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Bitcoin: Mystery Currency or Real Money?

Bitcoin Wallpaper (2560x1600)

No matter what you might have heard about the risks and long-term value of bitcoin, chances are good that your clients and employers will want to know more about how the adoption and use of digital currencies as a means of commerce may affect the way they do business.

Although bitcoin is still very much in its infancy, its impact should not be underestimated or ignored just because it is new and somewhat mysterious. Described by bitcoin.org as “a consensus network that enables a new payment system and a completely digital money,” bitcoin is not the only digital currency in today’s market. In fact, according to Coinmarketcap.com, there are 303 digital currencies in at least 637 markets, with trendy names such as “Litecoin,” and “Darkcoin.”

From a user perspective, bitcoin is like cash for the Internet. There are, however, concerns around the security of bitcoin, including trusting a new start-up currency and whether currencies such as bitcoin will last. Still, there’s no denying its popularity.

The inherent advantages of bitcoin are what seem to have intrigued so many people across the globe. Such advantages include the fact that the network allows any dollar amount to be sent instantly, anywhere in the world at a very low fee. This feature has never been seen in today’s marketplace. Moreover, the user controls every transaction and payments can be done without entering personal information, making identity theft a low risk.

Transparency is an integral part in this process, where anyone can track any information related to the bitcoin money supply itself. The supply is verified in real-time on the “block chain,” a massive shared public ledger that enables users to see transactions in chronological order in a distributed consensus system called “mining.”

The bottom line is that businesses, today, are impacted by the transformative phenomenon of digital currencies. Although there is little information available to recommend it, the word is spreading fast and there are enough transactions in the marketplace to demand your attention. Educate yourself in this trendy and intriguing topic today, so that you can better answer the tough questions.

Want to know more about bitcoin and how ecommerce bitcoin transactions settle as currency in an ERP general ledger? In a presentation by the AICPA’s IMTA Emerging Technologies Task Force, a panel moderated by myself will discuss bitcoin and offer an example of how the ERP software market is responding with tools of its own to enable businesses to transact in bitcoin and settle transactions with customers who offer bitcoin as a method of payment. Panelists include Marty Zigman of Prolecto Resources, Inc. and Mary Dent of dcIQ. Ask any additional questions about bitcoin below or email imtainfo@aicpa.org.

Bob Green, CPA.CITP, Partner and Practice Leader - Business Risk and Technology Services, SingerLewak LLP. Bob serves on the IMTA Executive Committee and chairs the Emerging Technologies Task Force. 

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