Bitcoin IS HERE NOW to Stay
The next phase in the Bitcoin revolution will be the standardization of the exchanges where in fact the coins are traded. Bitcoin happens to be in the Wild West prospector days of its evolution. The planet has agreed that a Bitcoin provides a stored measure of value in the same way that silver and gold have through the entire 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 part of the norm as both miners and the assayers sought to pad their bottom lines. This led to 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, shut down due to a security breach and theft of around $300 million worth of Bitcoin. Customers who had Bitcoin on deposit with Mt. Gox still do not know how much they’ll get back. The problems at Mt. Gox lay bare the cyber security argument. Surprisingly, Bitcoin as a currency shows remarkable resilience. This resilience could very well be just the boost had a need to legitimize the currency and the lean towards governmental involvement which 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 NJ, already had proposed a bilateral agreement to the Commodity Trading Futures Commission (CFTC) to begin trading Bitcoins by way of 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 inside our own trading. A swap agreement is basically an insurance policy that provides a guaranteed value at a particular point in time to protect against currency fluctuations. It’s what the commodity exchanges are founded on. The swap markets will be the superhighways of the financial industry. They process massive volumes while collecting a small toll on each transaction. Therefore, the cost on the average person swap is small but the sheer volume of swaps processed makes it a huge revenue source for several of the major banks.
The CFTC has yet to comment on 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 a testament to the energy of a global grassroots movement. Bitcoin should have plunged around the world as owners of Bitcoins tried to exchange them for hard currency. The market’s response turned out to be very orderly. While prices did fall over the board, the market appeared to understand that it was an individual company’s problem and was therefore confined to Mt. Gox customers’ ability to get their money out. Therefore, Bitcoin prices have stabilized around $585. This is well off the December most of $1,200 but very near the average price for the last six months.
The last coincidentally timed little bit of the structural transformation from Bitcoin as an anarchist, alternative store of value that exists outside the institutionalized financial industry to being built-into that same financial system is its capability to be taxed by the offline governments it was developed to circumvent. THE INNER Revenue Service finally decided enough is enough also it wants its cut. The IRS has declared Bitcoin as property rather than currency and is therefore at the mercy of property laws instead of currency laws. This allows the IRS to obtain their share while legitimizing the need for a central exchange to see value. It also eliminates arguments with the U.S. Treasury and Congress over legal tender issues. It’s simply valued as a good that could be exchanged for other goods and services, barter.
coincapcentral is really a global marketplace executing transactions on an electric network. That sounds a lot just like the forex markets. Industry regulators and the banking industry are likely to quickly find that the failure of Mt. Gox did more to encourage the average person resolve of global Bitcoin users rather than ending this upstart’s existence. Private users of Bitcoin will clamor for the federal government to protect its folks from crooked exchanges just as farmers were cheated in the grain trade of ancient Egypt or gold and cattle by assayers and stockyards in the open West. Tera Group could be in the right place at the proper time with the right idea as Bitcoin may have proven itself to be self-sustaining at the retail level. Institutional and legal structures are increasingly being put in place to keep its evolution as the financial industry is left to figure out how to monetize it.