Digital Currencies Are Growing on Faltering Foundations

  • But the exchanges set up to trade them often lack basic controls over identity, fraud, technology and even trading volume, a Reuters investigation shows.
  • For instance, the exchange Kraken suffered a denial-of-service network interruption in May, during which the price of ether on its platform dropped 70 percent.
  • The total market value of all digital currencies was $140 billion on Sept. 18, according the research firm Sanford C. Bernstein, a more than tenfold increase over 12 months.
  • Bitcoin accounts for around half the total value — and its price has surged 10 percent again in the last 10 days.
  • But it is the lack of a solid market structure that worries people like JPMorgan Chase’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon, who recently argued that Bitcoin was “worse than tulip bulbs.

Bitcoin, Ether and their rivals are gaining popularity. But the exchanges where they trade have serious weaknesses that need to be fixed.
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