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23 Apr, 2014 17:02

Bitcoin ‘cheaper and safer’ alternative to fiat money

Bitcoin ‘cheaper and safer’ alternative to fiat money

Bitcoin is a global phenomenon and will gain in popularity across the world, even despite hostile attitudes toward the crypto-currency from state authorities, experts at Moscow’s first-ever Bitcoin conference told RT.

“Anybody who uses money, Bitcoin is important to them,” Roger Ver, chief executive director at MemoryDealers.com, said in an interview to RT on Wednesday.

First of all, Bitcoin is now “a major trend that will be transformative all around the world,” Dr. Bastian Brand, an investment director at Pathfinder Crypto-currency Fund (PCF) said.

“It might be not too relevant for Russia as of now, but I expect also that Eastern Europe and Russia will become a very important market for Bitcoin,” he said.

While central banks have been recently ringing alarm bells over the legal status of the crypto-currency and its alleged ties with terrorism financing and drug sales, Ver said it didn’t really matter as long as people want to buy bitcoins.

“Other people using Bitcoin to buy drugs or launder money is not a danger for me, that’s a danger for those people,” Ver said. “At the end of the day, nobody can block or stop or prevent anybody from using Bitcoin if they want to do that, that’s just a protocol and it just works.”

Bitcoin lures

Lack of government regulation is one of Bitcoin’s greatest advantages, experts at the conference said.

“It cannot be manipulated by politics in an easy way,” said Dr. Bastian Brand. “Just to take an extreme scenario, all the wars in the world have been paid for… by inflation, by printing money. This is not that easy with Bitcoin,” he said.

With Bitcoin none of governments’ “fancy” tools like quantitative easing or economic stimulus can happen, Ver said.

“There’s a fixed supply, there will never be more than 21 million bitcoins. That’s a fantastic benefit that Bitcoin has over traditional government fiat currencies.”

Another advantage for the crypto-currency is that it doesn’t include huge charges.

“If you have international money transfers, so far they are awfully expensive,” Ver said. “With Bitcoin, especially in the case with these tax-heavy people, you can cut out a lot of costs.”

While bitcoin won’t immediately replace the major existing currencies, it remains an interesting alternative to the conventional currencies we have now, participants in the conference said.