Pre 2018, bitcoin to become the first world currency would have been a hard sell. Nobody trusted bitcoin, it was a fad, there was little infrastructure, institutions would not touch it, and it would never be accepted by mainstream society.
But since the start of 2018, adoption has exploded, on all fronts. The December 2017 price decline was possibly one of the best things that could have happened to the industry, as more individuals and institutions were enabled to buy it at a cheaper price.
2018 – the year of Bitcoin
2018 turned out to be a completely different story than the systemic assaults that took place in 2017. Bitcoin was brought away from niche sectors and individuals to businesses, banks, and corporations. It is hard to concisely explain all the positive news that happened since the launch of bitcoin futures on December 17th, reducing the price, but increasing the adoption. The following are some of the highlights thus far.
Bitcoin was brought to mainstream attention in 2018, with the scams in the ICO industry which forced the SEC to issue clarity on the regulatory status of cryptocurrencies. SEC chair Jay Clayton would publicly declare on CNBC that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not securities, which was regarded as a major sign of legitimacy.
Regulatory guidelines would be issued across the world, and practically every jurisdiction embarked on some type of blockchain project. Countries like Malta, Japan, and Switzerland really started to advance in the sector with a number of positive regulatory guidelines and blockchain trials.
Venezuela launched its own state-backed cryptocurrency, and China announced it was also working on its own cryptocurrency. Even Central Banks would start investigating the benefits of DLT instead of mindlessly bashing the technology.
Coinbase would acquire licenses from the SEC as a broker-dealer and RIA. It would also launch a crypto index fund, open a Japanese office, and offer a suite of institutional products. Coinbase Commerce would develop features that enabled online merchants to accept bitcoin and litecoin as a form of payment on their websites.
Institutional money started to pour into the sector. Financial giant Fidelity (USD 2.4 Trillion in assets under management) quietly started working on its own cryptocurrency exchange. SBI Holdings would massively invest in blockchain technology, as would a number of other large companies. SBI would launch the worlds first bank backed cryptocurrency exchange in Japan, called ‘VCTRADE’.
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the exchange behind the NYSE, would launch Bakkt, a platform to hold and manage cryptocurrency. Bakkt is backed by Starbucks and Microsoft. Jeffrey Sprecher, Bakkt CEO, stated that bitcoin had the potential to become the first world currency, the coin of choice for global payments –
”Bitcoin would greatly simplify the movement of global money…It has the potential to become the first worldwide currency.”
Long BTC – short USD
It is hard to see at this point how bitcoin would not become the first universally accepted world currency. Obviously, there will be no official ‘swap’ of BTC for USD, or anything of the sort. But every day, more people are becoming aware of BTC, its use, and its applications. More businesses are accepting it, particularly online. And all it needs to reach is a certain minimum threshold before people ask themselves why anybody would bother with fiat.
For example, when traveling to a different country, what would be the point of exchanging one type of fiat currency for another at expensive airport FX counters? Or paying fees at ATMs? If bitcoin is accepted at outlets, it makes more sense to just use a superior means of exchange. This applies even more to people living in disadvantaged countries such as Africa or India.
The idea of a one world currency is quite silly if it is to be issued and managed by centralized authorities. But an independent world currency that is fast, free, decentralized, and immutable, makes complete and utter sense. It will be voluntarily accepted by people on a daily basis with no official announcement.
That independent currency is known as bitcoin. And it is going to become the worlds first universally accepted currency without ties to any particular nation-state.
Digital Nomad with an interest in Zen and Blockchain technology.
Law graduate with 3 years experience as a consultant in the capital markets industry and 4 years experience freelancing on UpWork as a Creative Writer.