Why I Think Bitcoin Is Not Ready For Prime Time

So Bitcoin becomes the rage again for unknown reasons.  Today Bitcoin price is going through the roof.  As of this writing a single Bitcoin is equating to $2251 (US Dollar).  I can see the allures of Bitcoin, but I can also see so many drawbacks.  Let’s talk about the drawbacks shall we?

First, one of the biggest drawbacks of Bitcoin for me is not be able to sell Bitcoin anonymously through an exchange.  Instead, the exchange requires you to send your info includes your social security number before you get verified and be able to do any trading of Bitcoin.  This means if an exchange gets hack, all of  your info is going to be shared or be sold to any unknown parties.  Of course you can argue that lot of your information is already in places that are being stored online and can still be hacked easily.  I argue that at least the government agencies and banking institutions are perhaps more willing to protect your information than some Bitcoin exchanges.  Thus, hacking into these institutions may not be easily done, and once it is being done the government would definitely go after such hackers in a big way.  So, at least you know you got huge resources to look after your information in a more serious manner.

Second, another biggest drawback is that many Bitcoin exchanges cannot be trusted, because not only they’d gotten hacked way too many times before but some of them also run away with your bitcoins.  This means if an exchange decides to stop doing business and just run away with your bitcoins, you’re basically losing all of your bitcoins on a specific Bitcoin exchange.  This is why I don’t think it’s wise to store any of your bitcoins on a Bitcoin exchange besides just enough bitcoins for selling purpose.  Once buying a bitcoin on an exchange it’s wise to transfer the bitcoin out of the exchange immediately and into your more secure Bitcoin wallet that stores on your local machine/computer.

Third, another biggest drawback is that you can lose all of your bitcoins easily if a computer that you’re using to store all of your bitcoins got corrupted hard drives.  This means if you cannot rescue a specific corrupted hard drive that stores all of your bitcoins, you basically lose all of your bitcoins forever.  Thus, I think some people may adopt storing their bitcoins on multiple machines in multiple wallets, so they don’t have to worry about having all of their eggs in one basket.  Some people also do backups for their Bitcoin wallets’ data to ensure that Bitcoin wallets’ data won’t get corrupted easily.  It is also wise to encrypt the partition or partitions that you store your Bitcoin wallets’ data, and only this way you can protect your bitcoins from being stolen easily.  Basically, encrypting a partition on top of already encrypted Bitcoin wallet’s data is like having one more security layer.

Fourth, another biggest drawback is that Bitcoin is still not being accepted widely.  Sure, there are many places that may accept Bitcoin, but there are also so many many places that do not accept Bitcoin.

Fifth, another biggest drawback is that Bitcoin can be confusing for people who have no experiences with computer.  Some people in older generations will not be able to understand how to use Bitcoin, and so it’s going to be exotic and hard to use for them.  To use Bitcoin, one must know how to securely protect your bitcoins in a Bitcoin wallet and on a secure machine, but these measures are probably just gibberish for people who do not have the ability to use computers correctly.  Especially, if they do not know how to use computer in a secure manner, they are going to get hack easily and lose all of their bitcoins.

Sixth, another biggest drawback is that many governments are not recognizing Bitcoin as currency, and so Bitcoin is in a grey area in which so many different laws are being applied to Bitcoin.  This means you have to use Bitcoin differently in each country, and so laws that regulate Bitcoin in one country doesn’t behave similarly to laws in another country.  Of course you can argue that cash are not the same in all countries, but cash are legal tender — thus there are specified laws that may apply on the usage of cash even though such cash are not printed in the specific country or countries.  Some governments are outright hostile toward Bitcoin, thus they’re banning Bitcoin outright.

Seventh, another biggest drawback is that some governments are making you as a target of investigation for using Bitcoin, because they think Bitcoin is a way to facilitate dirty money.

These are the drawbacks and other drawbacks that I may not have stated that prevent me from seeing Bitcoin as a sure way that can replace the traditional money.  Furthermore, I like to have the option of Bitcoin and digital currencies and traditional currencies in digital forms, but I also like even more to see that traditional currencies in the form of cash that do not go away.  Why?  Anything that is tangible is definitely harder to be erased and made disappear.  This means your wealth can be protected better even it means securing them under your mattresses.  If your wealth can just go poof in an instant, it means your wealth is not being secured in a correct form or forms.  Because Bitcoin has so many weaknesses, I think it’s not wise to convert a huge portion of your wealth into bitcoins at all.

People’s Bank of China Creates Chinese Digital Currency To Hedge Against Upcoming Collapses of Fiat Currencies

According to various news sources and Simon Dixon, People’s Bank of China has announced China’s own digital currency.  According to Mr. Simon Dixon, China is buying up gold and announcing digital currency to hedge against the upcoming biggest collapse of most fiat currencies in the world.  Near the end of his video, Mr.  Simon Dixon says people may adopt China’s digital currency, but this will encourage many more people to use Bitcoin.  Mr.  Simon Dixon thinks that Bitcoin is more attractive to people since it got no governments’ censures.

In my opinion, any government has the ability to outlaw Bitcoin.  I think Bitcoin might not have such a bright future when China herself is creating a brand new digital currency.  If China is going to be successful in convincing her own people and other peoples to use her digital currency, she can totally outlaw Bitcoin.  Once Bitcoin is being outlawed in China, China’s own digital currency will continue on to be one of the future, central crypto currencies.

Of course, any other government besides Chinese government can follow China’s playbook and come up with another government’s digital currency.  Thus, I don’t think China will be the only country that would create a government sanction digital currency.  I guess it would be fun to see a government sanctions another with outlawing another government digital currency within one’s own territory.

