Bitcoin, the Esperanto of currencies

Bitcoin, the Esperanto of currencies

September 2, 2015 9:21 pm

Ben D. Kritz

Ben D. Kritz

IF Bitcoin adherents were to be believed, the decentralized, all-digital currency would have, apart from answering all the world’s other thorny economic questions, prevented the wild volatility now being experienced by normal, boring old fiat currencies around the globe.

Obviously, that has not been the case. Bitcoin and the handful of other ‘viable’ digital currencies still in existence have had precisely zero impact on conventional financial systems, and if Bitcoin appears at all on the mainstream media radar, it has usually been because it is the focus of some sort of criminal ac-tivity. Over the past month on the Agence France-Presse (AFP) wire service – which typically posts be-tween 100 and 150 news advisories per hour, of which about one in five are business- or economic-related items – Bitcoin has only appeared three times, each being a story more appropriate for the police blotter than the business pages; the most recent was Tuesday evening, a brief, 300-word report on the guilty plea of a former Secret Service agent for the theft of some $800,000 worth of bitcoins in connection with the government crackdown on the Silk Road online marketplace.

The knock against Bitcoin in technical terms presents two arguments: First, that it is extremely volatile, far more so than fiat currency; and second, that the claims of its security have been seriously over-blown.

Both of those arguments are true; daily swings of 20 percent or more in the price of bitcoins are not at all uncommon, and several large exchanges have suffered big security breaches resulting in huge loss-es. The most recent large-scale hack was in January of this year, when

Originally appeared at: http://www.manilatimes.net/bitcoin-the-esperanto-of-currencies/215484/