin network.”
Gox has since gone offline.
It was the first time Mt.gox has gone offline in a long time, and the exchange was the subject of a major government crackdown.
In July, the government shut down a Bitcoin ATM in Los Angeles and seized more than $2 million in the currency.
The feds’ concern about Bitcoin is not unfounded.
A February 2017 article in The New York Times revealed that the Treasury Department had issued a warning about the cryptocurrency to Mt.
Sox and other exchanges last year.
That warning cited a “high risk of cyber-attacks,” and urged bitcoin exchanges to “securely store customer funds” and to use a separate “security protocol” to store digital assets.
But the government has now issued another warning about Bitcoin and other digital currencies, this time saying the government doesn’t think it’s “appropriate for financial institutions to offer digital currencies.”
In its letter, the Treasury said the government was “pursuing further guidance on the potential risks posed by virtual currencies,” and noted that it had “not seen any evidence of a cyberattack on digital currency exchanges.”
That last bit is important because while Bitcoin was not the first digital currency to be threatened, it was the one that made the most headlines.
Back in 2015, Mt.
Sox was the target of a massive cyberattack, after the government froze its accounts.
The hackers were able to steal over $5 billion in the cryptocurrency, which was worth nearly $100,000 at the time.
That attack was a huge setback for Mt.sox, but it was far from the only one to happen to the digital currency since.
The Treasury warning to MtGox and the government’s crackdown is a clear sign that the government is more than willing to step in and stop a currency.
The currency has a long way to go before it’s a legitimate alternative to traditional currencies.
That said, if we’re looking at digital currencies as a new form of money, it’s important to remember that the Bitcoin economy isn’t limited to Bitcoin.
Other digital currencies are now available, too.
For instance, Ripple, a decentralized digital currency, is backed by the Bank of Japan, and its value is pegged to the Japanese yen.
Bitcoin’s future, then, is in its infancy.
But that doesn’t mean it won’t one day be a valuable tool for everyday people.
It could make the world a better place.