The MtGox debacle would not have happened in a free market

As other places reported, MtGox failed spectacularly and ceased operations today. Some will blame this on a lack of regulation. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The main reason for this failure being so spectacular is a long history of lacking competition. Even though MtGox repeatedly faced problems like days of suspended trading, customers did not have many viable alternatives. In many countries, the legal costs of setting up a financial service website like a Bitcoin exchange are prohibitive. The Internet thrives on people being able to experiment Рotherwise, sites like ebay.com, doodle.com or yahoo.com would never habe been created. I personally have repeatedly met motivated enthusiasts who wanted to setup their own Bitcoin exchanges. Unfortunately, regulation is holding them back. Had they been able to create their exchange websites, MtGox would have seen much more competition much earlier Рgiving customers the opportunity to diversify and reducing their exposure to a single operator.

However, in an ironic twist, the very regulation that seeks to protect customers potentiated their risks by preventing them from effectively diversifying. The financial services industry is in an ongoing vicious circle of market failures that make politicians enact more rigorous regulation, which stiffles competition, which again leads to more market failures and regulation.

– Written by Luzius Meisser, President of Bitcoin Association Switzerland

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General Assembly 2014

As announced, our general assembly will take place on 2014-02-23 at Colab Zurich (Zentralstrasse 37, colab-zurich.ch). The doors open at 14:00 and the assembly formally starts at 14:15. You can find the agenda and comment on it here.

In particular, I’d like to point you to traktandum 7 (as we Swiss call agenda items) “Where to spend your Bitcoins?”. Send me an image/screenshot of your favorite underappreciated Bitcoin service and we’ll present it at the assembly. You may also use this opportunity to advertise own stuff for sale (e.g. your car).

Further highlights are an intro to Ethereum by the founders themselves and a quick presentation of Veeting, a Swiss secure video conference software accepting Bitcoin. Also, we have an ATM project getting more concrete and consider launching a Bureaucracy Relief Fund.

Then, most importantly, we finally have our membership application form online on our join page. Fill it in to formally become a member!

We also would like to thank colab zurich for providing this excellent event location!
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