Despite the huge recent rise for Bitcoin, going from a recent low of $3,226 in September to a massive $17,000 on Thursday, some believe that this could be a massive bubble that will simply not last.
The recent increased popularity seems to stem from huge investors who are on the verge of joining the Bitcoin craze. Both the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange both plan to start trading Bitcoin futures later on in the months.
However, the regulators seem spooked. The UK is planning a crackdown by forcing the users to disclose their identity, and the US has recently won a case against Coinbase to disclose user information. This is because of the wide gap between the number of Bitcoin traders and the number of reporting gains for tax purposes.
The financial system is also concerned, and a number of large Wall Street banks fear that the futures trading will actually be too volatile, undermining exchange stability.
Fraud is a big threat, as there is no legal recourse for those robbed because of the anonymous, decentralised nature of the beast. Bitcoin has been the subject of hackers on a number of occasions.
The various different vulnerabilities that can be seen in Bitcoin could be what ultimately pops this bubble and causes Bitcoin to come crashing down.
This is not the only concern though. Bitcoin is unsuitable for smaller transactions because of the processing delays that it has, which has caused a rise in other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum. This is making the competition heat up as well, with increased popularity in other currencies; not to mention other services such as Apple Pay and Venmo. The latter are backed by legal tender as well, which means that there are no tax implications, unlike Bitcoin transactions.
That said, the Bitcoin bulls still do have a strong case. Bitcoin cannot exceed the predetermined cap. Bitcoin also has an advantage over other cryptocurrencies as well, as a first mover, as well as lending liquidity and marketing benefits that others do not.
Original Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/8294554555