ST. LOUIS – The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis will webcast its next "Dialogue with the Fed: Beyond Today’s Financial Headlines" live on the Bank’s web site on Monday, March 31, 2014, beginning at 7 p.m. CDT. To view, visit www.stlouisfed.org/live.
David Andolfatto, an economist and a vice president with the St. Louis Fed, will discuss "Bitcoin and Beyond: The Possibilities and the Pitfalls of Virtual Currencies."The dialogue will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Bank’s Gateway Conference Center Auditorium.
In recent months, Bitcoin and other virtual currencies have fueled the public's imagination as Bitcoin's value against the U.S. dollar skyrocketed and as an increasing number of merchants announced they would accept it for payment. Bitcoin ATMs have even begun to pop up around the country. However, the exchange-based and nonregulated nature of virtual currencies makes them vulnerable to volatility and speculative trading and has led to the perception that they can easily be used for illegal transactions. What exactly are Bitcoin and its main competitors, and how do they work? Are they the first wave of a new paradigm in payments or just a technological flash in the pan?
Andolfatto will address these and other questions as part of his presentation, concluding with a panel discussion and question-and-answer session that will include Christopher Waller, St. Louis Fed senior vice president and director of research, and Julie Stackhouse, St. Louis Fed Banking Supervision and Regulation senior vice president.
Dialogue with the Fed is a popular evening lecture series for the general public that began in the fall of 2011 to meet the need for relevant and timely financial and economic information. For more information, visit www.stlouisfed.org/dialogue-with-the-fed.