A Banker’s Guide to Virtual Currency


Presented by: Andrew Beal

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Bitcoin emerged in 2013 to fanfare from the tech community, speculation from investors, and suspicion from the world's regulators. So what is it, and what is all the fuss about?

Bitcoin is a decentralized, peer-to-peer payment system - it is to money what Napster was to file sharing. Bitcoin is not backed by any one government, nor is it run by any one corporation, and at its core is a piece of technology that attempts to solve a problem that has eluded the banking community for decades: how can you use the internet to transfer a dollar instantaneously and ensure the dollar is not spent twice?

Bitcoin is the dawn of a new "virtual" era, and it is already redefining the way we think about moving money.

This webinar will cover:
  • Bitcoin Basics - What it is and how it works
  • Common Misconceptions - Criminal activity, anonymity and hackers
  • The Ecosystem - Types of bitcoin companies banks are likely to encounter
  • Using Bitcoin - Merchant adoption, and the advantages and disadvantages of using bitcoin
  • Money Service Business/Money Transmitter Regulation - State, Federal and international
  • Bank Secrecy Act Compliance - Anti-Money Laundering and Know-Your-Customer policies
  • The Need for Banks - Bitcoin's struggle to secure banking relationships; how money moves from the virtual world to the banking world; and the type of transaction activity banks can expect to see from virtual currency companies
Why Bitcoin Matters: macro-level discussion and possible future developments

Part I: Bitcoin Basics
Any discussion about bitcoin requires a basic understanding of the underlying technology. Part I of this webinar will focus on:
  • What Bitcoin is, and how it works
  • How bitcoins are created, stored and transferred
Part II: Common Misconceptions
If you've paid attention to the newspapers over the last few months, you would think that Bitcoin has a love affair with criminal activity because it allows you to buy illicit goods (drugs, weapons, etc.) anonymously via black market websites like The Silk Road. You wouldn't know that less than half of one percent of Bitcoin transactions are related to illicit activity, or that every transaction is actually recorded on a public ledger, accessible by anyone with an internet connection. Part II of this webinar will address common misconceptions surrounding:
  • Criminal activity using bitcoin
  • Anonymity of transactions
  • Hackers and other security concerns
Part III: The Ecosystem
The number of companies in the bitcoin ecosystem is growing at an exponential rate, and they need bank accounts. Part III of this webinar will discuss the types of Bitcoin companies banks are likely to encounter, including:
  • Exchanges
  • Wallets
  • Merchants
  • Payment processors
  • ATMs
  • Debit cards
Part IV: Using Bitcoin
Bitcoin offers several advantages over traditional forms of payment and money transfer. Part IV of the webinar will discuss:
  • Merchant adoption, and the advantages and disadvantages of using Bitcoin as a form of payment
  • Using Bitcoin in the context of international remittances and micro-transactions
Part V: Money Services Business/Money Transmitter Regulation
In 2014, we will likely see a new wave of regulation focused on virtual currency. To date, Bitcoin exchanges have been deemed money services businesses and advised to register with FinCEN. Part V of this webinar will discuss:
  • FinCEN Guidance G-001
  • FinCEN Administrative Rulings R-001 and R-002
  • How states are dealing with virtual currency, with a particular focus on New York Department of Financial Services' proposed "BitLicense" program
  • International regulation of virtual currency
Part VI: Bank Secrecy Act Compliance
Most virtual currency exchanges and resellers have developed AML/KYC policies and are actively monitoring customer activity. Part VI of this webinar will discuss:
  • Customer information being collected by virtual currency companies
  • Types of AML efforts being implemented
  • Services being developed to assist startups in their compliance efforts
Part VII: Banks
Virtual currency products are being created to make people less reliant on the traditional banking infrastructure, but the irony is that every company in the virtual currency space needs a bank account to operate. Part VII of this webinar will discuss:
  • Bitcoin's struggle to secure banking relationships
  • How money moves between the virtual world and the banking world
  • Transaction activity banks can expect to see from individuals and companies in the virtual currency space.
Part VIII: Why Virtual Currency Matters
Bitcoin is the dawn of a new era; one with the free movement of money around the globe via the Internet. The growth of virtual currency will have monumental effects on global economics -- unbanked populations in India and Africa will have access to the international financial system through a cell phone. People living in countries with crippling inflation, like Argentina, will be able to easily transfer their paycheck into a currency that holds value. In Part VIII of this webinar, I will talk about virtual currency on a macro level and discuss areas for possible innovation and growth.

Webinar participants can expect to:
  • Have a basic understanding of Bitcoin's underlying technology
  • Develop a working knowledge of terminology and concepts
  • Separate fact from fiction and address common misconceptions
  • Get an introduction to the landscape of bitcoin companies and how they fit together
  • Know the advantages and disadvantages of using bitcoin as a form of payment
  • Learn how regulators are treating virtual currency
  • Learn how virtual currency companies combat money laundering and fraud
  • Understand how funds flow through the virtual currency world and why banks are a necessary component
  • Gain insight into areas of possible innovation and growth
Who Should Attend:
The digitalization of currency will have a dramatic impact on the world's financial system, and everyone should understand why.

About the Speaker: Andrew Beal is a corporate attorney in Los Angeles, CA. He has been involved in bitcoin since early 2013, and represents virtual currency exchange in areas of state and federal money transmitter licensing and Bank Secrecy Act compliance. Andy is regularly quoted on Coindesk.com, the leading bitcoin news website, and is personally involved in a number of bitcoin-related projects.

This program was recorded in its entirety in April 2014. The CD-ROM includes program slides, materials (if available) and follow-up Q & A document.

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  • Model: cd_virtualcurr0414
  • Manufactured by: Glia Group, Inc.

This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 25 February, 2014.

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