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16 Bus. L. Int'l 21 (2015)
Bitcoin Basics: A Primer on Virtual Currencies

handle is hein.journals/blawintnl16 and id is 25 raw text is: Bitcoin Basics: a Primer on
Virtual Currencies
Judith Lee, Arthur Long, Marcellus McRae, Jeff
Steiner and Stephenie Gosnell Handler*
In the past five years, virtual currencies, or 'cryptocurrencies' have evolved
tremendously and are quickly establishing themselves as a payment system.
Today, virtual currencies are a multibillion-dollar venture with dual potential
as both an investment and an electronic medium of exchange.' Increasingly,
mainstream retailers are announcing plans to accept Bitcoins, Bitcoin
ATMs are growing in prominence,2 the first Bitcoin debit cards have been
delivered3 and the first Bitcoin derivative transactions have been executed on
a US-regulated exchange.4 Yet, there remain numerous risks and challenges
* Judith Lee is Co-Chair of Gibson Dunn's International Trade Practice Group, and a parmer
in the Washington, DC office. Arthur Long is Co-Chair of the firm's Financial Institutions
Practice Group, and a partner in the New York office. Marcellus Antonio McRae is a
litigation partner in the firm's Los Angeles office, and is a former federal prosecutor.
Jeffrey Steiner is a counsel in the firm's Washington, DC office, and is a former special
counsel in the Division of Market Oversight at the CFTC. Stephenie Gosnell Handler is
a corporate associate in the firm's Washington, DC office.
1   Exchange rates, market capitalisations, etc, are correct as of 21 October 2014.
2   There are currently an estimated 200 Bitcoin ATMs worldwide. See Sydney Embrer,
'On To-Do List: Deposit Cash in Bitcoin A.T.M.' (The New York Times 25 August 2014)
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/08/25/on-to-do-list-deposit-cash-in-bitcoin-a-t-m/
3   Xapo launched what has been billed as the world's first Bitcoin debit card in late July
2014. See https://in.xapo.com/campaign/debit.
4   See TeraExchange, LLC, 'TeraExchange Completes First Bitcoin Derivatives Trade
on Regulated Exchange', Press Release (9 October 2014) www.prnewswire.com/
news-releases/teraexchange-competes-first-bitcoin-derivatives-trade-on-regulated-
exchange-278661591.html.

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