The Slovenian-based bitcoin exchange Bitstamp, which was the victim of a scandalous $5 million digital theft over a year ago, has just received a license to operate as a payment institution from the Luxembourg Ministry of Finance.
It may not sound like much, but the Luxembourg license opens doors to a wider world—the approval means Bitstamp can now operate throughout the European Union.
“With this [approval], Bitstamp is able to do business in all 28 countries of the EU,” says Dan Morehead, chairman of Bitstamp.
Scandals like the $5 million Bitstamp hack, and the even larger $460 million hack of Mt. Gox, which sent that exchange into bankruptcy, have raised some serious doubts about the viability of the bitcoin currency—after all, if the exchanges can’t be secured against attack, then what good are they?
Trust and confidence form the backbone of any currency, and many experts feel that bitcoin has a long way to go to prove that it can compete with the government-backed national currencies.
But Bitstamp’s regulatory approval and entry into the European Union, one of the powerhouse economic exchanges of the world, may just be what’s needed. Now, if it can do the hard work of securing its currency, and earn the public trust, Bitstamp may be able to truly break into the mainstream and give the national currencies a run for their money.