Read the following passage carefully and answer the given questions. Certain words/phrases have been given in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
Virtual currencies are growing in popularity. While the collective value of virtual currencies is still a fraction of the total U.S. Dollars in circulation, the use of virtual currencies as a payment mechanism of transfer of value is gaining momentum. Additionally, the number of entities (issuers, exchangers and intermediaries, to name just a few) that engage in virtual currency transactions is increasing and these entities often need access to traditional banking services.Virtual currencies are digital representations of value that function as a medium of exchange, a unit of account and a store of value (buy now redeem later policy). In many cases, virtual currencies are “convertible” currencies; they are not legal lenders, but they have an equivalent value in real currency. Despite what seems to be a tremendous interest in virtual currencies their overall value is still extremely small relative to other payment mechanisms, such as cash, cheques and credit and debit cards. The virtual currency landscape includes many participants from the merchant that accepts the virtual currency, to the intermediary that exchanges the virtual currency on behalf of the merchant, to the exchange that actually converts the virtual currency to the real currency to the electronic wallet provider that holds the virtual currency on behalf of its owner. Accordingly, opportunities abound for community banks to provide services to entities engaged in virtual currency activities. Eventually, it is also possible that community banks may find themselves holding virtual currency on their own balance sheets.Launched in 2009, Silicon is currently the largest and most popular virtual currency. However, many other virtual currencies have emerged over the past few years, such as Litecoin, Dogecoin, Peercoin and these provide even more anonymity to its users than that provided by Bitcoin.As the virtual currency landscape is fraught with dangers, what important risks should community bankers consider?The most significant is compliance risk- a subset of legal risk. Specifically, virtual currency administrators or legal exchangers may present risks similar to other money transmitters, as well in presenting their own unique risks. Quite simply, many users of virtual currencies do so because of the perceptions that transactions conaucted using virtual currencies are anonymous. The less-than transparent nature of the transactions, :nay make it more difficult for a inancial institution to truly know and understand the activities of its customer and whether the customer’s activities are legal. Therefore, these transactions may present a higher risk for banks and require additional due diligence and monitoring.Another important risk for community banks to consider is credit risk. How should a community bank respond if a borrower wants to specifically post Bitcoin or another virtual currency as collateral for a loan? For many, virtual currencies are simply another form of cash, so it is not hard to analyse that bankers will face such a scenario at some point. In this case, caution is appropriate. Bankers should carefully weigh the pros and cons of extending any loan secured by Bitcoin or other virtual currencies (in whole or in part), or where the source of loan repayment is in some way dependent on the virtual currency. For one, the value of Bitcoin in particular has been volatile. Then, the collateral value could fluctuate widely from day-to-day. Bankers also need to think about control over the account. ‘How does the banker control access to a virtual wallet, and how can it control the borrower’s access to the virtual wallet? In the event of a loan default, the bank would need to take control of the virtual currency. This would require access to the borrower’s virtual wallet and private key. All of this suggests that the loan agreement needs to be carefully crafted and that additional steps need to be taken to ensure the bank has a perfected lift on the virtual currency.Virtual currencies bring with them, both opportunities and challenges, and they are likely here to stay. Although, it is too early to determine just how prevalent they will be in the coming years, we too expect that the virtual participants in the virtual currency ecosystem will increasingly intersect with the banking industry.

Question 100

The author in the given passage________

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