In the video, Mr.  Simon Dixon suggests that China may use the brand new digital currency to implement quantitative easing.  Instead of printing more fiat currency, China may as well create the second tier monetary system such as digital currency to help ease the many debt related bubbles that fiat currency has been creating.  It’s an interesting idea for sure, but I think only China would know what she will do with her brand new digital currency.  I guess time will tell.

Check out Mr.  Simon Dixon’s video on People’s Bank of China creates a Chinese digital currency in the video right after the break.  Enjoy!

Stanford Seminar’s YouTube Video On Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a new phenomenon for currency in general, and so people will definitely have all sorts of beliefs about it.  Obviously, some people have already thought that Bitcoin is a newest hoax yet that is out to get peoples’ money.  Some other people think Bitcoin is like a hybrid of ponzi and pyramid schemes where the ones who played with Bitcoin first would be the only ones that got all the profits and benefits, the ones who come in now are going to go broke as they will lose their money.  Some other people though think Bitcoin has the potential of becoming the global currency where there are pockets of regulations in corresponding governments, but the Bitcoin’s true values will lie with the people (hence how some people proclaim that Bitcoin is paupers’ money or poor peoples’ money).  Regardless of peoples’ different views on Bitcoin, in the end we have to wonder will Bitcoin be around for another 100 years?

My honest thought on Bitcoin is that I’m not sure Bitcoin could be around for another 100 years since someone might be able to break its’ encryption algorithm which is there to protect Bitcoin’s inherent values.  Nonetheless, I do think that paupers’ money in the electronic/digital form will be around for another 100 years and beyond unless the people of the world in whatever timeframe, beyond now, decide that they rather do business and communicate through media that aren’t Internet/digital things.  Imagine how the world will change radically when paupers’ money suddenly become the reality, because money will be changed hand much easier and globally.  Just like how the Internet had transformed commerce, information, business, retailing and whatever else that the Internet has had and will be transforming next; paupers’ money will probably transform many things on such a manner and scale.

Anyhow, I thought I would share with you guys a Stanford seminar’s YouTube video on Bitcoin.  In this video, a BTC China Bitcoin exchange’s CEO, Bobby C. Lee, shares his thoughts and beliefs on Bitcoin and the future of Bitcoin.  Anyhow, check it out right after the break!

Can Bitcoin Be Real Money?

The bitcoin logo

The bitcoin logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bitcoin is all the rage recently as value per Bitcoin has climbed really high.  As I’m writing this blog post, it’s about $866 per Bitcoin.  Furthermore, more reputable businesses are beginning to join the fun by accepting Bitcoin as payment for business transactions.  With Bitcoin is moving toward mainstream or so as people think it is doing so, we have to wonder how long will Bitcoin would shine right?

As we all know, money has to be backed by something.  Sure, money can be in various currencies, but all currencies have to be backed by something.  In the antiquity time, countries accepted all sorts of bartering items as currencies.  Nonetheless, most of those bartering items could not withstand the test of time.  Gold is one of those few bartering items that have withstood the test of time thus far.  Gold could be used as money in the antiquity time, and even today some parts of the world are still accepting gold as real money.

How can gold be so resilient against time?  For obvious reasons such as scarcity and so forth, gold cannot be seen as just another bartering item.  Scarcity is important, but gold has one more trait that is very very important.  People have often overlooked that gold has always been special throughout the globe and through time.  By special I meant since the antiquity people have found gold to be valuable and sexy.  Since the whole world is being captivated by gold since the antiquity, therefore gold cannot be easily discarded in time.

Bitcoin might have the appealing of gold if it can convince people that it too can be valuable and sexy, worldwide.  As I have mentioned earlier, money (currencies) have to be backed by something, and so we have to wonder what is backing Bitcoin, right?  I think what is backing Bitcoin is how people put Bitcoin into practice throughout the world.

Nonetheless, without a specific government endorsement, can Bitcoin last?  I think Bitcoin is special in that it’s not being bounded or controlled by a specific government, and yet the people throughout the world are willing to have faith in Bitcoin.  With that being said, if Bitcoin doesn’t have the appealing of scarcity, it would probably be just another funny money (i.e., monopoly money).

Bitcoin can be scarce since it does require tremendous amount of effort in mining it.  For an example, one has to be spending real money to buy expensive hardware before one can mine Bitcoin effectively.  One might have to mine 24/7 for months and years before one can have few Bitcoins.  Now, if one is really rich and wealthy, one can build many Bitcoin mining rigs that can churn out Bitcoin really fast.  It is all about being rich in the first place, right?  There is a saying and it might go like this, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

In summary, I think Bitcoin can be real money, but for how long I won’t know.  I know though that if people around the world use Bitcoin as money, then Bitcoin won’t easily be discarded.  If the whole world is using Bitcoin, then not a single country can stop Bitcoin from being used as money.  If the whole world is using Bitcoin, then politics will become less important when it comes down to currency manipulation.  Bitcoin can be traced just like how cash can be traced, but both Bitcoin and cash can be way more stealthy than most forms of currencies.  With stealth as one of its awesome traits, Bitcoin can definitely be facilitated as cash-like money.  With all of that being said, Bitcoin isn’t cash since it’s not physical.  Since Bitcoin has to be used in a digital form, it might just be inconvenient enough that some people will not want to use Bitcoin as their money.  Invention such as smartphone apps to facilitate the Bitcoin transactions might help Bitcoin to be seen as physical cash, because there are so many people who carry their smartphones around.