Bitcoin (and others) are still disrupting the banking world – and growing up

Image by AntonioGuillem | Bigstockphoto

Bitcoin, whose history has been as fascinating as it has been disruptive has always been something that grown-ups in banks looked upon as an unruly child. The trouble is that the child is becoming an adult, and its tantrums are now causing real waves.

The volatility of Bitcoin is well documented and, to overstretch a metaphor, not unlike a teenager. The mood swings, the door slamming, the parental frustrations are all there, as it breached $10,000, collapsed, recovered, breached $20,000, came to the table and began to grow in an ‘Oh, my! Last time I saw you, you were so high’ kind of way. The price (at the time of writing) is over $45,000.

Bitcoin, and the cryptocurrency world in general, has grown up but growing up makes it no less disruptive. It makes it more so.

Recent news items have shown just how disruptive. Tesla, itself a disruptor, invested recently, which dismayed many in the Establishment and delighted Bitcoin investors as it boosted the price. As King Lip, chief strategist at Baker Avenue Wealth Management, whose firm is a Tesla investor, said: “This is better for Bitcoin than it is for Tesla.”

Other firms were immediately contacted and asked whether they were considering investing in Bitcoin – and told, almost unanimously ‘no.’

Cryptocurrencies once feared and therefore hated by banks and other financial institutions, are here to stay. Over the last few years, we have seen countries try and regulate them, others try to lead in their trading, others still proposed global cryptocurrencies, to beat them at their own game.

There are obviously the dark places when it comes to Bitcoin, particularly. According to Reuters, a mere 270 crypto addresses laundered $1.3 billion of dirty money and, of course, there is the ‘minor’ and possibly amusing problem (unless you happen to be the owner) that if you forget your Bitcoin password, you cannot get your cash, which is going to sting as you stare at a potential gain of $22 million.

Tesla investing in Bitcoin will certainly set the cat among the pigeons and, let’s face, we would expect nothing less of Monsieur Musk, but most companies will shy away from that level of acceptance and commitment. For the moment.

Mind you, they may shy away from investing, but you can certainly expect more and more companies to accept Bitcoin payments which, while possibly hypocritical, is only human nature.

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