Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency or digital form of money that provides person-to-person transactions. The main selling point of Bitcoin is its decentralized nature with stops governments, banks, or financial institutions from interfering with its inherent value. Nonetheless, Bitcoin has a love-hate relationship evoking mixed feelings in the traditional financial landscape. Some countries have placed restrictions on how you can use the cryptocurrency and some countries have outright bans on Bitcoin.
In contrast, the U.S. government considers Bitcoin a commodity and it even believes that Blockchain technology on which Bitcoin is built could help financial regulations. Bitcoin has a welcoming atmosphere in the U.S. and more than 100,000 businesses now accept Bitcoin here. In fact, some top-flight firms such as Microsoft and Dell accept Bitcoin payments. Interestingly, critics are always on the lookout for bad press with which they can discredit Bitcoin; yet, Bitcoin was able to record a scandal-free 2016.
Only 7 people had reasons to file complaints on Bitcoin in 2016
The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a government entity saddled with the responsibility of scrutinizing financial products and services stateside. The board was founded after the 2008 economic crisis and it started accepting complains on cryptocurrencies in 2014. Now, data showed that Americans filed only 7 complaints with the CFPB on Bitcoin related issues last year.
A research team from LendEDU scoured the CFPB’s public complaints database in order to group the commonest consumer complaints against financial products and services in 2016. The research showed that Americans filed about 190,000 complaints on financial products and services in 2016. Out of the 190,000 complaints on financial products and services, only 7 complaints had anything to do with Bitcoin in 2016. In fact, six of those Bitcoin related complaints have already been closed and only one complaint filed against Coinbase on Nov 29 was still active.
In contrast to the extremely low number of Bitcoin-related complaints, other financial products and services had a large number of complaints. For instance, the report shows that the CFPB recorded 43,841 complaints on credit reporting. The board also has 40,965 complaints on mortgages and it had 39,759 complaints on debt collection.
Here’s why the CFPB had a low number of Bitcoin related complaints
The first possible reason for the low number of Bitcoin-related complaints with the CFPB is that a small number of people are using Bitcoin for transactions. Bitcoin is still in its embryonic stage relative to fiat currencies or alternative currencies such as gold; hence, the reason for the low number of complaints might be due to its low volume of transactions.
The second possible reason for the low number of Bitcoin-related complaints is that many Bitcoin users might not know that they could file complaints with the CFPB. To start with, the CFPB is only 5 years old and it only started taking Bitcoin-related complaints in 2014. Hence, it is quite a possible that a larger number of Bitcoin-related complaints are going to other government agencies and not CFPB.
The third possible reason for the low number of Bitcoin-related complaints is that Bitcoin users don’t have reasons to file complaints when they use the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin offers a person-to-person medium for transactions; hence, the absence of a third party significantly reduces the possibilities of a mistake when transactions are being processed.