The bitcoin, the “currency ubérisée”

Photo: Justin Tallis Agence France-Presse
The bitcoin is this on trading platforms specific and not market regulated.

The bitcoin, a virtual currency that continues to soar, responds to a desire to “ubériser” the currency outside the banks and could spread in the country to finance fragile, but “at the risk” of users, warn the economists.

 

“The bitcoin ? It is a willingness to ubériser the currency, not to have a central banker who decides its price, ” explains Ludovic Subran, chief economist at credit insurer Euler Hermes, comparing the cryptomonnaie to what happens between taxis and Uber, a company of rental cars with driver (VTC), which has upset the market. “Yes, it is this : one going to the central authority. This is the genius of this invention, ” ignites Yves Choueifaty, founder of the asset manager Tobam, which has just launched the first european fund investment invested in bitcoins.

 

The bitcoin is this on trading platforms specific and not market regulated. Without legal tender, without the central bank, it is governed by a broad community of internet users.

 

Speculation

 

Investors are already talking about ” digital gold “, while the bicoin has also reached this week a new record of over $8000 US. It émargeait to a little less than 1000 US $in the beginning of the year. “We don’t need central banks “, says Yves Choueifaty, convinced that the recent bubbles have been rightly supplied by these institutions, and the belief that there is ” no bubble for bitcoin “, created by one or more it professionals hiding under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto.

 

The growing interest for the bitcoin button now institutions recognized as one of the largest operators in stock market of the world, the CME Group of Chicago, or of prestigious american universities, which form the computer technology that is the basis for virtual currencies, the ” blockchain “, or ” chain of blocks “.

 

But this currency is also seduces the economic actors of countries ruined, such as Zimbabwe or Venezuela, whose currency is worth nothing to force hyper-inflation — Caracas has had to issue recently a new banknote of 100,000 bolivars, where a year ago the biggest cut-off in circulation was 100 bolivars. “Let’s take countries with weak institutions and national currencies unstable. Instead of adopting the currency of another country, e.g. the u.s. dollar, these economies may see a growing use of virtual currencies, “said recently the director general of the international monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, who speaks of” dollarization 2.0 “.

 

Economists also speak of the interest for bitcoin in the developing countries, whose inhabitants have easier access to the Internet than to bank accounts traditional.

 

A bubble

 

The central banks and some big names of finance draw yet to sound the alarm in the face of a currency that is used for number of illegal transactions, and often denounced as ” speculative “. “It is the very definition of a bubble “, warned recently the boss of Credit suisse, Tidjane Thiam, becoming, as soon as the target on the social networks of supporters, often virulent, of bitcoin. The governor of the Bank of France, François Villeroy de Galhau, had launched a warning from the summer : “Those who today use the bitcoin, very clearly, it is at their own risk. “

 

The Nobel Prize in economics Jean Tirole shares this opinion : “It is a bubble !” he assured AFP on the sidelines of a conference this week in Paris. “This is something that has no intrinsic value, that can collapse from one day to the next day. Therefore, I would not absolutely not that French banks, for example, invest in bitcoin. “

 

For his part, Mr. Subran waiting for the authorities to raise awareness among potential investors of the risks : “there is a lot of money to make and a lot of money to lose also. We see more and more people who want to go there, but who do not realize the risk. “

 

Regularly, the currency accused declines steep, for example in the case of frictions between the members of the community that manages it and that the product, in the face of warnings from the regulatory authorities, or in the case of pirating it. But more often, the bitcoin disappears quickly its losses : some investors see it already at US $10,000. In 2011, from just over US $1.

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