Bitcoin Is Here to Stay
The next phase in the Bitcoin revolution could be the standardization of the exchanges where the coins are traded. Bitcoin happens to be in the open West prospector days of its evolution. The world has agreed that a Bitcoin provides a stored way of measuring value just as that gold and silver have throughout the ages. Like gold and silver, Bitcoin is only worth what the other person is ready to pay you for it. It has resulted in cheating since trading began. Crooked scales and filled ore all became portion of the norm as both the miners and the assayers sought to pad their bottom lines. This resulted in governmental oversight and the creation of centralized exchanges.
The Bitcoin dream has been to police its community and remain beyond the physical scrutiny of any global government. The Utopian dream was shattered a month ago when Mt. Gox, by far the largest Bitcoin exchange, turn off because of security breach and theft of approximately $300 million worth of Bitcoin. Customers who had Bitcoin on deposit with Mt. Gox still have no idea how much they’ll get back. The issues at Mt. Gox lay bare the cyber security argument. Surprisingly, Bitcoin as a currency has shown remarkable resilience. This resilience may be just the boost had a need to legitimize the currency and the lean towards governmental involvement that could actually help this fledgling store of value soar to its mainstream potential.
The timing of the Mt. Gox incident may end up being a boon for the currency. Tera Group, out of Summit New Jersey, already had proposed a bilateral agreement to the Commodity Trading Futures Commission (CFTC) to begin with trading Bitcoins through a swap-execution facility or, centralized exchange. Almost all commercial currency trading is performed through swaps agreements which explains why we follow the commercial traders in our own trading. A swap agreement is basically an insurance policy that provides a guaranteed value at a specific point in time to protect against currency fluctuations. It’s what the commodity exchanges are founded on. The swap markets are the superhighways of the financial industry. They process massive volumes while collecting a little toll on each transaction. Therefore, the price on the individual swap is small however the sheer volume of swaps processed makes it an enormous revenue source for all of the major banks.
The CFTC has yet to touch upon Tera Group’s proposal. We commented in November that Bitcoin had transcended novelty status and that the revenue pool was becoming too large for global banks to ignore. Bitcoin’s resilience in the face of the Mt. Gox debacle is really a testament to the energy of a worldwide grassroots movement. Bitcoin should have plunged across the globe as owners of Bitcoins tried to switch them for hard currency. The market’s response ended up being very orderly. While prices did fall across the board, the market appeared to understand that it was a person company’s problem and was therefore confined to Mt. Gox customers’ capability to get their money out. As a result, Bitcoin prices have stabilized around $585. That is well off the December most of $1,200 but very near the average price going back six months.
The last coincidentally timed piece of the structural transformation from Bitcoin being an anarchist, alternative store of value that exists beyond your institutionalized financial industry to being integrated into that same economic climate is its ability to be taxed by the brick and mortar governments it had been developed to circumvent. THE INNER Revenue Service finally decided enough will do also it wants its cut. The IRS has declared Bitcoin as property instead of currency and is therefore subject to property laws rather than currency laws. This enables the IRS to get their share while legitimizing the necessity for a central exchange to ascertain value. It also eliminates arguments with the U.S. Treasury and Congress over legal tender issues. It’s simply valued as a good which might be exchanged for other goods and services, barter.
Bitcoin is really a global marketplace executing transactions on an electric network. That sounds an awful lot like the forex markets. Industry regulators and the banking industry are likely to quickly find that the failure of Mt. Gox has done more to encourage the average person resolve of global Bitcoin users instead of ending this upstart’s existence. Private users of Bitcoin will clamor for the government to protect its folks from crooked exchanges in the same way farmers were cheated in the grain trade of ancient Egypt or gold and cattle by assayers and stockyards in the open West. bitcoin may be in the proper place at the proper time with the proper idea as Bitcoin may have proven itself to be self-sustaining at the retail level. Institutional and legal structures are being put in place to keep its evolution as the financial industry is left to determine how to monetize it.