Bitcoin currency goes global, value rising to $400 million

The Winklevoss twins promote Bitcoin virtual currency worldwide, with its value rising to $400 million led by China's heightened demand. This comes prior to a U.S. congressional hearing Monday that will discuss bitcoin's role in the market, and how it can be regulated.
Posted By Sonali Basak  |  Nov. 15, 2013 at 3:56 PM
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Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Bitcoin's value is hitting a peak, with the value rising to more than $400 million.

The Winklevoss twins, known initially in the technology world for their feud with the creators of Facebook, have built a Bitcoin fund worth about about $11 million in Bitcoin investments. The twins have defended the currency extensively in the last week, before the Bitcoin currency conversation makes its way to Washington Monday.

The currency has been around since its 2009 invention by an anonymous programmer who wanted to decentralize virtual currency in the wake of economic crisis.

It has gained popularity in the last year, and is being used by investors trading Bitcoins and entrepreneurs making bitcoin related products, and stores and online merchants taking virtual Bitcoin payments.

The investment in Bitcoin is rising largely due to recently heightened Chinese demand, especially by the upper-middle class and as China's e-commerce sales rise. The Chinese are prone to saving, but are attracted to Bitcoin investment because it's reputed to be safer than riskier assets, such as stocks or housing assets.

It is speculated that the Chinese government will soon step in, as Bitcoin demand influences overall currency prices. The U.S. government has already voiced their concern about the currency, and is holding the first of a series of congressional hearings next week to discuss Bitcoin's role in the market.

But beyond price manipulation, regulators have cyber-security concerns regarding the virtual currency.

In the wake of the shutdown of Silk Road, a black market for illegal drugs, weapons and services, regulators targeted the currency arguing that it was impossible to track. The Winklevoss twins retorted with the claim that the currency can potentially be tracked with greater ease than U.S. dollars.

[WSJ] [Business Insider] [Russia Today] [South China Morning Post]

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