The next phase in the Bitcoin revolution is definitely the standardization of the exchanges where in fact the coins are traded. Bitcoin happens to be 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 silver and gold, Bitcoin is only worth what the other person is ready to pay you for it. It has led to cheating since trading began. Crooked scales and filled ore all became part of the norm as both the 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 own community and remain beyond the physical scrutiny of any global government. The Utopian dream was shattered per month ago when Mt. Gox, by far the largest Bitcoin exchange, turn off 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 that may actually help this fledgling store of value soar to its mainstream potential.
The timing of the Mt. Gox incident may prove to be 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 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 in our own trading. A swap agreement is basically an insurance policy that delivers a guaranteed value at a particular 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 small toll on each transaction. Therefore, the cost on the individual swap is small however 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 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 must have plunged across the globe 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 seemed to understand that it was a person company’s problem and was therefore confined to Mt. Gox customers’ capability to get their money out. Subsequently, Bitcoin prices have stabilized around $585. That is well off the December most of $1,200 but very close to the average price for the last six months.
The last coincidentally timed piece 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 economic climate is its ability to be taxed by the brick and mortar governments it was developed to circumvent. THE INNER Revenue Service finally decided enough is enough also it wants its cut. Bitcoin Evolution has declared Bitcoin as property instead of currency and is therefore subject to property laws instead of currency laws. This enables 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 that can be exchanged for other goods and services, barter.
Bitcoin is a global marketplace executing transactions on an electronic network. That sounds an awful lot just like the forex markets. Industry regulators and the banking industry are going to quickly find that the failure of Mt. Gox has done more to encourage the individual resolve of global Bitcoin users instead of ending this upstart’s existence. Private users of Bitcoin will clamor for the 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 may be in the proper place at the right time with the proper idea as Bitcoin could have proven itself to be self-sustaining at the retail level. Institutional and legal structures are being put in place to continue its evolution because the financial industry is left to figure out how to monetize it.