The naysayers must be starting to feel a little bit foolish as bitcoin surges past the US$9000 mark. The cryptocurrency was deemed to be overpriced at $5000, expensive at $6000 and the beginnings of a dangerous bubble at $7000.
Currently sitting at $9600, the currency seems to be heading in only one direction, and despite concern from some quarters, analysts say that most of the value is coming from an extraordinary uptake by the general public. But is this more to do with the psychology of society at the moment, than it is about finding a better way of exchanging value?
Unusual election results and the rising popularity of fringe political parties have shown the disdain a lot of people now have for standard political process, and perhaps bitcoin is the financial version of a, “protest vote.” For many years, banking fees and a lack of options have frustrated societies around the world, and bitcoin is the first tangible product that can be used without a bank’s direct involvement.
Evidence for this could found in the way people are using bitcoins – not only for investment but also transactions. Businesses – and not only those selling grey market prescriptions on the Internet – are encouraging purchasing through bitcoins with substantial discounts and incentives. With more start-ups being focused on the blockchain than ever before, it remains to be seen exactly how long it will take until all transactions can be removed from traditional banks, but it appears that this is a matter of when, not if.
Most important is education. With only a small portion of the population still well-versed in exactly how bitcoin works, the surge in uptake and popularity seems to be limitless – at least at this stage. Maturity will tell a different story, but that is a long way off and if the indicators are anything to go by, this is not the end of the, “bubble”