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October 2013
From The Director

Greetings,

Currency prices have always been on the radar of private investors, especially those of us who maintain residencies in more than one country. Yet, what happens when a currency comes along that’s not tied to any nation or government? The answer is the bitcoin.

Supporters say bitcoin benefits include lower fraud risk and increased privacy. Critics argue that the anonymity it offers makes the currency a magnet for illegal activities. This month we examine the origin, current status and possible future of the bitcoin.

As always, we welcome your feedback. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please do not hesitate to contact your financial advisor. Should you not currently have an advisor at Select, please reply to this email and one of our senior consultants will

Best Regards,

Imants Katlaps
Managing Director

Article
Does your local watering hole accept bitcoins? Recently, a Tokyo nightspot popular with foreigners, The Pink Cow, began accepting bitcoin payments from patrons. With the build-up to the 2020 Olympics poised to jolt Japan’s economy, you might be wondering what place bitcoins have in the financial future, especially for wise investors.

Wait, you are not up on bitcoins? Actually, new forms of currency are not unprecedented. Perhaps it’s best to start with a quick history lesson on the evolution of money from the concrete to the more abstract and virtual realms.

In 700 B.C., the Lydians introduced the first standardized metal coins. The move from coins to paper money came about, possibly on the back of a tired horse weighed down with armor, when Kublai Khan introduced the chao as the chief currency of China. Another abstraction came with the invention of the bill of exchange, which allowed merchants to redeem gold as they travelled.
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