Bitcoin: a reminder of the uncertainty in currency markets

By on May 5th, 2016 in Editorial

These are not even the most bewildering aspects of Bitcoin. The idea that a currency is worth only what people are willing to pay for it is disconcerting at the best of times, but Bitcoin draws attention to this fact with alarming vehemence. Where does it come from? Why would you want it? How do you spend it? You may as well be watching a colourful gas waft out of an abyss, trying to catch it in your pockets.

The process of obtaining Bitcoins is a game of Minecraft filtered through a nightmare about maths. You are a virtual collier, uncovering “blocks” of Bitcoin by having your souped-up computer crank out a mysterious 64-digit number. Once you’ve got your block you can stick it in an intangible electric wallet (a string of 27-34 numbers) and use it to order pizzas, grenades or ketamine.

You’d think the advantage of having a Bitcoin Wallet on your favourite device would be a safeguard against losing your fortune, but sadly not; misplace the data and you’ll lose your simulated treasure forever, like Rory Cellan-Jones did. That’s aside from the fact that Bitcoin is more volatile than Gordon Ramsay in the presence of a TV camera, now almost a third of the value it was three years ago.

“Bitcoin is a game of Minecraft filtered through a nightmare about maths.”

Obviously, conventional currencies aren’t entirely free of these drawbacks either, but Bitcoin really hammers home how scarily fluid, confusing and intensely complex the mechanics behind currency trading can be. That’s why we’ve tried to keep things as simple and constant as possible in our operations, never deviating from the exceptionally low 0.2% flat rate we charge on every transaction we make.

So, if there’s one thing you can be certain about, it’s that you’re getting the best rate with freemarket.

N.B. founder and CEO of freemarket Alex Hunn is in fact called Alex Hunn, and his photo is of Alex Hunn.

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James is freemarket’s Chief Commercial Officer. He has a history of finding new ways to solve age-old financial challenges and was responsible for launching some of the first online money transfer and prepaid card initiatives in Europe.

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