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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Columns

Focus Friday: Should we accept Bitcoin as a major currency?


Bitcoin recently became more valuable than an ounce of gold. Because of this, should bitcoin be a commonly accepted currency, or not?

The USD is already off the gold standard. We are spending and taking in money in good faith that others will play by the same rules, even though the papers and numbers that we are spending do not have any real value behind them anyway. Bitcoins aren’t much different. If they can compete with physical precious metals like gold, why not let them be treated like a real currency?

While it’s true that bitcoins are used for many shady transactions, so is real cash. That should not stop them from being commonly accepted where possible.

Opinion editor Thomas Dwyer is a broadcast journalism sophomore and can be reached at [email protected]

Before the world depended on the dollar, we used the gold standard. Governments used the gold standard because it was something tangible and feasible that everyone agreed had a value enough to base your wealth on. We did away with that, and now the dollar is the gold standard. If we move to Bitcoin, we would do away with the dollar and start a new standard. I don’t think we are ready for that, and I don’t think the bigger governments, which are so deeply invested in the dollar, will ever let this become so big of a commodity that people begin to contemplate changing the standard. Maybe it is a commodity for some, but I don’t think the big players will ever get into it.

Opinion columnist German Barbosa is an economics junior and can be reached at [email protected]

Something like a bitcoin could act as a global currency. We have the gold standard, of course, but how it’s being utilized is not affected. America has the privilege of just printing money without the gold to back it up and using those paper bills to purchase foreign goods. We don’t get any flack for it because… who gone check us?

But this could be a good idea for other countries the United States benefits from. For instance, Africa is one of the most abundant continents concerning resources. Things like gold, diamonds and oil all are housed in Nigeria, Sudan, Congo, Chad and others. Bigger countries come and trade their currency for the resources, which then limits those African countries to only being able to buy back from where the currency comes from, which just reinvests itself.

But if there was Bitcoin, those nations could set prices to their liking and get resources through some sort of Bitcoin market, and it would be the same across the board.

Opinion columnist Dana Jones is a print journalism junior and can be reached at [email protected]

Technically speaking, money in itself doesn’t exist. Money is just a good that society and the government have decided is the standard payment method. The problem with the current system is the idea of the middle-man: card companies and banks that take a cut. Bitcoin’s entire purpose comes down to the hope of getting rid of the middle-man. It’s an interesting concept that many hope will be the main form of currency exchange one day.

Bitcoin is a volatile market, and while a simple concept, it requires difficult execution. But there’s no reason why bitcoin shouldn’t be accepted as a form of currency. It’s a very safe way to exchange goods. Anyone who adopts bitcoin as a form of currency would most likely see an uptick in sales from Bitcoin owners interested in spending their mined goods.

Right now, the way people spend Bitcoin is primarily nefarious (a.k.a. the dark web.) This would be a great way to force Bitcoin into the mainstream. But adopting it as the main form of currency isn’t the best idea, seeing as the amount of Bitcoin is finite.

Assistant opinion editor Jorden Smith is a political science and creative writing junior and can be reached at [email protected]

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