Sitting in a coffee shop with a friend and hear a conversation about Bitcoin has become routine in 2017, part of the mainstream and perhaps the real normalization of the economy during 2017. Bitcoin made us forget that on January, the American people chose the most eccentric president in the history, Bitcoin made politics look small and insignificant and it made equities’ records high disappear in the shadow of Bitcoin mania.
Although relatively Bitcoin is still a small market and hasn’t received the corporate and governmental recognition, Bitcoin echoes are a result of the currency potential and what it represents.
Ironically, Bitcoin’s conversations, whether in a coffee shop or on computer screens are similar as one side stands for the acceptance of the new coin while the other one rejects the coin with the bubble argument and the fact that a digital currency system without a centralized control cannot work.
Still, it’s quite exciting to be part of history and Bitcoin is already history, Cliche but true, and that is one of the reasons why common people without any understanding of the crypto, economy and financial markets joined this phenomenon. Be part of something. Bitcoin will be taught in the future in universities, schools and TV programs whether it will be accepted as a legitimate payment method or will be discovered as the biggest bubble in history. Obviously, the next step would be to get it out of the mainstream, out of the bubble zone in order to be legitimized as a currency system. That way, the currency will no longer be an interesting conversation in a coffee shop or an exotic investment but a legitimate instrument that can transform the economic system. That’s a known social behavior, a cycle, and perhaps it will happen in the upcoming years.
Talking of bubbles, then, we all heard the comparison between the Bitcoin mania to the Tulipmania bubble back in the 16th century. The Tulipmania has been associated with us as an economic phenomenon that destroyed the economy and demolished people’s lives. However, there is growing evidence that the Tulipmania is more a myth than the actual reality.
Over the past years, some researchers revoked the myth: In 2006, the economist Earl Thompson published his research ‘The Tulipmania: Fact or Artifact’ claiming that the tulip mania bubble is mostly fiction as the spot prices (these are the actual prices) were stable and option prices rose exponentially. Researchers claim that there are no actual stories in the archives about people that were involved in the Tulipmania bubble and lost their possession. For us, we can say that we have seen an irrational increase in prices of Bitcoin and other cryptos. So far, only good stories. Bubble or not, you name it.
As a matter of fact, cryptocurrencies and in particular Bitcoin sparked a new conversation and that is the biggest achievement of Satoshi Nakamoto (or whoever it is that created cryptos). The common man knows for years that only a country or a governmental entity can issue a currency. It is a country responsibility to back up a currency, and so far it has been done with a natural resource such as gold. Maybe you noticed that in many paper bills there is an agreement by the government to preserve the value of money for the citizens that will use the currency.
You don’t have that in Bitcoin. Any economical obstacle, recession, inflation, deflation, you name it – you can’t complain about it. No one promises you that. Decentralized, for better or worse.
The attempt to form one single currency for the world was not a revolutionary idea that popped up suddenly, some might say it is a master plan to better control the economy. Personally, those things make me know how little I know. Bitcoin was rising from the underground movement of Anarchism, opposing the authorities and the financial system, or maybe not…
However, instead of one currency, there are currently over 1324 cryptocurrencies and the number is growing. It is unfinished business and someone must organize this industry. Even though some will convince you it’s the best investment, it is not yet a reliable economic system or currency.
Blockchain, the technology that activates Bitcoin, is the invention that one can no longer ignore. There are many inventions that changed the world but also were rejected at the time of birth. Light bulbs, umbrellas, the telephone, typing machines, taxis, computers, coffee, and the toilet seat cover are all necessary for our basic life but were rejected by some people at some point of time. On the other side, some inventions stormed the world at the time of release but vanished and did not have any effect. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are still on the scale of acceptance. Blockchain, on the other hand, officially received its recognition in 2017.
The truth is that no one knows the future of Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and the economy in general. The economy that forms our daily life is relatively new and probably not the best economic system. Bitcoin is mysterious and mysterious attracts the attention, headlines, central bankers’ comments, and money.
Bitcoin is a statement, an alternative to the current economic system that controls our life. It’s not the price that matters but the idea. The price is just a reflection of the global public opinion towards the economic system. If everyone was happy with the system, no one would really buy a digital, with no physical qualities coin. You buy Bitcoin, you buy an idea.
2017 is without a doubt the year of Bitcoin. And Blockchain and ICO’s and Ethereum and Ripple and Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold and IOTA… All cryptos’ prices are speculative, volatile and unreliable but also reflect people’s excitement of a new market and a new system. The upcoming year will be crucial for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. It broke the first step of entering the mainstream and coffee shops conversations, now it’s time to pay for a cup of coffee with Bitcoin or other cryptos. That’s the next step and only time will tell how Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies face it.