Bitcoin is currently under more scrutiny than ever due to its increased usage by criminals and terrorist organizations. Bitcoin gained prominence only after its rampant usage on the deep web to buy illegal drugs and contraband came to light and made it to media channels. Since then, the digital currency has come a long way and has fostered innumerable startups and companies that offer products and services built around the bitcoin and its underlying blockchain technology. Bitcoin still holds the title of being the most preferred currency among cybercriminals.
Banks and governments have now started cracking down on bitcoin and bitcoin related businesses. Many bitcoin companies are already finding it hard to open bank accounts. Some of the existing bank accounts of few bitcoin companies in Australia have been shut down by the banks without offering any reason. Banks are creating roadblocks to bitcoin companies as they consider it to be a threat to their business. The price volatility associated with bitcoin is not helping the cause either. To make matters worse, European Union and other countries are now planning to introduce more stringent regulations on bitcoin and other digital currency businesses. The latest move by European Union is mainly influenced by few reports claiming that the hacktivists have found over $3 million worth of bitcoins in one of the wallets which presumably belongs to ISIL.
As the negative publicity against bitcoin continues to rise across various mainstream media outlets , the companies dealing with bitcoin have decided to distance itself from bitcoin to avoid bad press. Some of the well-known companies on that track includes Circle, Uphold (previously known as BitReserve and BitPay – one of the leading bitcoin payments processor. These companies are now trying to project themselves as blockchain technology companies. Unlike bitcoin which is a digital currency, the blockchain represents the whole technology behind the bitcoin network and holds a lot of potential. The same was reported in a recent article on Guardian as well.