Despite the fact that Bitcoin has been around for over eleven years and has gained numerous supporters over the course of its existence, there are still multiple misconceptions associated with it, further endorsed even by notorious financial institutions like Golden Sachs. They are based on faulty analysis, irrelevant arguments, and outdated information. The ultimate goal of understanding Bitcoin can be achieved by providing every one of such questionable statements with facts and explanations.
Myth #1: Bitcoin’s volatility obstructs it to be a trustworthy financial asset
In reality: It actually proves the credibility of its monetary policy
People criticize Bitcoin for its fluctuations in price and see this as an obstacle to being stable or a favorable unit for storing and investing. There’s a microeconomic politics trilemma called The Impossible Trinity which explains why it can’t be any other way. Simplified, you can only have two of the three factors in a monetary unit: fixed exchange rate, independent monetary policy, and free capital movement. Any one of these factors would contradict the other two. For Bitcoin, the odd one is the fixed exchange rate. Fiat money follows the principle as well and Bitcoin’s volatility is nothing but the logical outcome based on this trilemma. Moreover, Bitcoin’s volatility declines over time. The more it is adapted, the less the fluctuations in price will be in their amplitude. Bitcoin’s purchasing power, as a result, has also shown growth despite all the volatility. Its price has been increasing by roughly 200 percent every year since 2011 despite the fluctuations within the year itself. Since 2014 it has also shown growth as demonstrated by the lowest price each year.
Myth #2: Bitcoin is an isolated form of payment that is used by a small number of people
In reality: Bitcoin has full potential to become the payment instrument of the future
People question Bitcoin’s capabilities of being a proper investment active that won’t disappear and lose its worth one day. Another argument is that it doesn’t hold any value in it. Contrary to these arguments, Bitcoin possesses positive characteristics which can make it the equivalent of gold but in the digital world. It is transparent, divisible, safe to use, and verifiable. Experts expect continuous growing demand for Bitcoin. Currently, its market capitalization is 2 percent of that of gold.
Myth #3: Continuous forks and copies will eventually lead Bitcoin to lose its value
In reality: Bitcoin’s value can’t be duplicated by software alone
Bitcoin’s software is free and open-code and technically, anyone could copy it, just like users can make copies of digital files. However, this won’t necessarily increase the number of Bitcoins themselves in circulation and the new networks still comply with the same sets of rules and principles. Instead, it stimulates the market and gives the opportunity to create new projects and coins. Bitcoin still stays deficit and the number of new coins created doesn’t equal in value to the original Bitcoins. It was proven that forks still couldn’t influence Bitcoin’s number of active users, hashpower, and liquidity.
Myth #4: Bitcoin is mainly used for performing criminal and illegal operations
In reality: It is against any form of censorship
Everything that people don’t completely understand they generally label as bad or dangerous. This is the case with Bitcoin which is criticized for financing criminal and illegal operations. At its inception, it was accused of hosting a black market platform. In reality, Bitcoin is negative towards any case of censorship and puts this principle among its core values. The platform itself is as helpful to criminals as any asset in the real world, be it the Internet or mobile phones. The percentage of Bitcoin operations connected to illegal activity is actually less than 1 percent, so it is surely not used exclusively to fund crimes. Moreover, most illicit activity still happens with fiat as demonstrated by both absolute and relative terms.
Myth #5: Bitcoin is a waste of energy
In reality: It uses more resources than gold or banks but for the sake of safer transactions
The hefty sums of money accumulated as a result of mining Bitcoin are posed as a guarantee that the transaction was made. Bitcoin’s supporters see this as its fundamental difference of the cryptocurrency from other forms of using energy. They claim that there’s a balance between the calculations made and the safety of the transaction. While Bitcoin spends more in one place, it uses less in other aspects. The estimated dollar cost of Bitcoin mining per GJ spent is 40 times more efficient than traditional banking, and 10 times more efficient than gold mining. It also uses renewable energy and has the intention to solve the problem of regions that have unused power.
While Bitcoin is relatively complicated and new, it shouldn’t discourage its critics from doing proper research based on facts and logic rather than indulging in urban legends about it. There should be a constructive debate between its supporters and protestors. So far, Bitcoin has proven to be a good candidate for the role of the digital money of the future, to use power effectively, to have credible monetary policy, to be censorship-resistant, and independent of fork and copies.
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