Sign in or Register

Already a member?

Sign in

Or sign in with your account on:

Not a member yet?


Bitcoin's Publicity-Minded Proponents Could Be Its Savior

  +Follow December 9, 2013 12:05PM
Tickers Mentioned:

On Dec. 6 China’s top search engine Baidu Inc (BIDU) announced they would stop accepting the red-hot cryptocurrency bitcoin as payment. The cessation is a blow for bitcoin proponents, who, however bullish, understand that bitcoin cannot maintain its valuation as a purely speculative instrument, and to have longevity and stability must gain market liquidity.

In short, to function as an actual currency at some point, Bitcoin must  be able to be accepted on a truly wide scale for a variety goods and services, which it currently cannot claim to do.

Baidu is Protecting their Bottom Line

While Baidu’s suspension of bitcoin payments was certainly spurred by China’s central bank barring financial institutions from handling BTC transactions, the underlying issue is bitcoin’s extreme volatility.

In the statement announcing the suspension of bitcoin payments, Baidu cited not the recent Chinese government actions against bitcoin, but that the “recent large fluctuations in Bitcoin’s value makes it unable to safeguard users’ interests.”

They’re right about fluctuations hurting someone in the transaction, but at that moment it wasn’t  the users they were protecting. More likely, Baidu was protecting themselves. The fact that when a bitcoin’s price does things like lose half its value in a couple days (as it did just prior to Baidu’s announcement,) a company accepting bitcoin as payment gets the shaft.

Like any company, they’re looking at the immediate bottom line, and revenue that has the chance of devaluing by 50 percent in one weekend is not a risk worth taking.

Extremely Volatile Money is Not Money, it’s a Sandbox for Daytraders

Bitcoin proponents tend to forget that a currency that is too volatile is not much use as a currency. It has use as a speculative vehicle for amateur forex players, to be sure, but not as a viable means of exchange.

For instance, think about what it means to actually spend a currency if it is rapidly increasing in value. Let’s say that one day, fifty bitcoins could buy one Tesla (TSLA) Model S car. If bitcoin continued surging as it had the two months prior, why on earth would a person spend their “money” on a Tesla when in a month, those same fifty bitcoins could buy two Teslas?

Or look at it from the perspective of the seller. A currency that is not liquid enough to fight off speculative binges is prone to sudden, unexpected price drops. Let’s say the dealer sells that Tesla for fifty bitcoins, and then the next day the price of bitcoin is halved after a trader sell-off exacerbates a panic. That dealer just sold their Tesla for half its value, and thus got royally screwed.

Whether upswing or downswing spending of a bitcoin is a dicey proposition for either side of the deal, with the current trend favoring the holder of the bitcoin. In most cases, this means instead of spending, people tend to save their bitcoins and hope they go up in value (which, due to their deflationary design, is normally their natural tendency.) This hesitancy to spend and to hold and wait for the value to go up creates systemic hoarding, thus favoring early adopters in a pyramid-type economic structure, eventually leading to depressions and bust-outs.

Macroeconomics aside, why are companies currently accepting a payment whose “correct” valuation, no matter how bullish or bearish, must currently be considered quite uncertain?

 “(X) is Now Accepting Bitcoins”

As bitcoin increased in value 89-fold this year, a bevy of companies began accepting it as a form of payment. OKCupid, Baidu, Virgin Galactic, and yes, a Tesla dealer began taking bitcoin in lieu of US dollars. There are hundreds more that are “now accepting bitcoin,” mostly local businesses or tech startups.

From a business perspective, it doesn’t make sense. Why risk pricing your goods and services in bitcoin, when the correct price of a bitcoin is currently anybody’s guess?

Because bitcoin traffic is still relatively insignificant, almost any time some business, no matter how small, begins accepting bitcoin, it makes the news. “Now accepting bitcoin” announcements routinely appear on the front page of the bitcoin subreddit, a very popular gathering place for bitcoin aficionados, and attracts more business – via bitcoin or US dollars.

At this point in its history, accepting the volatile bitcoin as payment is not a wise business decision – at least from a bottom-line perspective. But it does buy that great intangible of publicity.

Being on the cutting edge is not cheap. For smaller tech startups, accepting bitcoin as payment is worth the risk in return for getting traction in the bitcoin (read: tech) subculture, and beyond. For larger companies… well, Virgin has a knack for publicity stunts, and Richard Branson is, if nothing else, a consummate self-promoter. Ditto for Snoop Dogg/Snoop Lion, who is trying to sell his new album for bitcoin.

The interesting thing is, the more people look past the very basic economic complications of accepting payment in bitcoins, the more it might eventually begin to actually stabilize via increased liquidity. This in turn, could help break the cycle of volatility.

Like any emerging market, this will take years and years and years to happen. But it doesn’t mean it can’t.

