The Financial Times is running a story titled “FT Predictions: the world in 2015” where Financial Times writers offer their forecasts for the year ahead, from the oil price to Putin’s next moves. Bitcoin makes the Financial Times list of important topics to watch with a headline “Will this be the year that bitcoin and other crypto currencies collapse?”
The answer is:
No. There are too many deep-pocketed interests standing ready to throw good money after bad defending the cryptocurrency experiment, thus preventing an outright or dramatic collapse.
Nevertheless, the chances of bitcoin, the most popular of this new breed of self-clearing financial instruments, making it as a mainstream currency are now zero. Prices have been floundering at around $350 a coin for months, escalating losses for those who invested at last year’s $1,200 highs.
Add to this a stream of high-profile scandals over the past year, such as the collapse of Tokyo-based currency exchange Mt Gox in February, and you realise it is not a question of if but when the public loses interest in this experiment entirely.
As it is usually the case on the mainstream financial press, the writer just doesn’t get that Bitcoin price is not important.
In 2014, Bitcoin was a very bad investment for speculators, but a very good investment for venture capitalists. They invest in cryptocurrency startups because they see that the volume of Bitcoin transactions and the adoption of Bitcoin by consumers and merchants alike are booming, with no sign of slowing down. Bitcoin is well on its way to revolutionize finance with disruptive killer apps. Venture capitalists understand that, and some of their investments will pay off handsomely.
The Bitcoin killer app number one is the relatively low price of Bitcoin transactions. Regardless of whether the Bitcoin price goes up to $1000 or goes down to $1, you can send and receive money over the Bitcoin network and save a lot in transaction fees. Another killer app is the anonymity offered by Bitcoin plus appropriate privacy tools and procedures. Combine the two, and you see the coming wave of disruptive change in fintech. Business writers don’t get it, but venture capitalists do.
Images from Shutterstock.