I sometimes find it hard to deal with our world of money these days. Everyone keeps asking should I buy bitcoin and my answer is always it’s your choice. I don’t believe in bitcoin, but I’m not one of those doom mongers who say it’s going to die. It won’t die. It’s pout there in the wild enjoying itself. Leave it alone.
But when I say I don’t believe in bitcoin, it’s because I don’t believe it’s right to be a global currency. Now, I’ve said before that there will be a global currency, but I’m becoming more and more convinced that it’s not bitcoin, even though Jack Dorsey says so. The challenge with bitcoin is that sure, yes, it’s become an asset class; it’s an investable asset; but is anyone spending bitcoin? And if so, why?
I mean if you used bitcoin a few years ago to, let’s say, buy a pizza, that pizza today would be worth $100 million. A $100 million pizza. A ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLAR PIZZA. That’s ridiculous.
But here’s the thing: the view of many cryptocommunity people is that bitcoin or another digital currency will thrive and succeed as it has no government. For those who know me and read me regularly, I claim there is no money without government but, for those who want to indulge the new world, the claim is that we have money without government.
Let’s just stay with that for a minute: we have money without government. What exactly is money without government? It’s decentralised, it’s democratised, it’s disappeared. Y’see, money without government I can kind of understand, except for the bit that money was invented by governments in order to control. Money is there to control the economy. Money is there to tax and manage and invest. Money without government is therefore some kind of anarchy. With no government, money becomes a meaningless thing as it moves to be a way of trading without oversight.
In fact, this is the reason why governments worry about cryptocurrencies. It’s not that they are inherently unsound, but that they are ungoverned.
So, I have a view. I guess it’s different to many, but here it goes. My view is that the cryptocurrency market will stay hot, hot, hot, for a few more years. Eventually, governments will start to regulate this market and, as they do, it starts to go cool, cool, cool. Eventually, the G20 work out how to generate and deal with digital currencies overall, and they issue a global G20 coin.
Now this G20 coin is different. It’s not some libertarian thing and it’s regulated. It’s linked to a basket of key global currencies: the yuan, dollar, euro and pound; and it’s organised in a way that is trusted by the key regulators of the world: the ECB, the Fed, the Reserve Bank of India and the People’s Bank of China.
As a digital currency backed by governments, financial markets can embrace it and, as financial markets and regulators embrace it, so do companies. As companies embrace it, so do the people and, as people embrace it, so does everyone.
In other words, we move from a world of many currencies today that aren’t currencies at all – they’re just asset classes – to a world of government-issued digital fiat currencies that, because there needs to be a global currency for a global platform – the internet – gets a G20 coin, issued and managed by the biggest economies, regulators and governments. Yep, that’s money without government for you.