Best Argument: Yes
Audience Favored: Yes (77%)
Freedom-loving people will embrace it
Robin Harris: The US banking system has become an extension of the NSA and the surveillance state. We need a currency that allows citizens to keep their private affairs private. Bitcoin is such a currency and freedom loving people should and will embrace it.
But Bitcoins - or something like it - are the future because it is already the present. Most transactions in America are already bits moved around a network, not physical currency.
These bits are denominated in dollars but there is no reason they have to be. America has a national currency because laws made it so. And any law can be changed.
Even if we keep the dollar, individuals and businesses can agree to acccept other currencies, as many already accept Bitcoin. Internet-based disintermediation has hit virtually every industry. Money is next.
Will become a niche financial services product
Michael Krigsman: Bitcoin’s appeal lies in being anonymous, untraceable, and unregulated. These attributes give the virtual currency appeal to a broad spectrum to constituents – speculators and investors, entrepreneurs, and the criminal underworld including drug traffickers, terrorists, and anyone wanting to circumvent currency or tax regulations.
Recent events such as the shutdown of Bitcoin marketplace Silk Road, where anyone could purchase drugs, guns, and even hire a contract killer, demonstrate the government’s serious position on regulating Bitcoin. At the same time, financial regulators have taken steps to pull Bitcoin toward compliance with currency laws.
Once speculation subsides and financial laws are in place, Bitcoin will survive as a niche source of barter, purchase, and exchange. Just as credit card transactions are tracked and reported, without anonymity, Bitcoin will eventually be brought into the mainstream.
Bitcoin’s long-term future is being a regulated financial instrument that serves certain purposes; in other words, once the dust settles, Bitcoin will become a niche financial services product. Is Bitcoin the future of money? Not a chance.