Cryptocurrency technology is here to stay: Brock expert

Professor of Finance Don Cyr from Brock’s Goodman School of Business says that Cryptocurreny technology is here to stay. Brock University photo

Brock University press release – Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may be rife with volatility, but a Brock University finance expert believes blockchain technology is here to stay.

Professor of Finance Don Cyr from Brock’s Goodman School of Business has been closely following the cryptocurrency market and calls the blockchain technology behind Bitcoin “revolutionary.”

“The technology behind it is not going away,” said Cyr. “It has created this ability to transfer wealth through a cryptocurrency.”

He said the political aspect of cryptocurrency — where governments have little control or regulatory power over digital currencies — has helped fuel its growth. But as for which particular digital currencies will survive, Cyr said that remains to be seen.

While Bitcoin is the most popular and well-known, other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, launched by a Russian-born Canadian in 2013, are becoming serious competitors.

“In a year, I think we’re still going to see Bitcoin holding its position as the prime cryptocurrency,” Cyr said. “It will take a long time for the value of those other competitors to catch up to Bitcoin.”

Launched in 2009, Bitcoin was the first decentralized payment system, meaning transactions happen directly from person-to-person rather than having a central bank monitoring the currency. It uses blockchain technology, which is essentially a shared record book or database that records transactions.

Because of the inherent privacy associated with cryptocurrencies, taxation is a significant issue, and one that Cyr expects governments around the world will be trying to regulate.

“Most countries have decided to tax it like a commodity with capital gains, but how do we know who’s making the transactions? Governments may attempt the regulation of the exchanges that deal in the trading of the Bitcoin,” he said.

As for the suggestion that Bitcoin is following the same road as the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s, Cyr said there are certainly similarities.

“In finance, we recognize there have been speculative bubbles where markets seem to be overvalued and that there’s an overreaction in the market. I think you can see some of that in terms of the growth of the initial cryptocurrency offerings where people are speculating on what could be the next Bitcoin.”

That said, Cyr doesn’t think the blockchain technology behind Bitcoin is going away.

“Blockchain is a significant technological development, but it’s hard to say what form that will take in terms of cryptocurrency and other financial transactions in general,” he said.



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