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Is bitcoin's rise a boon or bane for businesses?

As the virtual currency is here to stay, businesses should be alert to risks from its use

IN September this year, bitcoin made headlines when Braintree, a PayPal subsidiary, announced that it was making its "first foray" into accepting the virtual currency, with its CEO Bill Ready announcing that "over the coming months we'll allow our merchants to accept bitcoin". Gill Luria, an analyst, described this as a "substantial development" for bitcoin because it "opens the door for PayPal to integrate bitcoin into its main wallet functionality" such that "millions of retailers will de facto be accepting bitcoin overnight".

Bitcoin, the world's first cryptocurrency, is a virtual currency that is stored in "digital wallets" that allow users to make transactions or save their money. Like conventional...

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