To commemorate the one year anniversary of 2017’s Bitcoin (BTC) peak, Bloomberg, who has recently become a topic of controversy in the cryptosphere, hosted a “Bull vs. Bear” panel. On one side was Ryan Selkis, the chief executive of crypto asset research group Messari, and a number of pro-crypto Bloomberg reporters. On the other side was a few skeptics, including Bitcoin at $1,500 forecaster Mike McGlone. Although Selkis was seemingly outnumbered, as he was the only industry insider rooting for cryptocurrencies, the former Digital Currency Group executive made it clear why he sees immense value in this budding asset class.
Bitcoin’s Killer Application Is Money — Hard Stop
Caroline Hyde, a host at the outlet, asked Selkis about what cryptocurrencies’ killer application truly is, jabbing at the fact that CryptoKitties — once lauded as the key to global adoption — had seemingly disappeared off Earth’s face.
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Selkis, seemingly taken aback by the question, responded by simply stating that the original use case for blockchain-based assets, namely Bitcoin, is “money.” The startup chief explained that even if cryptocurrencies capture one-quarter of offshore banking and emerging market reserves, this space would swell to a $10 trillion valuation, no questions asked. Selkis even noted that cryptos capturing this demand isn’t out of the realm of possibility, explaining that this use case alone makes it a promising investment, even on a short-term basis.
However, the member of Messari’s top brass made it clear that using BTC as money on the day-to-day isn’t currently feasible. Yet, Selkis noted that this has begun this shift, likely touching on the copious amounts of pro-scalability development on the Lightning Network, coupled with the launch of the Liquid protocol.
Bitcoin A Great Hedge In “Inflationary Recession”
Since the American economy bounced off 2008’s dismal low, assets, namely stocks, have undergone an unprecedented rally. QQQ, an exchange-traded fund (ETF) encompassing the top 100 companies (primarily tech firms) listed on Nasdaq, is up 450% in a decade’s time. The SPDR Homebuilders ETF, which holds large positions in development groups, construction giants, and appliance providers, has also boomed, posting a 300% gain since the collapse of the global housing bubble.
And although hundreds of skeptics crucify cryptocurrencies for being situated in a “bubble,” sentiment has begun to show that the traditional markets’ decade-long boom is breathing its last breaths. Case in point, U.S. Treasury note yields have begun to falter, an evident sign of a slowing economy in the eyes of many analysts. Others critics of centralized markets have looked to the rapid growth in global debt. As noted by Alistar Milne, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur with a penchant for crypto, worldwide debt has now surpassed $184 trillion, a staggering $86,000 per person and 225% of global GDP.
These fears that the end is nigh haven’t even gone unnoticed, as the U.S. stock market has already begun to show signs of uncertainty. Joseph Young, a crypto journalist, recently accentuated the fact that bubbles do exist outside of cryptocurrency, as major stocks have recently undergone strong legs to the downside. This, of course, is contrary to what institutional incumbents want consumers to think.
Acknowledging all this, the Messari chief, who did a stint at JP Morgan prior to the Great Recession, noted that “at some point” (maybe now), capital markets will undergo an “inflationary recession.” Continuing to paint a foreboding picture for centralized assets, like stocks, government bonds, and fiat, Selkis noted that investors will “flock” to stores of value, like a digital gold, in trying times. As it stands, the digital embodiment of gold is best represented by Bitcoin, and as such, BTC would likely see an influx of buying pressure once consumers lose faith in traditional markets.
Selkis isn’t the only prominent industry participant to have equated cryptocurrencies, namely Bitcoin, to digital stores of value. As reported by NewsBTC previously, Lou Kerner, a co-founder and partner at CryptoOracle, exclaimed that Bitcoin “is the greatest store of value ever created,” adding that the market capitalization of BTC will eventually surpass that of physical gold. Crypto-friendly Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, echoed this sentiment in an interview with CNBC, telling the outlet that Bitcoin is the only “pure digital gold,” due to its unique nature as a scarce and decentralized asset.
Even Adam Back, CEO of Blockstream and the creator of HashCash (a Proof of Work system behind Bitcoin’s mining protocol), claimed that BTC could see another parabolic rally on the sole fact that the asset is digital gold. Back explained that BTC is censorship-resistant, unlike gold, and it exists as digital money for the internet.
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