Dr Philippa Ryan is a lecturer in civil practice and commercial equity at the University of Technology Sydney. Dr Ryan’s area of expertise is commercial equity, in particular the liability of third parties to a breach of trust.
In this opinion piece, Ryan discusses the relationship between perceptions of bitcoin as a technology and activity in its historically turbulent global markets.
The virtual currency bitcoin is much-maligned, partly due to its shady history and its treatment as a trading commodity. However, with the dismantling of Silk Road and the collapse of Mt Gox, bitcoin is no longer a mere plaything for drug dealers and fantasy gamers.
It has real potential as a means to conduct seamless and secure online transactions. Its role as a key player in our FinTech future should be assured.
But in order to achieve this status, its price needs to stop fluctuating so wildly. The main cause of the bitcoin rollercoaster has been speculation. Speculation has consequences.
In 1720, when the South Sea Company collapsed, Sir Isaac Newton famously quipped, “I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men”. Newton was referring to the frenzied trade in