Jon Matonis's Blog

e-Money Researcher

Jon Matonis is an e-Money researcher and crypto economist focused on expanding the circulation of nonpolitical digital currencies. His career has included senior influential posts at Sumitomo Bank, VISA, VeriSign, and Hushmail.

The Implications of Bitcoin: Money Without Government

Bitcoin attracts political idealists from the right, political idealists from the left, Silicon Valley technologists, social science academics, philosophers, capitalists, socialists, and even apolitical speculators.

Bitcoin Ideology and the Tale of Casascius Coins

Bitcoin is not permitted to exist because various governments are bitcoin-friendly or pledge to support innovation. Bitcoin exists today precisely because it is distributed and decentralized, designed to outlast political institutions.

Banking Innovation Depends on Bitcoin

With one firm swoop, banks could eliminate the threat from Apple, Google, and PayPal by embracing the new bitcoin cryptocurrency. Disruption doesn't always come from the outside but revolutions do form at the periphery which is precisely where Bitcoin sits today.

Bitcoin Gaining Market-Based Legitimacy as XBT

Beyond the regulations and government approval that so frequently underpin discussions about the legitimacy of bitcoin, a different type of legitimacy is emerging and it has the ability to out-survive the elected administrations of legal jurisdictions.

Talk of Ticker Symbols Shows How Far Bitcoin Has Come

Does bitcoin need a standardized three-character symbol? Only if it has a future as a tradeable instrument with a physical spot market and a robust derivatives market.

Bitcoin Comes To SWIFT

Hosted at the palatial and temple-like SWIFT headquarters, this year’s TransConstellation Alumni conference featured a mix of panel representatives from both “new” payment approaches and “established” payment players.

Bitcoin and the Rebirth of Financial Safe Havens

Banks and even entire jurisdictions are feverishly responding to increased government scrutiny from the world's monetary power centers in the name of exposing political corruption, combating terrorism, and preventing tax evasion.

Bitcoin Obliterates “The State Theory Of Money”

Once you get past the childish title, the recent bitcoin piece from Karl Denninger raises some issues that warrant consideration from bitcoin economists. Denninger is an intelligent student of the capital markets and his essay deserves a serious reply.

FATCA Is Far from a Done Deal

Largely affecting those banks outside of the U.S., the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Actrequires all foreign financial institutions to report the activities of their American clients to the Internal Revenue Service.

Cyprus Goes Cashless the Hard Way

The rolling crisis in Cyprus should reach a crescendo this week. If the parliament votes yes on some type of deposit confiscation, it would mean the people of Cyprus have elected to go “all in” on the euro and link their fate with the fate of the single currency.

Is Institutional Money Coming Into Bitcoin?

Any institution investing on behalf of its customers has a fiduciary duty to protect those assets from theft, data loss, and jurisdictional risk. Additionally, a succession plan must be in place that anticipates reliance on multiple parties and the distribution of that reliance.

FinCEN Spying Plan Invites Privacy Workarounds

The dangers to financial privacy are monumental. Consider an Obama administration plan to give spy agencies unfettered access to data on American citizens and others who bank in the U.S.

How Cryptocurrencies Could Upend Banks' Monetary Role

I recently had a fascinating chat with the economist Peter Šurda to discuss how nonpolitical cryptocurrencies like bitcoin could alter the future of fractional reserve banking.

First Bitcoin Hedge Fund Launches from Malta

Ever since the bitcoin cryptocurrency first launched and achieved initial success, institutional investors and hedge fund managers have secretly sought a regulated investment vehicle for bitcoin placements. Malta-based Exante Ltd. has the solution with their new Bitcoin Fund.

France Plans to Prohibit Cash Payments Over €1,000

One of the best things about covering payments news is that you never run out of stories where various myopic governments attempt to restrict the flow of cash in a squeeze for revenue.