Ernst & Young director approves Bitcoin, says has potential to be a game-changer

By Rizza Sta. Ana

Dec 12, 2013 04:59 AM EST

A report publised on UK's The Telegraph said a director of Ernst & Young said Bitcoin, despite its controversy, has the potential to be a game changer. Ernst & Young is one of the known "Big Four"of accounting firms. The other three are Deloitte & Touche, KPMG and PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers).

EY director Colin Pickard said the digital currency could bring significant benefits to the financial services industry as its use could cut down costs in cross-border transactions. Moreover, Pickard said that unless governments are to regulate Bitcoin, the digital currency will still be facing serious hurdles and will never lift off.

Aside from the central bank of China, the Bank of France was also wary about the use of Bitcoin. Pointing to the highly speculative nature of the digital currency, the French central bank said Bitcoin poses a certain financial risk to users, as said on a separate report of The Telegraph on December 6.

"Even if the high volatility of the bitcoin is of possible interest for individual or professional speculators, they should be aware of the risks they are taking," the bank said.

Bitcoin's dramatic swings in valuation in the past months and its association with criminal activity due to its anonymity in transactions had characterized the commodity's financial phenomenon as a bubble, the report said.

However, the report saiod Pickard and other at EY believed that it would be wrong for anyone to think that Bitcoin is truly anonymous nor it is vulnerable to hacks. EY was indicated to have been following BItcoin closely since the past year or so.

Also, Pickard told The Telegraph that Bitcoin's upper limit on its currency-mining was not a barrier as some believed it to be. Pickard said, "It's a complete change in concept. You have a cap [in the number of Bitcoins] but you can increase the number of subdivisions. Instead of, for example, getting rid of the penny farthing, you divide the unit."

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