The next phase in the Bitcoin revolution would be the standardization of the exchanges where the coins are traded. Bitcoin happens to be in the Wild West prospector days of its evolution. The world has agreed that a Bitcoin provides a stored way of measuring value in the same way that silver and gold 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 section 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 gone to police its community and remain beyond the physical scrutiny of any global government. The Utopian dream was shattered per month ago when Mt. Gox, undoubtedly the largest Bitcoin exchange, shut down 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 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 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 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 trading Bitcoins by way of a swap-execution facility or, centralized exchange. Almost all commercial currency trading is done 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 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 however 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. Bitcoin Era Review 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 global grassroots movement. Bitcoin should 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 across the board, the market seemed to understand that it was an individual company’s problem and was therefore confined to Mt. Gox customers’ capability to get their money out. Therefore, Bitcoin prices have stabilized around $585. This 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 being an anarchist, alternative store of value that exists beyond your institutionalized financial industry to being built-into that same economic climate is its capability to be taxed by the brick and mortar governments it was developed to circumvent. The Internal Revenue Service finally decided enough will do and it wants its cut. The IRS has declared Bitcoin as property rather than currency and is therefore at the mercy of property laws instead of currency laws. This allows the IRS to obtain 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 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 just like the forex markets. Industry regulators and the banking industry are likely to quickly discover that the failure of Mt. Gox 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 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 right 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.