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What’s important to understand about Bitcoin, is that it’s like cash. If you lose it – tough luck. Paypal, on the other hand, is just like any other credit card company that deals with fraud and customer complaints. This means, that theoretically, someone can buy BTC (Bitcoins) with Paypal, get the goods and complains of never receiving them.
The very reasons why Bitcoin has taken off today will be major reasons why its value is likely to collapse tomorrow. . . . [dramatic price instability] will cause the ultimate failure of the Bitcoin experiment. . . . Bitcoin will fail because a small number of hoarders control most of the supply.
At the height of its popularity, Bitcoin was trumpeted as a viable alternative currency for the internet age, a monetary system engineered to prevent theft, gaming, and criminalization. Then came the malware, the black market, the legal ambiguities and The Man. Today, you can’t even use it to buy Facebook stock.
Beyond the most hardcore users, skepticism has only increased. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman wrote that the currency’s tendency to fluctuate has encouraged hoarding. Stefan Brands, a former ecash consultant and digital currency pioneer, calls bitcoin “clever” and is loath to bash it but believes it’s fundamentally structured like “a pyramid scheme” that rewards early adopters.
Although I think that Bitcoin is ingenious and fascinating in many ways, I don’t believe that it will succeed as a currency. The problem is that a Bitcoin is unlikely to ever be a good store of value (a primary function of any widely accepted currency) because the (eventually) fixed money supply will cause the purchasing power of a Bitcoin to be extremely volatile.