Bitcoin: Is it really the Currency of the future?

Commenting on recent statements by the Nobel Prize winner in economics, Robert Shiller, Mariano Gallego assures that Bitcoin is inevitably one of the symptoms of the Possessive Age.


A few days ago the Nobel Prize for Economics, Robert Shiller, outlined in an interview that "Bitcoin has no value unless there is a consensus that it has value". This could be one of the symptoms of this new era. The real value of Bitcoin, according to Shiller, unlike even other currencies in previous eras, would be "equal to zero."


Bitcoin Vs. Tulips

"It could not even be comparable to the Tulips," he also mentioned, referring to the period during the seventeenth century in the Netherlands in which those flowers became the object of speculation reaching extraordinary values ​​and then causing a financial crisis.

That would rob Bitcoin of all support and "materialistic" sustenance that - at least for more traditional theorists, both liberals and Adam Smith, or socialists like Karl Marx- give value to the rest of the coins (even the tulips needed to be sown and cultivated by workers). In Marxist terms, the fetish with respect to Bitcoin would be absolute, a role whose value would be given exclusively by its representation.

The Blockchain

 In this respect, two fundamental issues emerge. The first: it is not true that the value of Bitcoin is simply given by "consensus" as Shiller affirms. This currency is exchanged for others that do have support (without getting into the debate regarding the value of the dollar, nor in the high levels of energy consumption required by the Blockchain that protects and verifies these exchanges).

 Anyway, it is true that Bitcoin has been far surpassing these first and that its appreciation is truly a product of this "consensus" originated in strong demand and speculation. Every attempt of regulation by some nations that try to protect their financial system -such as South Korea or China-, did nothing but increase this process.

Bitcoin Vs. Mainstream currencies?

  This brings us to the second question: is this difference between the value of Bitcoin and the currencies that support the product of a simple bubble that will sooner or later burst? According to a poll conducted by the financial channel CNBC, eighty percent of Wall Street economists do not doubt about this, that somehow, would claim the traditional theories regarding value.


 Now, if, as Shiller also hints, this overvalue lasts a hundred years, should we consider the phenomenon as a simple bubble? That is, can something that lasts a hundred years be considered simply a "bubble" -a representation without "material" sustenance - or should it be interpreted according to a new logic?

Bitcoin and the search for truth

 One of the main characteristics that make up the "Age of Posverdad" lies in the construction of a quasi-virtual reality in which the search for "truth" - one of the main livelihoods of Modernity - has lost its meaning. That is to say, the tension between the "story" and the "real" seems to have disappeared completely, the second being submerged in the first, without leaving even the traces of the process.

  Just as the "Age of Posverdad" could not be thought outside of the virtual reality produced by the "techno-stories", the Bitcoin depends exclusively on them. Perhaps its value lasts just as it was-fifty, one hundred, two hundred years-equating both phenomena, which would plunge us in some way, more than the value of a coin, the value of an era and a new logic of exchanges, in which all sustenance would be given by what Shiller mentions as the "consensus".

Therefore, the "institutions" in charge of building it: a virtual reality whose only value would be the "use value" or the demand , as they like to mention the marginalists, even those who accuse Bitcoin of being nothing more than a bubble.

Bitcoin: East Vs. West

 Beyond Westernist impatience and in opposition to an Eastern perspective (Mao was once asked about capitalism and its consolidation, and answered: how long can it last, five thousand, ten thousand more years?) It is true that historical processes they are much more extensive -and strenuous- than what the current worldviews are willing to endure.

Likewise, a bubble that lasts one hundred years, at least for analytical purposes -if one does not want to fall into the usual epistemological errors-, should inevitably be considered as a new "truth" (although we do not like it). However, there is no doubt about is that Bitcoin is inevitably one of the symptoms of this new era.
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