Last week, on the heels of a significant decline in Bitcoin prices, Forbes reported that China’s Central Bank is set to launch the world’s first state-backed cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency will be made available initially to seven of China’s largest financial institutions, including three banks and two financial technology companies (including Alibaba). It is planned to eventually reach the virtual wallets of U.S. consumers, through relationships with Western correspondent banks.
Meanwhile, in the United States, litigation rages on against Mark Karpeles, the President and CEO of Mt. Gox. Formerly the world’s leading bitcoin exchange platform, Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan in 2014 amidst reports of rampant security breaches and refusal by its Japanese banking partner, Mizuho Bank, to process withdrawals for Mt. Gox users. Before its bankruptcy, Mt. Gox announced that 850,000 bitcoins valued at more than $450 million had gone “missing,” likely due to cyber theft.