The next phase in the Bitcoin revolution would be 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 planet has agreed that a Bitcoin provides a stored measure of value just as that gold and silver have throughout the ages. Like silver and gold, Bitcoin is worth what your partner is ready to pay you for it. This has led to cheating since trading began. Crooked scales and filled ore all became portion 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 gone to police its own 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 do not know 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 could very well be just the boost had a need 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 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 done through swaps agreements which explains why we follow the commercial traders in our own trading. A swap agreement is basically an insurance policy that provides 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 are the superhighways of the financial industry. They process massive volumes while collecting a small toll on each transaction. Therefore, the price on the average person 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 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 a testament to the power of a global grassroots movement. Bitcoin should have plunged around the world 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 an individual company’s problem and was therefore confined to Mt. Gox customers’ ability to get their money out. As a result, Bitcoin prices have stabilized around $585. That is well off the December high of $1,200 but very close to the average price going back six months.
The last coincidentally timed little bit of the structural transformation from Bitcoin being an anarchist, alternative store of value that exists outside the 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 INNER Revenue Service finally decided enough will do and it wants its cut. The IRS has declared Bitcoin as property instead of currency and is therefore at the mercy of property laws rather than currency laws. This allows the IRS to get their share while legitimizing the necessity for a central exchange to see value. It also eliminates arguments with the U.S. Treasury and Congress over legal tender issues. It’s simply valued as an excellent which might be exchanged for other goods and services, barter.
Bitcoin is a global marketplace executing transactions on an electronic network. That sounds a 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. Private users of Bitcoin will clamor for the 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 Wild West. Tera Group could be in the right place at the proper time with the proper idea as Bitcoin may have proven itself to be self-sustaining at the retail level. Bitcoin Era Review and legal structures are being put in place to keep its evolution because the financial industry is left to determine how to monetize it.