Bitcoin holders are always pleased with bump up in value, but it is even nicer still when the fundamental reason for the rise can be attributed to an industry leader outside of the crypto space that speaks eloquently about the future of virtual currencies. Such an event recently transpired when the CEO for Overstock, a direct competitor of Amazon for online retail sales, suggested that a revolution will eventually take place, when the public loses faith in fiat currencies. Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash experienced brief run ups in value, once the interview was made public.
In this case, the Bitcoin bull happens to be Patrick Byrne, the chief executive for Overstock.com, a rival of Amazon, and an early adopter of Bitcoin, having jumped on board back in 2014 to accept Bitcoins for online transactions. He told reporters that he is still expecting the imminent demise of the current established financial system, and with it, the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies as dependable stores of value.
Byrne’s actual comments were: “People turn to it where they collapse, like Venezuela or Cyprus or Syria, something like that. When people start getting into it is when their own financial systems collapse. So yes, given that I think the entire modern financial system is a big Keynesian, magic money tree Ponzi scheme, I do expect that the day will come when people turn to crypto.”
Amazon may have earned a global reputation for its success with online retailing, but Overstock remains one of its major rivals stateside. The firm competes on a broad product line, much as with Amazon, but it has supported cryptocurrency options since 2014 and continues to do so. Byrne is presently betting on many horses, so to speak, unwilling to say if he believes that Bitcoin will remain the leader for the long run. He admits in his interview that Bitcoin has “speed” issues that must be addressed, if it is to become a powerhouse at the point of sale, but he supports whoever the winner might be down the road.
The “speed” issue relates to the time it takes to update the blockchain for a single transaction. Current payment systems easily handle thousands of transactions per second, with volumes typically doubling down over the holiday season when shopping peaks across the planet. If there is an answer to this issue, technology will find it, especially if the market demands it.
For now, it is nice to accept that many citizens in varying jurisdictions are already using Bitcoin and other altcoins as a reliable “safe haven”, when and if their domestic fiat currency suddenly goes into a depreciating cycle. Just such a cycle has been transpiring in the Emerging Market sector of late. Capital flight has typically moved into U.S. Treasuries and precious metals for safety, but, this time around, a sizable portion has also moved into Bitcoin, thereby maintaining its value while equities tanked in October.