Is Bitcoin the new Euro?

Mayor of New York Eric Adams, recently made headlines with his views on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. He wants to be paid in Bitcoin and he said cryptocurrency should be taught in schools. Furthermore, mayor Adams suggested New York should get its own cryptocurrency. 

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks. Managing transactions and issuing bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network. Bitcoin is open-source and its design is public. Nobody owns or controls Bitcoin and everyone can take part. Through many of its unique properties, Bitcoin allows exciting uses that could not be covered by any previous payment system.

Current state and predictions for Bitcoin

Bitcoin started this year at a whopping $30 000, and reached its latest all-time high of the year this month when it went over $68,000 for the first time. Within a matter of days, it had dropped back below $56,000. Still, many experts say Bitcoin is on its way to passing the $100,000 mark, though with varying opinions on exactly when that will happen. The volatility is nothing new, and is a big reason experts say new crypto investors should be extremely cautious when allocating part of their portfolio to cryptocurrency. Bitcoin has shown as steady a rise in value over the years as any other cryptocurrency on the market. It’s only reasonable for Bitcoin investors to be curious about how high it can ultimately go.

What do European mayors say about Bitcoin?

Mayor of Le Havre Edouard Philippe mentioned in his 2018 interview for Bitcoin.fr portal: “The development of Bitcoin and its ecosystem is now a national priority. Whether we celebrate it or are outraged, decentralized digital currencies are an irreversible phenomenon, they will not be uninvented and their importance will continue to grow in the years to come. This observation was made and accepted, it is now time to move forward.”

Mayor of Hamburg Peter Tschentscher even became an honorary patron of the 2019 Blockchance Conference and held an opening speech. Peter Tschentscher emphasizes the special importance of the conference for the development of the economic metropolis in the 21st century: “The Blockchance Conference brings the international blockchain industry to Hamburg. I am delighted to be opening the event as patron in order to present our Hanseatic city to the world as a digital and innovation location”.

“We see the great potential of this new technology. Anyone who intends to deal with it has landed in the right city with us today.” Peter Tschentscher, who acted as patron of the event, drew a comparison between today’s technology and Hamburg’s history in the Hanseatic League. Centuries ago, the city traded goods over a distance of thousands of kilometers, payment was not made with cash but with promissory notes, and there was no middleman – features that can be transferred to today’s blockchain.

Blockchance is Germany’s leading Blockchain Technology conference with a trade fair. They introduce the topics of Digital Assets, AI, Green Technology and Sustainability while connecting leaders and innovators who are creating inspiring concepts and solutions within this space. 

Europe and Cryptocurrency

A majority of Europe wants their own governments to regulate cryptocurrency while a growing number of supporters of the creation of national digital currencies in order to assert some monetary independence from the European Union, a landmark poll for Euronews has shown.

It also showed that the majority of respondents in each country would rather their own government determined financial regulations, compared to roughly a quarter overall who favoured the EU to make these decisions.

While the use of cryptos remains low across the EU, their rising popularity raises the question of regulation, how it is done and by whom.

In an analysis of the poll for Euronews Next, Louisa Idel, Head of European Insights at Redfield & Wilton Strategies, believes these questions will prove contentious: “In essence, regulators around the world face two options: to tightly control and centralise the future direction of crypto assets, for example through the creation of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), or to adopt an open legal and regulatory framework that allows stablecoins, especially those pegged to multiple currencies to operate smoothly”. 

 

Photo credit: André François McKenzie/Unsplash