The Key for Bitcoin’s Viability is “Correct” Pricing

Bitcoin’s deflationary bias means it cannot probably ever function properly as a major currency (for an illustration of the massive economic problems that arise from deflation, look at Japan over the last 20 years.) But there are aspects of bitcoin that are extremely attractive, like its ability to facilitate international trade and its lack of service fees, and it certainly has a future as an alternative investment vehicle.

Bitcoin’s most bullish proponents are a little misguided about the feasibility of bitcoin ever competing with or replacing the world economic superpower’s paper currencies. But its publicity-minded proponents could help push bitcoin through this infant stage and greatly increase popular usage.

If trade increases, it will help the market “discover” the stable price of bitcoin in relation to goods and services. Then and only then will bitcoin become a viable alternative method of trade, and not just a speculative house of cards.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions.

Signup for our daily newsletter and get our best articles emailed right to you!

Results for BIDU
Chasing Stars
23 Oct 14 18:23:31
$EPAZD Bid Size Click Here: http://t.co/lAwQllVGLv Also See: $BIDU $IJJP $IJJP $MCD ~
Chasing Stars
23 Oct 14 17:24:11
$ALL Volume Click Here: http://t.co/FeMGthGbcz Also See: $GG $BIDU $IYT $SBOTF ~
23 Oct 14 17:00:03
Navi Avatar
23 Oct 14 16:58:28
23 Oct 14 15:54:31
Brian Dightman
23 Oct 14 15:36:03
Leading stocks rocket, 23 of 27 show gains, 9 >2%, $CELG up 6%, $TMH up 5.2%, $CSTE up 3.5%, $JAZZ up 3.3%, biggest decliner $BIDU -1%
Stock Relay
23 Oct 14 15:22:16
$QLD Day High Click Here: http://t.co/0Xf2P7u7E3 Also See: $HESG $NFLX $CMG $BIDU ~
23 Oct 14 14:23:17
RT @shuli_ren: Qihoo: Behind On Mobile Search, Mobile Gaming; Analysts Lower TP http://t.co/a3TDaeFfeH via @barronsonline $QIHU $BIDU
IH News Desk
23 Oct 14 14:21:40
$HAL Last Price Click Here: http://t.co/4yI9ny7Eor Also See: $IJJP $BIDU $IJJP $IBB ~
23 Oct 14 13:35:39
Our Penny Stock Alerts Gained 371% In 2 weeks! Sign Up For Free Text Alerts For Our New Pick: http://t.co/dLDRavoCi4 $DTV $ADP $BIDU
Stock Relay
23 Oct 14 13:34:36
$PBR Last Price Click Here: http://t.co/TGdcQgMUHY Also See: $SKX $XLV $BIDU $SPXU ~
23 Oct 14 12:59:52
Nasdaq100 #Stocks Trend $ORLY $REGN $FB $AMGN $PCAR $ILMN $AAPL $CHRW $DLTR $GRMN $PAYX $YHOO $SRCL $COST $BIDU @ http://t.co/oLhnAAiDhr
23 Oct 14 12:57:04
$BIDU puts flying
Julián A. Murillo
23 Oct 14 12:44:47
ReTw lexinerus: ReTw QP_Technology: $BIDU News: "Promise And Risk For Investors, Following Alibaba IPO $BABA …" ... https://t.co/soywKqnsFG
The Cynvestor
23 Oct 14 12:37:33
RT @SeekingAlpha: Promise And Risk For http://t.co/nCnF73pP9T Investors, Following Alibaba IPO http://t.co/qqgjbADRTH $BABA $BIDU $TCEHY $JD
Julián A. Murillo
23 Oct 14 12:36:55
ReTw QP_Technology: $BIDU News: "Promise And Risk For Investors, Following Alibaba IPO $BABA …" ... https://t.co/soywKqnsFG
Quantpost Technology
23 Oct 14 12:33:46
$BIDU News: "Promise And Risk For Investors, Following Alibaba IPO $BABA …" https://t.co/TSV3ltZBRC Board view: https://t.co/eLtjeCXIZq
Seeking Alpha
23 Oct 14 12:33:43
Promise And Risk For http://t.co/nCnF73pP9T Investors, Following Alibaba IPO http://t.co/qqgjbADRTH $BABA $BIDU $TCEHY $JD
23 Oct 14 12:06:57
I'm checking out $BIDU http://t.co/PP8aUP1zlZ
23 Oct 14 12:00:03
23 Oct 14 11:33:37
RT @OSSIndicators: $BIDU -- Before and after chart http://t.co/4khKB94St9
Wall Street Forecast
23 Oct 14 11:32:00
$BIDU -- Before and after chart http://t.co/4khKB94St9
Richard Bell
23 Oct 14 11:25:33
RT @canuck2usa: I'm checking out $BIDU--> ah yes http://t.co/WjiEAQ4We9
Carolyn B Miciano
23 Oct 14 11:14:38
Cutting-edge techniques to adjust Option spreads http://t.co/NTm3l6MSru $CMG $TSLA $BIDU
