Tired of hearing bankers and the media tell you Bitcoin is finished, but everyone loves the blockchain? Worry not, the technology still has plenty of cheerleaders in high places – and investment money is still rolling in.
Investment Flows Negate Naysayers
The latest high-profile figure to remind us of Bitcoin’s importance is Arthur Levitt, former chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Levitt warned against paying too much attention to those who talk Bitcoin down, writing in American Banker:
Naysayers love to nay. And the Bitcoin skeptics – of which there are many – are at it again […] We have a little secret for all of those who once again have predicted bitcoin’s imminent demise: They’re wrong.
Levitt’s comments came as the Bitcoin and blockchain industry received an investment surge of $290 million for the first half of 2016, according to a report from Juniper Research.
More than half that total went to: Circle Internet Financial, Inc. ($60m Series D in June with a drive to capture the Chinese market), Blockstream ($55m Series A in February) and Digital Asset Holdings LLC ($52m in January).
Fintech applications within the banking sector still receives most of the investment capital, the report added, although there is increasing diversification overall.
Not Just the First World
In his article, Levitt shot down one of the naysayers’ chief arguments against Bitcoin – that no-one needs it in a world of electronic cash and credit cards.
A third of the world’s population doesn’t even have access to savings accounts or credit cards, he wrote. Bitcoin and blockchain offer “a more global, open and efficient system” that could provide financial reliability for everyone from women in Afghanistan to the suffering residents of Venezuela, both of whom have been let down by the legacy financial system.
Mobile and smartphone penetration into all quarters of the world, which in some cases surpassed access to basic services like plumbing, will likely see alternative financial solutions like Bitcoin prosper in the coming years.
Bitcoin is Resilient
Other points Levitt targeted were accusations that Bitcoin value is too volatile and lacks resilience in the face of major events.
Calling them “Bitcoin’s two incurable diseases” Levitt pointed to the example of the UK’s “Brexit” vote, during which the pound plummeted in value but Bitcoin remained stable. Bitcoin’s global nature makes it more resilient to geopolitical risk, especially when the issue at hand is localized.
Do you agree with Levitt? Is Bitcoin’s future more likely to lie with the unbanked than in the developed world?