Podcast part 2: The supply and future value of Bitcoin

03 Oct 2017

Chris Becker

Investec economic strategist

In part two of our three-part podcast series on cryptocurrencies, Chris Becker, Investec economic strategist, discusses bitcoin supply and demand, cryptocurrency security and regulations and how bitcoin could represent the “biggest wealth transfer in the history of the world”.

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Cryptocurrencies podcast series

While 80% of the total supply of bitcoin (close on 21 million) has already been created and the supply of bitcoin halves every four years, there is more than enough to go around, according to Chris Becker.

Becker explains that this is because one bitcoin can be divided up into 100 million Satoshi (the smallest fraction of a bitcoin that can transact in), which means the true supply of bitcoin is actually 21 million multiplied by 100 million.

 

A new paradigm

Just as email now knows no borders, Becker says that cryptocurrencies represent a whole new paradigm of borderless money and bring up the issue of who controls the global cash system – governments or individuals?

Talking about the potential rise of the new “barons of finance”, Becker believes that bitcoin could be the “biggest wealth transfer in the history of the world to people who understood the tech early”.

Listen to podcast: Chris Becker on the future of Bitcoin

Scroll to the topics that interest you using the time codes below

 

00:30 How the supply of bitcoin works

02:13 How mining devices work

03:02 What is filecoin, a new blockchain network?

04:00 How cryptocurrencies will create a new paradigm of money

04:33 How to stay secure when trading bitcoins

07:40 When organisations are held ransom by hackers demanding payment in bitcoin

09:49 Why there will be enough bitcoin to go around

10:20 How bitcoin transaction fees are calculated

11:35 What the future of cryptocurrency holds

12:12 Regulations and ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings)

15:10 Distribution of wealth and the future value of bitcoin

Stay secure

While the blockchain technology that underlies cryptocurrencies is seemingly unhackable, Chris explains that an individual’s vulnerability lies in the downloading and log-ins for your online wallet.

When you download a wallet, you are given a kind of email address that is publically shared and you also have a password and private keys stored in your wallet that can be used to access your account if they fall into the wrong hands. “All the infrastructure hasn’t be built out yet to keep people safe,” says Chris.

 

The future of crypto

While it is still in its early days, Becker says that “We haven’t scratched the surface around what this technology can do,” and that the cryptocurrency “ecosystem is developing in leaps and bounds”.

The success of cryptocurrencies lies in how widely it becomes adopted by the masses and how it will be regulated. If it follows the same exponential growth curve of the internet and mobile phones, it has the potential to reach at least 50% of the market in the US, says Chris.

About the author

Chris Becker

Chris Becker

Blockchain technologies lead

Chris commercialises decentralised blockchain technologies and digital assets for the benefit of Investec Private Banking clients. In his previous role, he was an economist and strategist conducting research for large corporates, asset managers and hedge funds for a decade before entering blockchain technologies full time in 2017.

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The opinions and views expressed are for information purposes only and are subject to change without notice. They should not be viewed as independent research, recommendations or investment advice of any nature.