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This article was published on September 22, 2017

When 95% of all cryptocurrencies are gone Bitcoin will still be there

When 95% of all cryptocurrencies are gone Bitcoin will still be there
Tristan Greene
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Tristan Greene

Editor, Neural by TNW

Tristan covers human-centric artificial intelligence advances, politics, queer stuff, cannabis, and gaming. Pronouns: He/him Tristan covers human-centric artificial intelligence advances, politics, queer stuff, cannabis, and gaming. Pronouns: He/him

The Wall Street Journal this week published an article declaring Bitcoin’s value to be “probably zero.” Last week finance and tech outlets discussed JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s assertion that Bitcoin was “a fraud.” If you’re keeping score, these are two big names in the financial world declaring the world’s most popular crytpocurrency worthless. Is it?

Spoiler alert: It’s not.

Bitcoin has seen some choppy seas of late. Fluctuations related to China’s market-shaking bans on ICOs and the closing of exchanges sent ripples through the community causing the price of a coin to shudder and drop below $3,000 for the first time in months. Over the last week its value has rocked back and forth between three and four thousand dollars (as of writing it’s at $3,616).

The Wall Street Journal article, like many others, points out that Bitcoin is a great currency for drug dealers. The author doesn’t point out that it’s also a great currency for CEOs or janitors. And let’s not kid anyone, the US dollar is still the currency of choice for drug dealers around the world.

Bitcoin makes it easier to deal drugs in the same way that Tesla makes it easier to rob banks.

Someone with a deep understanding of finance might find Bitcoin to be unsustainable; many will point out that there’s a 21 million coin limit and at some point speculation will cease. There’s also a limit on how much money we should print, but the US is overdrawn by trillions of dollars on that account.

You could also point to the cryptocurrency developers who insist that Bitcoin doesn’t play by the same rules as fiat currency. The fluctuations in value don’t bother them because they’re playing with house money and betting blockchain.

Don’t be fooled by sheep in wolves’ clothing though. When JP Morgan’s CEO declares Bitcoin a fraud it’s important to remember that the company has a blockchain department. If you’re investing a dollar in Bitcoin, it represents more than $1.00 lost business to JP Morgan; the implications of any future transactions you perform further cut out middle-men, like JP Morgan.

Bitcoin, in theory, makes any transaction easier — not just the ones that evade taxes or purchase drugs. It’s easy for banks and traders to whip the average person into a frenzy – farmers don’t know why they need Bitcoin yet, but most decent people are pretty sure they don’t want to support darkweb drug markets.

But why would JP Morgan — or anyone else for that matter — want to convince you that Bitcoin is bad but blockchain is good? Bitcoin is as good as the blockchain, according to experts. It might not be the best investment, but calling it a fraud or saying it’s worth zero is a classic case of ‘The lady doth protest too much.’

There’s a lot of smug money tied up in Bitcoin right now. The really smart people in finance want people to start dumping it off because, while they’re convincing you that Bitcoin is a fraud with one hand: they’re trying to sell you a different cryptocurrency with the other.

According to best-selling author and financial expert James Altucher 880 out of the 900 or so cryptocurrencies will ultimately prove worthless. If he’s right, the cryptocurrency market — despite the big players swearing up and down that blockchain is the future — will collapse save a few strong contenders for your e-wallet.

Bank of America, JP Morgan, and Mark Cuban all have stakes in cryptocurrency, perhaps the cryptocurrencies backed by major players will squash all but the oldest and most valuable ones, like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Is Bitcoin a fraud or a competitor? The answer may be different depending who you ask.