Bitcoin has reached more than $9,000, will it ever stop going up?
Whether considered a « bubble » by some or a « revolution » by others, Bitcoin is still a topic of debate which has a strong capacity to unchain passions… unbothered by that, its value keeps rising steadily, reaching $9,000 earlier this week. Tristan Colombet, CEO of DomRaider — one of the first French companies to launch an alternative currency fund raising — spoke to Forbes France about the current state and future developments of the ‘king’ Bitcoin. Here’s below the interview translated in English.
After a hectic summer during which Bitcoin was divided into two separate currencies (the original Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash), many people predicted an upcoming implosion of the cryptocurrency which has just passed $9,000 in value. But how far will Bitcoin go?
I wish I knew! (laughs). We are currently in a situation that is ultimately the same as when Bitcoin started, meaning 50% of people see it as a main technical tool for tomorrow, which would justify the powerful momentum we have been able to witness over the last few months. Conversely, the other 50% will criticize this craze, arguing that Bitcoin is nothing but a bubble with no credibility that will eventually pop. But one would need to be very clever to say which of these theories will turn out to be true. Whether Bitcoin will keep rising and pass the $10,000 mark or whether we will see some kind of control emerge over cryptocurrencies, no one can tell. It cannot say with any kind of certainty which option is more likely. There is truth to both of them. The increase in price, which happened in the last few weeks, is as impressing as it is worrying. It goes a lot faster than the kind of business we are used to. The underlying technology of Bitcoin has an extremely promising future. We are clearly on the eve of a revolution that could similar to the first steps of the Internet.
While Bitcoin is taking center stage and gathering all the « hype », leaving only crumbs to its competitors, is it possible to say that this craze also exists for other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum or Litecoin, the latter of which made a timid incursion in early fall?
The market overall was quite bullish in 2017. However, we cannot ignore the fact that a significant number of digital currencies have virtually sunk into oblivion or seen their price plummet, while many newcomers have popped on the market in the past 12 months. One thing is clear though: all these alternative currencies are easy to manipulate to create pumping or dumping effects to control prices on a larger scale than with Bitcoin. This is indeed a general trend for all leading cryptocurrencies. The focus is on Bitcoin as it is the most widely known cryptocurrency, also the most mainstream one which builds its reputation on urban legends about that lucky investor who turned millionaire. But even if Bitcoin has the favors of the media, from a technological standpoint it is not more advanced than its competitors. As a matter of fact, it would be quite the opposite.
What is your opinion about the « activism » of some countries like Morocco which want to forbid the use of Bitcoin, or other countries like China or India which intend to regulate it to the point of planning to launch their own national cryptocurrency?
I think it is great news that countries are starting to consider cryptocurrencies as something that should be regulated. I see this as real progress. I am however more skeptical when it comes to forbidding cryptocurrencies altogether like Morocco did. This situation can only be temporary as it is impossible to keep people from investing in cryptocurrencies unless you simply cut off Internet access for the whole population. It is better go with the flow and experiment with limits and rules all the possibilities rather than to try and ban it completely without further discussion.
Some experts describe Bitcoin as the ultimate safe investment, putting it on the same level as gold and believing that the former will eventually overtake the yellow metal. Do you share that opinion?
I do not think the term ‘safe investment’ is adequate here, not yet at least. Gold is a physical asset and it value remains quite stable over time. On the other hand, Bitcoin is purely speculative and has no anchor in the physical world. But you cannot rule out the possibility of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies becoming, in upcoming years, much more durable to the point of being more resilient and stable than national currencies. A good example is that of currencies suffering from an extremely high inflation rate and therefore vulnerable to serious systemic risks. That is why we are currently witnessing, though the process is still in its infancy, such a huge interest for cryptocurrencies from these populations as they might after all be easier to manipulate and manage than a national currency exposed to such risks.