The government of Iceland does not have the necessary skills to manage its own currency. It should ditch the Icelandic krona and adopt Bitcoin, a nascent virtual currency that so far looks like the preserve of speculators, internet geeks, money launderers and illicit online gamblers.
That was the incendiary view being championed by an angel investor called Sveinn Valfells last week, as investors, computer programmers and users of the online currency gathered at Canary Wharf to attend the Bitcoin London conference. Despite the unorthodoxy of Valfells’ points, he was actually making his argument from a position of some kind of strength in that he is a) Icelandic, and b) comes from a family with a history of running unofficial currencies.
City sources say major financial institutions have started hiring researchers to analyze the market, the theory being that if the price rises above $400, Bitcoins will have become valuable enough for them to plough money into. Others, however, feel that will create an even bigger bubble, and potentially undermine the embryo of a decent idea.
Professor Jon Rushman, of Warwick Business School, says: “It is not going to help Bitcoin’s quest for respectability to have associations with such thoroughbred vulture capitalists [as the Winklevoss twins]. The less people think of Bitcoin as a ‘get rich quick’ investment, the better its chances of survival. It needs publicity for its qualities as a neutral and universally accessible currency with a transparent exchange rate and immunity from central bank manipulation.”
*Excerpt from The Business Insider. News article copyright Simon Goodley at The Guardian.