During the second day of Asian Financial Forum, a panel of discussion of financial service innovation became the battlefield between the bitcoin supporters and their opposition.
The debates started when Sunny Cheung Yiu-Tong has mentioned that his company, Octopus had not yet fully discarded the prospect of implementing bitcoin into their product. Octopus, of which Cheung is the CEO, is located in HONG-KONG and its line of expertise is manufacturing of smartcards with wireless technology. Reference to digital currency is quite logical as the idea was to allow users to fill their Octopus card with Bitcoin directly (probably QR codes again).
However, bringing up the possibility of cryptocurrency’s involvement received a negative response from Esmond Lee Kin-Ying who represented the Monetary Authority of Hong Kong (HKMA). HKMA is a government authority that plays a big role in maintaining the stability of currency and supporting the Hong-Kong status as an international financial status as well as managing the exchange fund and making sure that financial system stays in order.
Cheung said that his expectation of a higher online retailers adaptation of bitcoin into their system would promote an increase in number of cryptocurrency holders and users. Lees opinion on that was reflected as a main argument that cryptomoivement opposition uses, which we cannot disagree upon (yet). The point is that Bitcoin is not exactly currency due to the two factors. First being the lack of agreement on it par value, the other one – the issuers of Bitcoin unlike governments hold no confidence, as BTC only holds together as long as it is being used.
Although we cannot deny that crypto is extremely volatile, jumping from $800 to $900 in price in a day, the next statement of Mr. Kin-Ying is not the strongest argument against Bitcoin, as he is certain that car-manufacturing, companies working with real-estate and other businesses where serious money are engaged would be willing to embrace Bitcoin. Now, about a fortnight a fellow author wrote about a family that bought a little piece of land on a tropical island and two weeks before that we had an article on burning Coins on fancy stuff, where were mentioned at least three different automobile manufacture companies that allowed payment in BTC.
China’s issued warning about digital currencies in the end of the 2013 had already struck Bitcoin hard, lowering its exchange rate almost 3 times. Only recently has the cryptocurrency had jumped over the $1000 again, but it still hasn’t reached its previous peak. Understandably, due to the nature of China’s economic country’s official do not hold crypto in high regard, but tech evolution and consumer’s demand have always been and will stay as the major factor in any business.
Alas, Cheung is leaving the post of CEO in Octopus, this month and we can only hope that his vision will be supported by the successor.
Although the same discussion was the hot topic of the previous year’s second half, it is still have not reached any conclusion. The coin is moving on, some government choose to move with it, some are trying to hold it off for a while, but since Bitcoin is both a trend a convenient tool, it won’t fade out that easy.
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