The next phase in the Bitcoin revolution would be the standardization of the exchanges where in fact the coins are traded. Bitcoin is currently in the open West prospector days of its evolution. The world has agreed a Bitcoin provides a stored measure of value in the same way that gold and silver have throughout the ages. Like silver and gold, Bitcoin is only worth what your partner is ready to pay you for it. It has led to cheating since trading began. Crooked scales and filled ore all became portion 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 gone 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, undoubtedly the largest Bitcoin exchange, shut down 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 reunite. 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 needed 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 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. The vast majority of commercial currency trading is performed through swaps agreements which is why we follow the commercial traders inside our own trading. A swap agreement is basically an insurance policy that delivers 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 little toll on each transaction. Therefore, the price on the average person swap is small but the sheer volume of swaps processed makes it an enormous 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 must have plunged across the globe as owners of Bitcoins tried to exchange them for hard currency. The market’s response ended up being very orderly. While Bitcoin Evolution Review did fall across 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. Subsequently, Bitcoin prices have stabilized around $585. That is well off the December high 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 being an anarchist, alternative store of value that exists beyond your institutionalized financial industry to being built-into that same economic climate is its capability to be taxed by the offline governments it was developed to circumvent. THE INNER Revenue Service finally decided enough is enough and it wants its cut. The IRS has declared Bitcoin as property instead of currency and is therefore at the mercy of property laws instead of currency laws. This enables the IRS to obtain their share while legitimizing the necessity for a central exchange to ascertain value. In addition, it 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 a global marketplace executing transactions on an electric network. That sounds a lot like the forex markets. Industry regulators and the banking industry are likely to quickly discover that the failure of Mt. Gox has done more to encourage the individual 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 people 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. Tera Group could be in the proper place at the right time with the proper 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 continue its evolution as the financial industry is left to figure out how to monetize it.