Gil Luria: FINCEN Report “Watershed Moment” for Bitcoin

Bitcoin has receivedmuch attention from big name investors recently, and now one has come out tospeak about its practical future and likely relationship with fiat currency.

Speaking in an interview with Investopedia, Gil Luria, ManagingDirector at the Los Angeles-based investment bank Wedbush Securities, underlinedthe huge potential of Bitcoin and considers there little doubt about its statusin the economy, in spite of the IRS’ restrictive recent directives oncryptocurrency.

Asked whether March’sIRS virtual currency tax guide would become the definitive stance taken byauthorities not only by US but around the world, Luria said, “No, I'd go back a year when FINCEN [TheFinancial Crimes Enforcement Network] put out a report saying they wouldregulate Bitcoin like any other money business.”

An interesting angleindeed, one which Luria subsequently corroborated, citing its being a “watershed moment” because it steeredmany people’s views away from Bitcoin being “inherentlyillegal.”

“The fact that the organization responsible forpreventing terrorist financing said we see a legitimate use for this, thatchanged my mind and a lot of other people's mind that Bitcoin can exist withinthe mainstream economy,” hesaid.

A million dollars?

Luria was also vocalon Bitcoin’s potential to transform traditional financial practices, especiallywith regard to private enterprise.

“If Bitcoin lives up to its potential andbecomes the working capital of international trade, instead of countries andcompanies sitting on yen, U.S. dollars, Swiss francs, they could just useBitcoin for cross-border transactions,” he said, “It would be far moreefficient.”

Wedbush became thefirst investment US bank to accept Bitcoin as payment for fees, and Luriasparked some interest at last month’s Inside Bitcoin conference where he said on a panel that “if a lot of things happen with it and Bitcoin lives up to itspromises, it could be half a million to a million dollars.”

He has been quick toadd a cautionary proviso to his words, however, telling Investopedia that onlyif Bitcoin became the main instrument for international corporate transactions,“Bitcoin would be taking $10 trillion offoreign currency that sits in multinational companies […] Each bitcoin could beworth $1 million. The probability of that happening would be very low but it ispossible.”