More Highs and Lows for Bitcoin
Aug. 14, 2014
The ebb and flow that has characterized news regarding Bitcoin in past months continued this week. Popular Bitcoin wallet Blockchain said downloads of its app have surged past the 1 million mark. Less positive was the official warning to consumers about digital currencies handed down by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
In first the week following the reinstatement of its iOS app in the App Store last month by Apple, Blockchain said the wallet application was downloaded 41,000 times.
“Not only is this milestone indicative of the public’s interest and belief in the importance of cryptocurrency, it’s also a testament to the quality, stability and usability that Blockchain’s wallet is able to provide to consumers at large,” says Blockchain CEO Nicolas Cary. “Now, with over two million users on our wallet, it’s reaching mass relevance.”
While the public may be interested, however, government agencies still are leery of decentralized cryptocurrencies. The CFPB warned U.S. consumers about volatile exchange rates, lack of FDIC insurance protection on deposits and the potential security threat posed by hackers, though the agency admitted Bitcoin has “potential benefits.”
“Consumers need to be cautious and they need to be asking the right questions,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Virtual currencies are not backed by any government or central bank, and at this point consumers are stepping into the Wild West when they engage in the market.”
The entire CFPB consumer advisory warning is available here . The agency also said it is accepting any consumer complaints regarding virtual currency products and services “including exchange services or online digital wallets” and will follow up on complaints with the companies named.