Bitcoin as a financial pyramid
The development of the crypto currency has, it seems, entered the bubble stage. For those who invest money and efforts now, the main gain will consist of investments of money and efforts of those who will come tomorrow. And tomorrow they will hope that their investments will be rewarded with money and efforts of those who will come the day after tomorrow. It is clear that such a pyramid can not work forever and at some point - six months later, as in the case of the MMM in Russia, or 40 years later, as in the case of the Bernard Madoff investment fund in the US - the next arriving in the market will pay the investments of the previous ones, not having received nothing in return.
The symptoms of the bladder are mostly indirect. This summer, Vedomosti also wrote about the sale of turnkey farms for mining - kits for the production of bitcoins and other crypto-currencies, and about the shortage in the video card market for personal computers, the key device in this production. The fact that wide segments of the population are becoming involved in this activity is another indirect sign. Of course, like in any pyramid, there are people who will win - those who took part early enough and decisively got rid of assets before they fall in price.
Crypto-currencies create new ways of raising capital
The crypto currency of the bitcoin type has an important advantage over conventional currencies: they do not have a single issuing center, a place in which the amount of currency in circulation can arbitrarily increase. Why is the world trusted by the dollar (or the euro, or the Swiss franc)? Because a person who keeps dollars at home or at the bank believes that the American (European, Swiss) government will not suddenly decide to print more dollars. And also this person knows that hundreds of millions of people in the world also believe in this. Formally, the monetary policy is determined by the central bank, whose leadership is appointed by the president with the consent of the parliament, but the belief in the stability of currencies is determined by the belief in the stability of the political system as a whole. In the case of bitcoin, there is no such problem - the algorithm known to all guarantees that "additional emission" is impossible. Otherwise, bitcoin differs little from the currencies of Japan, the United Kingdom or Switzerland - its value is determined by how many people it uses. While this number is growing, the value is increasing, but it is difficult to imagine that it will someday grow into a number, for example, Swiss francs, which for almost all people in the world are not an investment asset.
This does not mean that I'm somehow against the bitcoins. The idea is excellent, the algorithm is original, and in the development of private currencies there is nothing wrong. The more reliable currencies, the better. If someone is mining bitcoins replaces a game on a computer or a video game console - this can only be welcomed. But if someone sells a car or pawns an apartment to invest everything in mining, it's a mistake. Such a person is motivated not by calculation, but by the same unhealthy excitement that all financial pyramids fed from the "tulipmania" of the mid-17th century. to the present day.