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Is Bitcoin a fraud?

a hand dropping a handful of coins representing bitcoin tokens

Cryptocurrencies are not fraud. Another thing is that criminals and speculators are taking advantage, that it is a real and realistic alternative to money right now or that it is viable in the long term. You are asking yourself the wrong questions.

That criminals have taken advantage of Bitcoin, for putting a cryptocurrency (right now there are 8,000 indexed currencies), to launder money or that the hitting culture is treating (and has treated cryptocurrencies in the last nine years) as if they were stock market peas. it means that the model is a fraud. In other words: the fact that there has been fraud taking advantage of the model does not mean that the model is fraudulent. Money is also laundered in dollars and in euros, and the dollar and the euro, as far as we know, are not a fraud. And, in the same way, although cryptocurrencies have been treated as a financial product, they are not an investment product per se either.. Not to mention that cryptocurrencies, as an investment, are tremendously volatile: today, a Bitcoin is worth 47,964 euros; 24 hours ago, 48,133 euros and on February 28 it was at 38,707 euros, but on February 23 it had reached 44,724 euros. And if you think of cryptocurrencies as an investment, it might have made sense to have invested in Bitcoin in 2009, like brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (the guys who denounced Mark Zuckerberg for ‘stealing’ their Facebook idea), and not now, when the chicharro This term on the Stock Market, which is used to refer to small, low-quality companies that sometimes have big rises, usually thanks to speculation, is already too mature. The problem, as always, are the questions we ask ourselves. You wonder if Bitcoin is a fraud, and you should be asking yourself other questions. Is there a real advantage right now to using cryptocurrencies instead of money? Is speculation with cryptocurrencies discrediting a model that could be interesting as a complementary economic transaction model? Does the technology behind cryptocurrencies have value? Were cryptocurrencies ready for public exposure so soon?

Why is cryptocurrencies still defended as a fraud? “I think it is necessary to make it clear that cryptocurrencies are not a fraud in themselves, in any case it is people who commit fraud, either with cryptocurrencies or with legal tender. However, since it is an exclusively technological product and Currently highly speculative, and which aims to operate outside the established legal frameworks, it can be seen by those who commit criminal behavior as a perfect means to earn money without being detected by the authorities. Likewise, the lack of knowledge or information can also encourage its users to be victims of scams or simply their bad decisions “, explains Benja Andamientos, professor of Financial and Tax Law at the UOC and an expert in cryptocurrencies.

“On the other hand, I also believe that, given the threat posed by cryptocurrencies to central banks, one way to discredit their use and buy time so that legal tender digital currencies can be put into circulation is precisely to encourage this discourse from the estates precisely to induce the general belief that cryptocurrencies are a fraud and stop their widespread use. I am convinced that, once the digital currencies of central banks have been put into circulation, technology companies and companies will be allowed to financial companies do the same under strict regulation and control of the former, “continues AnGLES.

Cryptocurrencies are not a pyramid scam either. “On the one hand, there are people who invest in something without understanding it just because the value rises. On the other, the project of a decentralized global payment platform. When it is said that if it is a pyramid scam: absolutely not. A pyramid scam occurs when You promise a fixed return on the annual investment and you give that return with what the new investors put in. Nobody here offers a monthly return. Here what is there is that if this gets big, if it ends up working and ends up being used, You can pay in all places, people will need to buy Bitcoin. As there is a limited number there is a situation of supply and demand. If the supply is limited and the demand grows, the price has to rise. That is what people who believe in Bitcoin believe it has to come to pass. There are no dividends. You only earn money if you end up using a lot. If it is not used, it will have no value “, explains Víctor García Font, professor of Computer Science and Multimedia Studies at the UOC, and an expert in blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

“It is true that there are certain criminal activities that have seen the potential of cryptocurrencies to use them to their advantage. Anyway, if we look in which currencies the main criminal activities are committed, it is not in cryptocurrencies, but in dollars and euros. Most of the drug trafficking is done in dollars. And most of the money put in these environments is not for criminal activities. Most of it is for trading, which in my opinion does not benefit cryptocurrencies, but at least brings liquidity Works of art were also used to traffic drugs … and to conclude that art only serves to traffic drugs would not be correct, “he adds.

One of the requirements for a currency to be created (and to last over time) is that it has the agreement of all. Is this the main problem so that, apart from the speculative bubble, cryptocurrencies become a real alternative to traditional money? “Certainly, the use of a cryptocurrency or any other means of payment requires the agreement of the parties involved in an economic transaction, so that, until all market operators accept its use, it will be very difficult for them to convert. in an alternative to the legal tender currencies. If in addition, the regulator is not by the work so that this is possible, because more difficult if not impossible it will be that they obtain it “, points Angles.

“However, the main problem for them to become an alternative to traditional money is the refusal of countries and their central banks to lose one of their main elements of sovereignty: the creation of currency and control of the monetary system. Cryptocurrencies are a real threat against the current ‘status quo’ of central banks and other organizations and financial institutions that regulate and control the global market for legal tender and, indirectly, the financial system, “continues AnGLES. “In this regard, some central banks have already started to move and we will soon see legal tender digital currencies in circulation. China has announced the ‘digital yuan’ for next year,

Bitcoin: A limited number of operations per second

“You really have to take cryptocurrencies as if they were start-ups that are just starting. Bitcoin is a payment network. If I go down to the corner store, I see that I cannot pay with bitcoins. In fact, Bitcoin has technical problems that make that is not yet scalable. It works because it has few users. If we all had to pay right now as we pay with a traditional credit card, it would not work. It would not work because it accepts a limited number of operations per second. Work is being done to scale this , but it has not been solved yet. It will take a while. Bitcoin is working as a kind of digital gold, where you do not need to make many transactions, but large and few transactions are made. We will see if it consolidates. It is a very volatile investment and with a lot of risk “,warns García Font.

So is it a problem of timing? Have cryptocurrencies gained ‘notoriety’ before they were mature? “That popularity should have come when it would have been more mature … probably … is one of the risks of getting involved in all this. If someone has only gotten involved because the price goes up a lot and does not understand what is behind all this, if the Price goes down, they don’t care anymore. If someone gets involved because they believe in decentralized technology and that this can solve problems, the fact that it can go down for a while shouldn’t be a problem. If you take cryptocurrency as a start-up: If the idea is to have a global payment platform, until you have it, the start-up has not concluded “, replies García Font.

Can it really be used now? Is there movement to be interested in using it or is it too early? “It depends on what you want it for. If you are an entrepreneur and want to set up a new business model, this will help you. Decentralization opens up business opportunities. If you are a mere user and you like decentralization. If you spend your money on bitcoin there are very few stores that accept cryptocurrencies. There is no yes or no. If you have a new business model, well yes, you may need to buy Ether in order to use Ethereum. Or if you are an immigrant and need to transfer money to your country of origin, the same is more costly to use a cryptocurrency than to make a bank transfer, “he concludes.

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Written by Saif Ali Tai

Saif Ali Tai. What's up, I'm Saif Ali Tai. I'm a software engineer living in India. . I am a fan of technology, entrepreneurship, and programming.

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