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What Bitcoin Did

Jan 28, 2020

Location: Skype
Date: Monday, 27th January
Project: Coin Center
Role: Peter Van Valkenburgh & Jerry Brito

Welcome to the Beginner's Guide to Bitcoin.

Bitcoin can be intimidating for beginners. The protocol is complicated, the community can be aggressive and unforgiving, silly mistakes can lose you money, and it is easy to succumb to altcoin marketing. 

Bitcoin does though, offer you the opportunity to hold a new type of monetary asset, one which can't be seized by the government and is censorship resistance and It has the potential to change the way the world. 

The goal of What Bitcoin Did has always been about making things simple; there are no stupid questions, and the show is here to help beginners navigate this new world. To kick off 2020, we are launching a special series to help beginners understand Bitcoin. We will be looking at the basics from breaking down the protocol to explaining the economics and discussing the potential societal shift. 

Beginners Guide Part 8 - How is Bitcoin Legal with Peter Van Valkenburgh & Jerry Brito

Bitcoin is still a relatively new technology. However, it is already a very real threat to government-issued fiat currencies and central banks. This has made regulating Bitcoin a tricky proposition for governments. 

China took a hard-line approach to this new asset class and in 2013, banned Bitcoin transactions, and in 2017, the government banned exchanges and ICOs. In Bolivia, there is a unilateral ban on all cryptocurrencies.

Other countries have taken a far more progressive view of Bitcoin, embracing it, though often with caution. 

Most accepting has been Malta which has created the Malta Digital Innovation Authority; a government body brought in specifically for creating responsible crypto policy.

While the regulatory landscape is complex and jurisdiction-specific, regulations tend to apply more aggressively to businesses in the space than users. These laws and regulations that Bitcoin businesses must comply with, however, still have an impact. For example; the majority of exchanges must follow AML/KYC rules which means when buying Bitcoin on an exchange you do give up your privacy. 

In Part 8 of the Bitcoin Beginner's Guide and to help explain and navigate the regulatory landscape I talk to Peter Van Valkenburgh & Jerry Britto, the Director of Research & Executive Director at Coin Center a non-profit focused on the policy issues for Bitcoin. We discuss the Bitcoin regulatory landscape and the implications to the users.