what is virtual currency ?
what is virtual currency ?
A virtual currency is a digital representation of value only available in electronic form. It is stored and transacted through designated software, mobile, or computer applications. Transactions involving virtual currencies occur through secure, dedicated networks or over the Internet. They are issued by private parties or groups of developers and are mostly unregulated.
Virtual currencies are a subset of digital currencies and include other types of digital currencies, such as cryptocurrencies and tokens issued by private organizations. The advantages of virtual currencies include faster transaction speeds and ease of use. The disadvantages of virtual currencies are that they can be hacked and do not provide much legal recourse to investors because they are not regulated.
Understanding Virtual Currencies
Virtual currencies are a form of digital currency. They are issued by private parties, such as a group of developers or organizations, and are intended only for online use—they do not have a physical incarnation like paper money. Thus, they are different from digital representations of central bank-issued currency, also known as central bank digital currency (CBDC).
In 2012, the European Central Bank (ECB) defined virtual currency as "a type of unregulated, digital money, which is issued and usually controlled by its developers, and used and accepted among the members of a specific virtual community".:?13?
In 2013, US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the US Treasury, in contrast to its regulations defining currency as "the coin and paper money of the United States or of any other country that [i] is designated as legal tender and that [ii] circulates and [iii] is customarily used and accepted as a medium of exchange in the country of issuance", also called "real currency" by FinCEN, defined virtual currency as "a medium of exchange that operates like a currency in some environments, but does not have all the attributes of real currency". In particular, virtual currency does not have legal tender status in any jurisdiction.
In 2014, the European Banking Authority defined virtual currency as "a digital representation of value that is neither issued by a central bank or a public authority, nor necessarily attached to a fiat currency, but is accepted by natural or legal persons as a means of payment and can be transferred, stored or traded electronically".
In 2018, Directive (EU) 2018/843 of the European Parliament and of the Council entered into force. The Directive defines the term "virtual currencies" to mean "a digital representation of value that is not issued or guaranteed by a central bank or a public authority, is not necessarily attached to a legally established currency and does not possess a legal status of currency or money, but is accepted by natural or legal persons as a means of exchange and which can be transferred, stored and traded electronically".