Once Bitcoin reaches its fighting weight, we probably won’t notice it. Bitcoin is just another form of currency. But the differences between life now and then will be obvious. Exchanging money will be instantaneous. There will no longer a need to wait for a check to clear, or stocks to be sold, or an insurance policy to be “cashed out.” Business is conducted between total strangers without a second thought. Avoiding certain expenses simply because the banking fees are excessive would be a thing of the past. There are no fees. At that future time, bitcoin is just as common as dollars and cents are today. Credit and debit cards disappear. There’ll be no need for them. You’ll keep your bitcoin wallet on your smartphone.
In the transition from now ’til then, from bitcoin as a curiosity to bitcoin as a commodity, your other assets do not change. Your house, which may be of average value on an average block in America, continues to be of average value. Your stocks and bonds go up and down in value as they did before and continue into the future. Gold and silver do what they have always done in providing safe haven and stability. What will change is the value of bitcoin, going from zero to its ultimate value, whatever that is. When it reaches that amount, it should become as stable as any currency can be. We live in a dynamic world. Shit happens.
When bitcoin started, it had no value. The programmers, having fun with it, got the ball rolling. Ever hear the story about the slice of pizza a programmer purchased for 10,000 bitcoin. True enough. From those early times, as people’s confidence grew in the concept and the currency, the value of bitcoin has continued to rise. As it now ‘goes parabolic’ people liken the craze to a financial investment bubble, e.g. the tulip mania of the seventeenth century in the Golden Dutch Age. Remember, the dot-com bubble of 1999? There are similarities to that bubble and what is happening around bitcoin today. At that time, anyone who could convince a group of investors to plunk down a few hundred grand could make themselves a website and a dot-com IPO. Today ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) are appearing almost daily. Someone has an idea for a cryptocurrency and Bob’s your uncle. The only thing is, Bitcoin is not a bubble or anything close to it. Bitcoin represents the birth of a new asset class, cryptocurrency based on encryption techniques and money.
What is happening at the moment with bitcoin is a once in a lifetime phenomenon. During this transition period, you can take your fiat currency and exchange it for another asset class, cryptocurrency, and ride the wave. However, these are not tidal waters which ebb and flow. Bitcoin is here to stay. The only question is how pervasive it will be in our economy. Compare it to gold. All the gold in the world weighs about 5.5 billion ounces. There are 7.5 billion people in the world. That works out to about 3/4 ounces gold per person. If the gold were distributed evenly throughout the world, each person would have about $1000 in gold. There are 21,000,000 theoretical bitcoins. At present, 16,600,000 have been mined. The rest will be mined in the coming 100 years as set out by the system’s designer, Satochi Nakamoto. If Bitcoin came to represent all wealth, as we once used gold, each bitcoin would be about $452,000.
Bitcoin grew 400% from $2450, five short months ago, to $10,929 as of this writing. On the night it hit $11,500 to set a new high, it fell 20% in the next few hours. There is no doubt that the bitcoin market is volatile, no place for the faint-hearted, timid, nervous, easily scared, fearful or afraid.