The next phase in the Bitcoin revolution is definitely the standardization of the exchanges where in fact the coins are traded. Bitcoin is currently in the Wild West prospector days of its evolution. The planet has agreed that a Bitcoin provides a stored way of measuring value in the same way that gold and silver have throughout the ages. Like silver and gold, Bitcoin is only worth what the other person is ready to pay you for it. This has led to cheating since trading began. Crooked scales and filled ore all became the main 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 own 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, turn off because of 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 may 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 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 is why we follow the commercial traders in our own trading. A swap agreement is actually an insurance policy that delivers a guaranteed value at a specific point in time to safeguard 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 cost on the individual swap is small but the sheer volume of swaps processed makes it an enormous revenue source for all 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 big for global banks to ignore. Bitcoin’s resilience in the face of the Mt. Gox debacle is a testament to the energy of a worldwide grassroots movement. Bitcoin should have plunged around the world 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 high of $1,200 but very near the average price going back six months.
The last coincidentally timed little bit of the structural transformation from Bitcoin being an anarchist, alternative store of value that exists outside the institutionalized financial industry to being integrated into that same economic climate is its capability to be taxed by the brick and mortar governments it had been developed to circumvent. The Internal Revenue Service finally decided enough will do and it wants its cut. The IRS has declared Bitcoin as property instead of currency and is therefore subject to property laws instead of currency laws. This allows the IRS to obtain their share while legitimizing the necessity for a central exchange to see value. In addition, it eliminates arguments with the U.S. Treasury and Congress over legal tender issues. It’s simply valued as a good that may be exchanged for other goods and services, barter.
Bitcoin is really a global marketplace executing transactions on an electronic network. That sounds an awful lot like the forex markets. Industry regulators and the banking industry are going to quickly discover that the failure of Mt. Bitcoin Era Review 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 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. Tera Group could be in the proper 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 determine how to monetize it.