Bitcoin Q&A: Who determines the value of bitcoin?


[AUDIENCE] What determines the
buying power of the currency?
How does [the price] stabilise,
or what is required to stabilise it?
If I would buy some bitcoins, who
can manipulate the value of that?
[ANDREAS] Everyone. [Laughter]
The buying power of bitcoin is determined in
the same way that the buying power of the euro,
the British pound sterling, the Japanese
yen, or the U.S. dollar is determined:
through market forces of supply and demand, in
international liquid markets operating around the clock.
One of the fundamental differences
is that bitcoin trading never ceases.
It has been going continuously for seven years.
The network never stops. Every ten minutes on average,
Bitcoin’s heart beats and transactions are processed.
The exchanges never close.
There is no closing price for bitcoin.
It is a rolling average. A market with a capitalisation of
approximately $12 billion is now traded internationally.
What is $12 billion for a global currency?
It’s like a guppy swimming in shark-infested waters.
Every trader, every whale, goes in
there and just kicks that price around.
Right now, the experience of living on bitcoin, which
I have been doing full-time for more than three years,
is a rollercoaster.
It’s an absolute rollercoaster.
I’ve seen shifts of twenty or thirty percent in a day.
Yet, if you look at the long-term trend, volume and
transactions go up, while volatility keeps dropping.
The beauty of it is… I can’t sell that
[analysis] to an American or British citizen.
I don’t need to sell it to an Argentinean,
a Brazilian, or a Venezuelan citizen.
I went to a conference and an Argentinian
told me, “I’m not worried about volatility.”
“Our currency has [downward] volatility. Bitcoin has
[upward] volatility. I would rather go in that direction.”
And you don’t need to tell them why.
Their government threw people out of airplanes
not more than 35 years ago for disagreeing.
They already know why the separation
of state and money is a good idea.
So, volatility is relative.

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