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 open West prospector days of its evolution. The world has agreed that a Bitcoin provides a stored measure of value in the same way that gold and silver have throughout the ages. Like gold and silver, Bitcoin is worth what your partner is willing to pay you for it. This has resulted in cheating since trading began. Crooked scales and filled ore all became area 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, undoubtedly the largest Bitcoin exchange, shut down due to a 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 has shown remarkable resilience. This resilience may be just the boost had a need to legitimize the currency and the lean towards governmental involvement that 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 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 inside our own trading. A swap agreement is basically 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 are 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 however the sheer level of swaps processed makes it a huge revenue source for several of the major banks.
The CFTC has yet to touch upon 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 when confronted with the Mt. Gox debacle is really 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 over the board, the market appeared to understand that it was a person company’s problem and was therefore confined to Mt. Gox customers’ ability to get their money out. Consequently, Bitcoin prices have stabilized around $585. This is well off the December high of $1,200 but very close to the average price going back six months.
The last coincidentally timed piece of the structural transformation from Bitcoin as an anarchist, alternative store of value that exists beyond your institutionalized financial industry to being integrated into that same financial system is its capability to be taxed by the offline governments it was developed to circumvent. The Internal 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 subject to property laws rather than currency laws. This allows the IRS to get their share while legitimizing the need 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 can 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. Bitcoin Revolution Site and the banking industry are going to quickly find that the failure of Mt. Gox did 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 just as farmers were cheated in the grain trade of ancient Egypt or gold and cattle by assayers and stockyards in the Wild West. Tera Group could be in the right place at the right 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 continue its evolution as the financial industry is left to determine how to monetize it.