The next phase in the Bitcoin revolution will be 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 world has agreed that a Bitcoin provides a stored measure of value in the same way that silver and gold have through the entire ages. Like silver and gold, Bitcoin is worth what your partner is willing to pay you for it. This has led to cheating since trading began. Crooked scales and filled ore all became area of the norm as both the 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 gone 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, shut down 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 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 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 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. The vast majority of commercial currency trading is done through swaps agreements which is why we follow the commercial traders inside our own trading. Bitcoin Era 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 cost on the individual 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 big for global banks to ignore. Bitcoin’s resilience when confronted with the Mt. Gox debacle is really a testament to the power of a global grassroots movement. Bitcoin must have plunged across the globe as owners of Bitcoins tried to switch them for hard currency. The market’s response turned out to be 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. 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 piece 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 financial system 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 rather than currency and is therefore subject to property laws instead of currency laws. This allows the IRS to get their share while legitimizing the need 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 an excellent that can be exchanged for other goods and services, barter.
Bitcoin is really 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 find that the failure of Mt. Gox has done more to encourage the average person resolve of global Bitcoin users instead of ending this upstart’s existence. Private users of Bitcoin will clamor for the federal government to protect its people 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 proper time with the right 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 keep its evolution as the financial industry is left to figure out how to monetize it.