October 31, 2013

Bitcoin, just die already!

I'm a Bitcoin guy. I believe in the liberty from fiat that Bitcoin provides. I am sold on the concept of having no central authority that has the power to devalue currency. I believe that Bitcoin is the solution to the payment problem that startups have been working on for a decade. It is too expensive for business owners to get paid.

We have credit card companies taking 3% off the top of our revenues. Credit cards are the major method of taking customer money in America and the real costs of taking credit cards can end up being 7-10% after considering equipment costs, start-up costs, transaction charges, and end-of-month fees. This is ridiculous and needs to end. Bitcoin solves the problem. Up to the current $2.3B market cap of Bitcoin, payment fees on unlimited purchases are essentially zero. No central agency can take a cut. Bitcoin is the most revolutionary thing to come to money since the advent of paper currency. It is money in the digital age.

Governments have tried to destroy Bitcoin. The US government tried at first to call it a way for drug dealers and pedofiles to pedal their wares. That just helped Bitcoin gain popularity and value. The US government next decided to steal money from Bitcoin's largest exchange. They did so and now it is next to impossible to take money out of that exchange in USD. The result is the decline of one exchange and other exchanges have simply taken its place. Again, the US government's action to destroy Bitcoin has simply caused its strengthening. Next they subpoenaed every important American Bitcoin entrepreneur and investor to tell them everything they wanted to know about the currency. They chose to force Bitcoin businesses to register as money services businesses. This has brought more certainty to the market and Bitcoin has further strengthened in value.

Bitcoin is a threat to governments worldwide in their ability to control currency, to surveil and ensure proper taxes are paid, and to keep their people as slaves to their own fiat. The German government considers Bitcoin as private money, and capital gains in Bitcoin are taxed if held less than one year. When one Canadian Bitcoin company tried registering itself with the government, their official response was:

“it does not appear that your business is engaged as an MSB [Money Service Business] in Canada as per the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act and its associated Regulations. Therefore, you cannot register your entity with us."

The Canadian government declined to regulate. UNBELIEVABLE!!! They see Bitcoin's power and said to their citizens, yes you can be free! The even more incredible thing about the Canadian government is that they believe so much in the free market that they are launching a competing government-backed cryptocurrency. What a beautiful thing, a government that chooses to actually compete in the marketplace rather than regulating to destroy competition. What a beautiful world! Meanwhile, Canada currently has five Bitcoin ATMs which makes it grandma friendly. Even people who can't use a computer can pay in Bitcoin at their coffeeshop in Canada.

China's Google, Baidu, started accepting Bitcoin in October and the Chinese public started buying up Bitcoin like mad. The price of Bitcoin went from $100 to $200 in one month. I expected a bubble burst due to the ridiculous speed of its growth in October, but it has begun to stabilize at $200, or if you prefer 1250 Chinese RMB.

The Bitcoin ecosystem still has a long way to go. To become the premier means of transferring value and to knock off the USD as the reserve currency of the world, it must become significantly easier to use than paper currency for consumers. This is easy in the unbanked world in much of Africa and India. It is probable in countries like Argentina which have capital controls and a quickly inflating currency. But in developed nations, the question still remains, will Bitcoin take over the world, will it continue in parallel with fiat in a competition for dominance in trade, or will it die to government regulation or loss of interest from consumers? Only time will tell.

No comments:

Post a Comment