Bloomberg LP plans to list bitcoin prices on its financial data terminals, a move that could give the volatile digital currency a stamp of respectability and spark interest in U.S.-based trading platforms.
According to a blog post on Bloomberg's corporate website, the more than 320,000 subscribers to the firm's terminals will now have access to bitcoin prices from Kraken and Coinbase, both of San Francisco. Kraken bills itself as a bitcoin exchange while Coinbase, which provides payment processing for merchants and digital wallets for individuals, functions more as a broker-dealer….
"While bitcoin and other virtual currency markets are still nascent, they represent an interesting intersection of finance and technology," wrote Tod Van Name, Bloomberg global head of fixed income, currencies and commodities in the blog post. "Given that Bloomberg sits squarely at that intersection, providing pricing for this underdeveloped market is a natural fit for us."
That’s great an all, but if its respectability that bit craves, what could be more respectable than a tepid endorsement from former Treasury Secretary/SEC chairman wannabe/celebrity misogynist Larry Summers?
Larry Summers has a warning for bitcoin’s naysayers: ignore change at your own peril….
Mr. Summers, who led the Treasury Department under President Clinton and has at different times held jobs as President Obama’s chief economic adviser, Harvard University’s president and World Bank chief economist, claims to have “no confident view on what will or won’t succeed” in the future. Instead, he says, “I am much more confident that the world of payments will look very different 20 years from now than I am about how it will look.”
Noting some of the arguments against bitcoin, he cited wild fluctuations in its price and that restrictions imposed on online gambling show that if “governments are determined to choke something off, they can succeed.” The idea, he added, that a digital-currency world is “going to be a libertarian paradise… is not a terribly plausible vision….”
“I’m not ready to stand with those who are sure they have seen the future here,” he concludes, “but it seems to me that it’s a serious mistake to write this off as either ill-conceived or illegitimate.”
Well-known bitcoin advocate Charlie Shrem and his alleged accomplice pleaded not guilty to running an alleged money-laundering scheme that funneled the digital currency to users of the online black-market site Silk Road.
Mr. Shrem, 24 years old, was arrested in January along with another man, Robert Faiella, in what the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office said was a conspiracy to help Silk Road customers anonymously purchase everything from narcotics to forged passports online….
Mr. Shrem is also charged with one count of willful failure to file a suspicious-activity report. Mr. Faiella faces up to 25 years in prison, while Mr. Shrem faces up to 30 years in prison.
Bloomberg to List Bitcoin Prices, Offering Key Stamp of Approval [WSJ]
Feast your eyes on NASCAR’s Dogecoin car [WaPo The Early Lead blog]
In Bitcoin Debate, Larry Summers Sides with the History of Change [WSJ MoneyBeat blog]
Bitcoin Entrepreneur Pleads Not Guilty to Money-Laundering [WSJ]