The U.S. Gets Its First Licensed Bitcoin Exchange

The U.S. Gets Its First Licensed Bitcoin Exchange

Big news for Bitcoin.

On Monday, Coinbase Inc., a start-up backed by the New York Stock Exchange, launched the first-ever licensed American exchange for the digital currency.

While the past few years have been tumultuous for the cyber coin—from security breaches to the bankruptcy of the world's largest bitcoin exchange—Coinbase's launch could mark a move towards more legitimacy.

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Coinbase notes that they have several levels of security in place, and says it is insured against accidental loss, hacking and internal theft.

The exchange also currently has regulatory approval in 24 American states. They plan to take a 0.25% cut from each transaction, but won't charge any fees for the first two months.

The news could encourage others to follow suit. In fact, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, of Facebook fame, are already looking to launch their own U.S. exchange. And while 82,000 businesses currently accept the currency, that number could balloon as Bitcoin gains recognition.

“To have an organized exchange that has the backing of thoughtful venture capitalists and investors addresses one of the main problems with bitcoin: its extreme volatility,” Campbell R. Harvey, a Duke University finance professor, told The Wall Street Journal. “Bitcoin has been sorely in need of something like this.”

RELATED: IRS Ruling: Bitcoin Isn’t Money

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