Ryan Van Wagenen has been with Global Private Equity since 2009 and is currently focused on the technology sector. With this involvement has come involvement in recent years with cryptocurrency and other digital currency. Bitcoin was first introduced in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto and since then, it has steadily gained interest from investors and the media. Bitcoin hit $11,000 per coin in 2017, but its value dropped below $8000 in the first three months of 2018. Economic and financial experts are still expecting Bitcoin to stay robust and eventually make a deep and lasting impact on the global economy. Those who want to invest in Bitcoin should know how this digital currency will shape markets and economies in the future.
Since Bitcoin is unregulated and based only on data, it allows unrestrained access to a safe credit system. This digital currency will continue to connect people and global merchants, creating new opportunities and markets that will improve economic growth. Bitcoin doesn’t require withholding taxes and excessive transaction fees.
While the digital revolution that is taking place today is expected to transform the economic landscape in various ways, it’s not yet known how Bitcoin can replace the current monetary system. More and more people are conducting their transactions online as it’s a more convenient way of paying for services and products. Many people who are already using Bitcoin wallets have confidence that their digital currency offers the same level of safety as real money.
Remittances drive growth for economies that depend greatly on its overseas workforce. Banks that facilitate money transfers change exorbitant transaction and processing fees. Transaction time is also quite slow. It usually takes at least seven days before the receiving party can get the money. With Bitcoin, people don’t need to deal with costly transaction and processing fees. Bitcoin conversions are simpler and don’t involve such costs. No middleman is required for authenticating or authorizing transactions. Transactions are completed within minutes. Overseas workers can be expected to depend on Bitcoin as a more affordable and convenient way of sending money to their loved ones.
Ryan Van Wagenen of Global Private Equity has seen a lot in cryptocurrency in recent years and firmly believes that although Bitcoin offers a number of benefits, it has its own share of risks as well. By removing the middleman, cryptocurrencies are causing a vast disturbance to the global payment system. Centralized payment processing protocol aims to prevent funding for terrorist activities, illegal trade in ammunition and drugs and money laundering. Since there is no central authority when it comes to cryptocurrencies, it becomes more difficult to determine the identities of participants and trace transactions. Financial institutions such as central banks don’t have control over the blockchain and its operations. Cryptocurrencies may disrupt the Central Banking system and change the concept of money.
As Bitcoin becomes more popular and starts finding its place in more traditional exchanges, its value may drop due to pressure from traders who can bet against it. Harvard economist, Kenneth Rogoff has shared his concern and feels 10 years from now there is a greater likelihood of bitcoin falling to $100 than rising to $100,000. The possibility to trade futures could also increase Bitcoin’s cryptocurrency’s volatility. Bitcoin (BTC) is mined using a complex hardware and software infrastructure system. Although it is not mined in the literal sense of the word, manufacturing Bitcoin impacts the environment in various ways. For instance, the servers used to mine Bitcoin consume a large amount of energy. Environmental legislation will need to be implemented to address energy consumption associated with Bitcoin mining.
Ryan Van Wagenen points out that Bitcoin and digital transactions have become more common over the last few years, prompting central banks to start putting informal financial system under control. This will lead to suppositions on the financial bubbles that Bitcoin will possibly cause and the implementation of legislature that addresses cryptocurrencies. In fact, certain measures like implementing a tax system and controlling the currency supply are being considered to hinder the growth of Bitcoin. For those who are interested in buying Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as an investment, proceeding with caution is advised.
Ryan Van Wagenen Cryptocurrency: Bitcoin 101
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