Bitcoin is celebrating its 10th anniversary today, since its blockchain was officially launched on January 3rd, 2009. The opportunity for me to publish a series of banknotes in the shape of a balance sheet turned towards the future.
To begin, I think it is useful to return to the numerous counter-truths that remain on the subject Bitcoin. Criticized, castigated, mocked and misunderstood, the world’s first cryptocurrency is unfortunately the subject of an outrageously negative media coverage. To take just one example, read this anti-Bitcoin scare published by a banker on Le Temps – a collection of shameless lies and simplifications. There is no doubt that the “old system” is at war with Bitcoin (Bitcoin Zero Electrum) but one can easily counter the false arguments put forward.
The mechanisms on which Bitcoin is based are (very) complex. But its use is not. Sending bitcoins to someone or making a payment is like reading a QR code or copying / pasting an address. It takes a few seconds and is hardly more complicated than sending an email or using a social network. This is all the more true as there are many wallets and services accessible on the Web or mobile, perfectly simple and well-designed interfaces.
Contrary to what the regulatory authorities are pleased to say (notably the Banque de France, which insists heavily on the fact that Bitcoin is “a crypto-asset reserved for savvy investors” ), use Bitcoin (and many other crypto- currencies) everyday is within the reach of anyone, including people very uncomfortable with digital technologies.
Certainly not. It’s the exact opposite, and it’s shocking to continue reading this in many articles. All Bitcoin transactions since its creation are included in its blockchain, where they are freely available to all. No other currency or payment device in world history has ever offered such transparency. In addition, all developments related to Bitcoin, so the computer code on which it rests and works, is Open Source and public .
Many media are trying to make believe that Bitcoin is an anonymous money, acclaimed by criminals, which is largely absurd. Bitcoin is certainly less anonymous than banknotes, while several other cryptocurrencies (such as Monero or ZCash) have been created solely to offer real financial anonymity, and partially or totally hide all the transactions they allow.
In 2018 alone, at least two traditional “anti-Bitcoin” banks, publicly accusing cryptos of being a potential source of money laundering, were involved in major money laundering scandals – dollars. One of these scandals involves the Danish bank Danske Bank, accused of having laundered more than 300 billion dollars (!) , A sum representing 2/3 of the country’s GNP.
Innumerable studies have shown that cryptos laundering is minimal: the 2015 report in Great Britain assuring that the risk of money laundering in Bitcoin is “minimal” , or this other global study of 2018 which concludes that “the vast majority of transactions Bitcoin are not illegal “, or this Japanese study of 2018 which establishes that “money laundering related to cryptocurrencies is a tiny fraction of the total according to the report of the banks – 667 cases of cryptos laundering against 347,000 for classic coins”. It is very clear that the bleaching done in Bitcoin is insignificant compared to banks. While it is constantly shown that dirty money is massively laundered by banks and institutions operating in dollars and euros, and since the dawn of time, it is outrageous outright to continue to associate Bitcoin with money laundering.
Almost impossible to read an article on Bitcoin that does not mention the piracy of this big bureau de change in 2014. Except that it has nothing to do with the security of Bitcoin. Again, countless banks are pirated or victims of intrusion and we know that everything online can be hacked . We like to mix risks related to the uses and services offered around Bitcoin, with technology that is flawless and particularly reliable.
Bitcoin, its network, its protocol and its best-known wallets are very secure (at least as much as conventional banking devices). And when a potential flaw is detected on Bitcoin, as was the case last September, it is corrected during the day. Be serious. Thousands of businesses have been (and are) being created around Bitcoin, tens of millions of people are using it, and hundreds of prominent figures have praised Bitcoin, which has also spawned more than 2000 other cryptocurrencies and an industrial revolution (blockchain) which concerns almost all areas.
It is true that many people speculate on the course of Bitcoin. I regret it, but it’s their right. But people, starting with trading room traders, speculate on everything from real estate values to beet prices. I sometimes get the impression when I read the press that Bitcoin (Bitcoin Zero Electrum) invented financial speculation. Let’s stop with that. Bitcoin meets real expectations and has a real value of use. It is based on admirable technology, and the fact that the lure of profit encourages speculation does not change that.