Faktencheck Bitcoin

No one really knows the exact reasons for the sharp drop in the price this year. The first argument cited is that many people wanted to carry over their profits into this year to avoid paying tax in 2017. And secondly, we have a wave of regulatory activity all around the world that is attempting to extract the hype from the system. And, last but not least, it has frequently been suggested that because of the Chinese New Year lots of Chinese wanted to run down their investments and instead buy more presents for their loved ones. We are seeing wild price fluctuations. And they are much larger than those we are familiar with from all financial products. What has caused them? First: we analysts cannot actually determine what a healthy price is. And second, the large number of users drives up demand and sends the price soaring higher and higher but sometimes it then goes in the other direction. Bitcoin does not provide us with any basis for calculating relative prices, which is the case with stocks or homes for example. Banks have many challengers from the fintech sector and these of course include the cryptocurrencies. But we banks can also learn, we can adapt. Take payment transaction systems where we will make major progress in 2018; they now enable money transfers to be executed in just seconds. One major downside of bitcoin is its minimal user-friendliness. It is extremely difficult to open a wallet. It is very difficult to buy bitcoin on crypto-exchanges. The most difficult thing is probably the entire management of the system, You really bear sole responsibility, there’s no contact person, you don’t have any support or a bank advisor that you can contact in an emergency. My answer is a categoric no, it is not hostile to banks. Yes, it certainly is critical of banks, if one looks at its origins. After all it was founded during the financial crisis in 2009 and the founder clearly stated his intention to develop an alternative to the financial system of the time. What is often overlooked, however, is that the community also seeks to make financial products available to people who have hitherto had no access at all to banks or financial products. In developing nations, among the poorest of the poor, bitcoin could bring about major changes. And banks will also be unable to offer products there for many years to come. If we look at the technology in cryptocurrencies, one thing is clear: bitcoin does not have the best technology, but the technology can be modified. What we have learned from the history of technology is that it is not always the best technology offering the best solution that ultimately achieves market penetration and success, but rather the technology with the most users. After all, everyone talks about bitcoin, but very few members of the public can name another cryptocurrency. I would therefore not rule out bitcoin establishing itself in the crypto-world.

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