A BIG problem for Bitcoins to be called money is the store of value problem it has.. Even if we overlook all of the other risks and problems of using Bitcoins, a big problem is that over time the value is changing by large amounts. As an example, last December I setup an account with Coinbase and put in $50 USD in Bitcoin. I just checked right now and that $50USD in Bitcoin is now $20.81, for a loss of about 60% in a matter of months. Now, if prices had declined by the same amount, so the purchasing power of the original $50 was in line with prices, that might not be a problem. That has not happened so storing my $50 USD in Bitcoin is down 60%, not exactly what anyone would expect when they ‘stored’ money, in any form, for a while. One of the arguments in favor of Bitcoin is that Bitcoin avoids transaction fees and currency exchange costs, but that sort of does not work, since in this example I lost 60% to avoid a few percent in transaction fees or currency exchange costs.
Hopefully, the problem of having Bitcoins as a store of value will fix itself as there are more in circulation and the prices of the coins become less volatile when compared with other store of value and forms of money, like USD. The amount of volatility that Bitcoin should have when compared to USD should be something like interest rates and/or the real rate of inflation. Most of the recent changes in price for Bitcoins all seems to be driven by speculation, first on the spike up as speculators piled into Bitcoins as they price rose, and now on crash as people panicked and got out of Bitcoins as the prices fell, just like the crowds do in any boom and bust cycle with all market frenzies.
Louis J. Desy Jr.
Thursday, August 23, 2018