virtual currency

(redirected from Internet currency)

virtual currency,

a means of payment that is electronically created and stored, more specifically an unregulated electronic medium of exchange that operates like a currency but is created and controlled by computer software; also called digital currency. Virtual currencies generally are not backed by a national government and are not considered legal tender (Ecuador introduced a government-controlled electronic currency in 2015). They range from those used by gamers in online multiplayer games to Bitcoin and other digital currencies that seek to replace or supplement existing legal tender as a medium of exchange. Bitcoin, launched in 2009, is an electronic currency that uses cryptographic software and a peer-to-peer computer network to generate the currency and record transactions in it; because of this it is classed as a cryptocurrency. The best-known and most widely circulated virtual currency, Bitcoin allows its users to make online payments that are not subject to government or bank scrutiny, which has led law enforcement officials to express concerns over its potential or actual use in bypassing currency controls, in money laundering, and in financing terrorist or criminal activities. Unlike money stored in bank accounts or credit cards used to transactions, Bitcoin is subject to limited protections and regulations; it is not governed or supervised by any central authority. Bitcoin has seen a slowly increasing acceptance by merchants as a means of payment, and in 2015 the establishment of a debit card that could be linked to a Bitcoin account allowed the virtual currency to be used to pay merchants who do not accept Bitcoin. Bitcoin also has been subject to speculation on exchanges where it is traded, which has led to significant fluctuations in its value at times, including an enormous spike in its value in late 2013 and a largely similar if more gradual increase beginning in 2015. Such volatility has led critics to question Bitcoin's utility and viability as a currency and regard it primarily as a speculative investment. Critics have also questioned its ability to act as a currency because there is a cap on the number of currency units that can be created using the software. Governments have generally not treated Bitcoin as a form of money but as property or a commodity; some governments have sought to ban the use of it because of its potential for evading currency controls and government scrutiny. In 2014 Bitcoin software was revealed to have a computer bug that subjected it to attack by computer hackers and theft; the bug led to the bankruptcy of the largest Bitcoin exchange at the time. Another exchange had a security breach and suffered a large loss in 2016. Bitcoin can also be stolen through the theft of the private cryptographic keys used to identify ownership of the currency and through other means.

virtual currency

Electronic money. The term is often applied to Bitcoin; however, it may also refer to simulated money used in games or any currency stored in a computer. See Bitcoin and digital wallet.
References in periodicals archive ?
The EBA called on the EU to devise rules for trading platforms and start groups to oversee each internet currency to ensure that no individual can manipulate a currency.
Bitcoin is a decentralized, unregulated Internet currency that has existed since 2008, and has gained popular attention as stocks have risen to over $1000 within five years of its release.
A SCOT is fighting to save his cash in a row over internet currency bitcoin.
Donations poured in to crowdfunding platforms, and via dogecoin, the Internet currency.
Litecoin is also a peer-to-peer Internet currency, not managed by any central authority.
Once opened the virus 'freezes' the computer and the local network and demands two Bitcoins of internet currency - approximately PS536 - to unlock the machine.
Fisher told Gulf News from his Chicago office said that Facebook could very well push its own credits into the international realm where other similar internet currency bids failed because Facebook has unsurpassed clout on a global scale.
Your online browsing habits are the new internet currency, and they're being bought and sold like shares of stock -- complete with pseudo stock exchanges that deal in the exchange of website users' data.
TROUBLE at the naff so-called internet currency firm, beenz.
BEENZ are no half-baked idea - they are winning the race to be the internet currency of the future.
So if the system takes off, the dollar would soon become the internet currency of choice.
org/) has entered the cryptocurrency marketplace and is well positioned to become a dominant Internet currency.

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