Thursday, December 12, 2013

Could bitcoin immunize the dollar against inflation?

Bitcoin currency fluctuation is rapid, large, and pretty much continual. This doesn't disqualify the currency for use, but it does incent people to be on their guard for opportunities and threats on the inflation/deflation front. This is very unlikely to change and without some sort of dominant swing provider of liquidity and sink of value, (akin to what the Saudis do for the oil market) we're unlikely to see the currency ever stabilize.

Now is this a good thing or a bad thing? I think it is ultimately going to be a good thing.

Most people, seeing this, will not dump all their value into bitcoin. They will put in single digit or fractional parts of 1% of their net worth as speculative investment. The roller coaster of BTC valuation is too quick and violent for anything else and the combination of global availability without limit and permanent, severe limits on supply make this a persistent condition.

The difference in outlook between when you are dealing with 10 or 11 currencies is very small. The difference in dealing with 1 or 2 currencies is much larger. There's an interesting, and useful state change that occurs, especially if one of those currencies is always fluctuating. You become much less likely to be complacent about currency valuation changes. Tools for dealing with your fast fluctuating currency will naturally migrate and expand their watch over your more stable, main currency. This reduces the possibility for central bankers to induce useful (to them) inflation where the value of the currency is leached away in an invisible tax that does not provoke generalized behavior changes in the population.

The tools are not yet there but are foreseeably going to be part of our 21st century wallets.