The next phase in the Bitcoin revolution will be the standardization of the exchanges where the coins are traded. Bitcoin happens to be in the open West prospector days of its evolution. The planet has agreed a Bitcoin provides a stored measure of value in the same way that silver and gold have through the entire ages. Like gold and silver, Bitcoin is worth what the other person is ready to pay you for it. This has resulted in cheating since trading began. Crooked scales and filled ore all became part of the norm as both miners and the assayers sought to pad their bottom lines. This resulted in 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 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 has shown 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 NJ, already had proposed a bilateral agreement to the Commodity Trading Futures Commission (CFTC) to begin trading Bitcoins by way of a swap-execution facility or, centralized exchange. Almost all commercial currency trading is done through swaps agreements which explains why we follow the commercial traders inside our own trading. A swap agreement is actually an insurance policy that delivers a guaranteed value at a specific 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 level of swaps processed makes it a huge 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 when confronted with the Mt. Gox debacle is a testament to the power of a worldwide 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 prices did fall across the board, the market seemed to understand that it was a person company’s problem and was therefore confined to Mt. Gox customers’ ability to get their money out. Due to this fact, Bitcoin prices have stabilized around $585. That is well off the December high of $1,200 but very close to the average price for the last six months.
The last coincidentally timed little bit of the structural transformation from Bitcoin as an anarchist, alternative store of value that exists outside the institutionalized financial industry to being integrated into that same financial system is its capability to be taxed by the offline governments it had been developed to circumvent. THE INNER 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 at the mercy of property laws rather than currency laws. This allows the IRS to obtain their share while legitimizing the need for a central exchange to ascertain value. It also eliminates arguments with the U.S. Treasury and Congress over legal tender issues. It’s simply valued as an excellent that may 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 discover 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. Bitcoin Era of Bitcoin will clamor for the 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 right 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 increasingly being put in place to continue its evolution as the financial industry is left to determine how to monetize it.