It has been over two weeks since the second large crypto market crash of 2018, and many believe that the bubble we all know as Bitcoin has finally burst. This is the year when BTC has hit its highest value ever, only to gradually drop back down.
While the entire year was progressively bearish, Bitcoin has successfully held its ground at the price of $6,400 for months. However, in mid-November, this changed, and the coin continued to sink. As a result, the same year that gave it the value of $20,000 per coin also brought it down to $3,700. Those who invested in it when it was at its all-time high have lost over 80% of their investment within 11 months.
The drop is not only limited to Bitcoin, however, but to all top currencies, such as Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, XRP, and countless others. However, while many believe that these cryptos are going down, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they will all disappear. It is possible that some of them will manage to survive. Even if they don’t digital currencies are hardly going away for good.
Cryptocurrencies are here to stay
Their utility is a real thing, recognized around the world. Blockchain in crypto came in a pair, and will likely remain together, especially since they provide people with online transactions outside of banking system. This is not only practical for black market merchants anymore, and numerous businesses are already considering this as an alternative to traditional payment systems.
For some of them, this is not only a choice but a necessity as well. Banks often tend to deny services to some of their customers, as do credit cards. Sometimes, the reason is nothing more than their political views. One example of this is what happened to an alternative social networking website called Gab. Gab is known for allowing its members to express controversial views on various topics, which is something that did not sit well with banks. As a result, its founder stated that Gab will be turning to BitPay and Bitcoin.
As this continues, more and more such cases are expected to appear, which is why alternative payment systems have grown to become a necessity. However, major Bitcoin exchanges, like Coinbase, for example, are also becoming very politically correct. So much so, in fact, that they have also started blacklisting those who they don’t like.
In addition, they are collecting their customers’ personal data and giving it to the IRS. In the end, Bitcoin users can only guarantee their privacy by never actually using their coins for anything. This is only one of the problems connected to Bitcoin. It is also very slow when it comes to confirming transactions, it consumes a lot of energy, and there is a constant risk of loss if investors lose their private key. Not to mention outside threats, such as fraud, hack, government crackdown, and alike.
However, the biggest problem with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, by far, is their volatility. Since they don’t have any asset backing them, it is nearly impossible for these coins to have a stable, constant price. This is one problem that can be solved by bringing real assets on the blockchain.
Backing crypto with gold?
One idea that might solve this issues revolves around using precious metals to back cryptocurrencies, just as they were used for backing fiat money some time ago. While there are numerous challenges — legal and technical — as well as a constant threat of scammers, there are many who support this solution.
These are optimists who believe that we are approaching the time when precious metals such as gold can be used on the blockchain for buying things such as shares of stock, real estate, and more, without ever having to us fiat money. This would mark the return of demand for gold and other precious metals, and the entire idea is a bullish view on the future of crypto and blockchain.
However, there is a bearish view as well. Numerous banks around the world are researching the crypto space, with some of them already making plans on launching their own coins. Doing so could potentially satisfy public policy goals, provide customers with protection and security, and even provide privacy in payments, which is something that the private sector failed to do.
While their claim would be that they only have security, privacy, and protection of their customers in mind, they would effectively eliminate competition to fiat currencies, and move to an all-digital economy at the same time. While Federal Reserve officials continue to deny that they are planning to issue their own coin, they still looked into the possibility.
The crypto space is evolving rapidly, and predicting the next turn is impossible. This includes the potential direction that crypto will take, as well as the intentions and potential interventions from the governments, banks, and alike. While precious metals may come into play once again, even this is still only a speculation, with no certainty about anything at this time. One thing is certain, and that is that a big change of a financial sector is happening right now, and it will take a few years for things to stabilize again. During those years, pretty much anything is possible.
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