A queries analyst on Google reports a sharp increase in searches to buy the most famous virtual currencies. While its dollar exchange rate is well anchored above 10,000 usd, bankers and economists are sounding the alarm bells about the risk of a bubble bursting.
Described as pure speculation based on no real value, bitcoin is also of increasing interest to more and more traditional financial players.
Value multiplied by eleven in one year
Not a day goes by without a daily newspaper running the Bitcoin. And success is slipping from Google News to "Google everywhere". Data Trek Research, an analysis firm based on Wall Street, has been digging through the search trend data provided by Google Trends, and is seeing a very clear inflation in research on the most famous crypto as revealed by the CNBC.
For example, the expression "buy bitcoin with credit card" reached a historic peak in the last week of November. The entire sentence represents only 3% of all research on Bitcoin, but its rise is indicative of the interest of Internet users, a minority of whom are actively seeking it. It must be said that the Bitcoin is an investment that turns heads: traded for 1,000 dollars a year ago, it was worth more than 14,000 on Monday 15 January! An appreciation punctuated by violent upheavals, favourable to speculation.
Bubble or product of the future?
With its 162 billion dollars equivalent, the Bitcoin alone weighs more than half the value of the more than 70 cryptomonnaies that exist today. A success that gives ideas to some: AFP, relayed by Challenges (French magazine), recently told the story of a Manhattan ice cream merchant accepting payment in Bitcoin! Not very practical however: the transaction, which must be validated by all the actors of the blockchain (it is the strength of Bitcoin, the absolute traceability of exchanges), often takes several minutes.
This story illustrates the attraction of the decentralised currency, which has become a major preoccupation for those involved in "real" finance. We can no longer count the forums, interviews and contributions of bankers or economists, led by the French Nobel Prize winner Jean Tirole, to denounce the danger for investors of a currency without a regulator, likely to collapse at any time and not based on any real asset... Not everyone agrees, however: the Chicago Stock Exchange, the world's largest futures market, uses now Bitcoin futures contracts. This will be the first regulated framework for the Bitcoin, which is gradually gaining its stripes of authentic currency.