Luyện Nghe VOA - The Future of Bitcoins

The Future of Bitcoins





Bitcoin is a (1)____________________ used by terrorists and drug dealers, as well as major companies like Microsoft and Overstock.com.   
In other words, everyone from (2)____________________ who order pizza to terrorists who order weapons.
(3)_____________________, you can buy webcasting services, pizza or even manicures, reports Money.com.  
Bitcoin was a currency created in 2009 by a (4)_________________ software developer. He calls himself Satoshi Nakamoto. No one (5)______________________ him, and it is not clear if he is one person or several people.
Bitcoin (6)_______________ printed money. It is digital only. The currency is created on computers by a community of people across the globe. Anyone (7)_________________ that network, or group, according to Coindesk.com.
This network (8)______________________ made with the digital currency. Bitcoins are stored in a “digital wallet”over the Internet or on the user’s computer.
There is not an (9)_____________________ of bitcoins.Nakamoto set up rules to limit the currency to 21 million bitcoins, reports Coindesk.
With bitcoins, there are no banks or fees. (10)______________________________ with their real names. Merchandise can be bought without (11)__________________ her or his identity. Bitcoins are not taxed or regulated anywhere in the world.
Bitcoins are a favorite of criminals
Bitcoins have become “the (12)________________________ for people online buying drugs or other illicit activities,” reports Money.com.
For example, Silk Road was a (13)_________________________ that used bitcoins to sell illegal drugs. It was shut down in 2014 by U.S. regulators.
Bitcoins are also being used by ISIS terrorists to (14)______________________, according to Ghost Security Group. It is a counter-terrorism network that focuses on the Internet and social media.
Morgan Wright is a (15)__________________ and senior fellow at the Center for Digital Government, a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies.
He told Fox News that (16)______________________ using 21st century technology to transfer assets and finance their operations.
“Terrorists need anonymity,” Wright told Fox News. “Countries have gotten very good at (17)_______________________________ in the years since 9/11. Network shave looked for new ways to do it, and it appears they’ve found it in bitcoin.”    
Bitcoins growing among businesses    
Despite this dark side of the new currency, bitcoins have (18)________________.More and more merchants are beginning to accept bitcoins.
Some people buy bitcoins as an investment, hoping they’ll (19)________________. There are many online marketplaces that allow people to buy and sell bitcoins using different currencies. Coinbase, in San Francisco, (20)_______________________ bitcoin exchange, and (21)___________________ 2.8 million bitcoin wallets globally, according to Wired. You can also buy and sell bitcoins on Bitquick,Xapo, and CoinCorner, among other exchanges.
It is possible to do (22)______________________ with bitcoins, such as futures,options and swaps. The price of bitcoins on online exchanges has fluctuated widely, which has led to speculation in the digital currency.
In 2009 and early 2010, bitcoins had “(23)______________________,” said Wired. Then in late 2013, it reached a high of $1,216. As of January 6, 2016, the price of one bitcoin was about $434.
Wired wrote that bitcoin usage “(24)________________ a record high.”
You can also send bitcoins using mobile apps. This is similar to sending cash online. It is (25)____________________. And you can set up a bitcoin address in seconds, with no fees and no questions asked.
Some people like bitcoins because they are not (26)_________________ one central authority. (27)__________________, such as the U.S. dollar, are controlled by the government’s central bank. The bank can print more money as part of government policy.
Bitcoins, (28)_____________, are controlled by the people who use them and are viewed as more democratic by their supporters.
The Washington Post said bitcoins were one of the (29)_____________________ in 2015 that would change the world. The newspaper wrote that the technology behind Bitcoins, called blockchain, is “an almost (30)_____________________ digital ledger that can be used to record practically anything that can be digitized…”
“It has the (31)_________________ to transform the lives of billions of people who lack bank accounts and access to the legal and administrative (32)_________________ that we take for granted,” wrote the Post.  
Regulators step in
There is a (33)__________________ bitcoins. In 2014, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service said bitcoins could be taxed. In addition, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which regulates the sale of stocks and bonds,warned investors that bitcoin users may be targeted for (34)________________ investment schemes.   
There are also efforts to regulate bitcoins globally. The (35)_________________ is expected to release regulations by 2017 that would affect European Union nations. “Governments are (35)____________________ taxation and their lack of control over the currency,” writes Money.com.
Despite the (36)_________________, bitcoins continue to grow in popularity worldwide.Juniper Research said there were 1.3 million bitcoin users last year, and it (37)_________________ there will be 4.7 million users by the end of 2017.
Wired said bitcoins are “(38)____________________ never before. And some say this is the year it finally reaches the mainstream.”
I’m Mary Gotschall.   
Mary Gotschall wrote this story for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.
Do you have an opinion about this topic? Let us know what you think in theComments section below, or on our Facebook page.
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Words in This Story

digital – n.  using or characterized by computer technology
currencyn. something that is used as money
softwaren. the programs that run on a computer and perform certainfunctions
transactionn. a business deal; an occurrence in which goods, servicesor money are passed from one person, account, etc., to another
merchandise n. goods that are bought and sold
illicit adj.  not allowed by law; unlawful or illegal
assetn. something that is owned by a person, company, etc.
anonymityn. the quality or state of being unknown to most people
fluctuatev.  to change level, strength or value frequently
speculationn. activity in which someone buys and sells things (such asstocks or pieces of property) in the hope of making a large profit but with therisk of a large loss
incorruptible adj. very honest; incapable of being corrupted
ledger n. a book that a company uses to record information about themoney it has paid and received
infrastructuren.  the basic equipment and structures (such as roads andbridges) that are needed for a country, region or organization to functionproperly

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