Chris Rooney
23 Oct 14 11:07:45
RT @ChinaStockRsrch: Check out our detailed profile on $BIDU and tech analysis http://t.co/2qpf7mCQkZ
Steve Mahoney
23 Oct 14 11:03:27
RT @SAlphaTech: Cellphone Sales Tumble, As Mobile Ads Zoom http://t.co/3njXDBs8us $BIDU $SINA $SSNLF $AAPL $NOK $LNVGY
Large Void Bot
23 Oct 14 11:00:13
Popular: $UBNT, $FB, $JBLU, $POT.CA, $DECK, $BIDU, $JNPR, $F
Tech Alerts
23 Oct 14 11:00:03
Cellphone Sales Tumble, As Mobile Ads Zoom http://t.co/3njXDBs8us $BIDU $SINA $SSNLF $AAPL $NOK $LNVGY
Investors Hangout
23 Oct 14 10:52:19
Emylers: $BIDU Up to date company activities and other http://t.co/3jUgj3elDQ
Investors Hangout
23 Oct 14 10:52:08
Emylers: $BIDU Up to date company activities and other http://t.co/gEADCToy1S
23 Oct 14 10:49:26
Wild ass day today! $SPY $NFLX $BIDU
Derek Chow
23 Oct 14 10:46:01
RT @mppeltz: Betting Big on Baidu: Chinese search company $BIDU is Steve Mandel's Lone Pine's largest long position. http://t.co/wNm97T7EAM
23 Oct 14 10:42:12
http://t.co/hjgLwIcNgz Emylers: $BIDU Up to date company activities and other: Emylers http://t.co/rtw6UH3SLf http://t.co/hjgLwIcNgz
Michael Peltz
23 Oct 14 10:41:10
Betting Big on Baidu: Chinese search company $BIDU is Steve Mandel's Lone Pine's largest long position. http://t.co/wNm97T7EAM
23 Oct 14 10:37:52
$BIDU Up to date company activities and other important information about $BIDU http://t.co/erDyZL4Gwp
The Sears
23 Oct 14 10:34:21
To borrow a phrase from Kirk Herbstreit regarding Michigan State after a boneheaded game... that's why u are $BIDU
John S Gilbert
23 Oct 14 10:31:03
$BIDU filled its gap @ ~ $217 from Tuesday morning. Now it can run. I sold my $AAPL @ $104.95 to buy $BIDU @ $218 in trading account.
Lindsey Cabot
23 Oct 14 10:10:23
RT @canuck2usa: I'm checking out $BIDU--> ah yes http://t.co/WjiEAQ4We9
23 Oct 14 10:10:11
RT @canuck2usa: I'm checking out $BIDU--> ah yes http://t.co/WjiEAQ4We9
23 Oct 14 10:06:24
@RedDogT3 @JustinPulitzer @ScottWapnerCNBC @optionmonster $BIDU.. weak??
23 Oct 14 10:04:57
@canuck2usa yep, $BIDU looking weak; 210 then 190 could come quickly
23 Oct 14 10:04:57
I'm checking out $BIDU--> ah yes http://t.co/WjiEAQ4We9
Robert Nuttall, DOM
23 Oct 14 10:02:31
@THEGregGamba $BIDU what happened?
23 Oct 14 10:01:51
$PCLN and $BIDU in a few puts for the pleasure of it
Hot Stocks.NYC
23 Oct 14 09:56:27
Stocks NOT acting right: $BIDU $PG $CAB $SCTY $DECK $ZOES $UTHR | #GetRight
Gr8 Trades
23 Oct 14 09:54:45
Andreas Wolf
23 Oct 14 09:53:16
@canuck2usa definitely looking like $BIDU could hit $210 next week
23 Oct 14 09:48:06
$BIDU looking at puts
Quantified Alpha
23 Oct 14 09:39:27
$FB to report earnings Tuesday. Strongly believe that they (along with $BIDU & $TWTR) will crush estimates next week http://t.co/ijZ3qnEJew
Extreme Stocks
23 Oct 14 09:23:43
DennyT: EPI Historical Prices $EPI $EFA $BIDU $ERBB $XLI http://t.co/q0nbDCK7Z0
  +Follow December 9, 2013 12:05PM



blog comments powered by Disqus

About us

Equities.com is the most advanced interactive online social ecosystem for the financial industry, serving as a resource center and next-generation communication platform that connects self-directed investors with public issuers, market experts, and professional service providers and vendors. Registered members can leverage our exclusive proprietary research tools such as the Small-Cap Stars, which outperformed 90% of all small-cap mutual funds, and robust do-it-yourself E.V.A. research reports. The Equities.com Issuer Dashboard is the ideal tool to communicate and manage investor awareness campaigns to the investment community, as well as to access valuable resources to help your company grow.

Market Data powered by QuoteMedia.
Copyright © QuoteMedia. Data delayed 15 minutes unless otherwise indicated. Terms of Use.