The housing collapse in 2008, that shadowed the global financial markets, has had gripping repercussions on the global economy. With Greece, Venezuela and many other European countries still trapped in high recession, their economies are looking shaky and unstable. This is the consequence of the Great recession and countries are still feeling the ripples of it. As much as we don’t like it, another economic crisis is inevitable if the monetary policies aren’t very effective.
An economic crisis is a signal of how the existing monetary system has failed, which prompts for alternatives. Outside precious metals and the good old barter system, Bitcoin appears to be the best fit alternative to the existing system. Decentralized, border-less, peer-to-peer, and open-access digital currency surely seems to be a best fit in the face of calamity. Let’s look into how prepared Bitcoin is for the next Economic Crisis:
Sailing on both Tides:
An economic collapse can be of two types: Inflationary and Deflationary
Inflationary collapse or hyperinflation happens when an economy experiences very high and usually accelerating rates of inflation. This rapidly erodes the value of the local currency causing the population to minimize their holdings of local money. The population normally switches to holding relatively stable foreign currencies. Under such conditions, the general price level within an economy increases rapidly as the official currency quickly loses real value. The value of economic items remains relatively stable in terms of foreign currencies.
Deflationary collapse or Deflationary spiral happens when a period of decreasing prices leads to a situation whereby the economy collapses. Deflation is a decrease in the general price level of goods and services. Deflation occurs when the inflation rate falls below 0% (a negative inflation rate). Inflation reduces the real value of money over time; conversely, deflation increases the real value of money – the currency of a national or regional economy. This allows one to buy more goods and services than before with the same amount of money. Economists generally believe that deflation is a problem in a modern economy because it increases the real value of debt. This may aggravate recessions and eventually lead to a deflationary spiral.
How Bitcoin would fare under both circumstances:
In an inflationary collapse, people would be scrambling to buy bitcoin and other solid assets such as gold. This would be in an effort to preserve their savings from the debilitating effects of inflation. But for Bitcoin to be favored over other assets, the adoption level of Bitcoin should be very high. The digital currency should evolve to a stage where it can be used for all day to day transactions. This is prevalent in countries like Argentina, Venezuela and Greece. Users are actually looking at Bitcoin as an alternate to acquire foreign currencies and goods.
In this case, for Bitcoin to actually be preferred as an escape option, the currency should see mainstream adoption. The central banks and lenders should be able to accept Bitcoin in exchange for debt in fiat currencies. Unless the scenario is that positive, you’d see a massive selloff of bitcoin. This is because people would want to get as much USD as possible in order to pay debts.
In a financial crisis, there are limited tools available to sovereign entities to stem the crisis. Devaluation, bail-ins and capital controls are the go-to tools, Bitcoin counters them all. Bitcoin extends the basic properties of good money with extreme, no-cost portability, security and stealth. These properties are extremely valuable in cataclysmic financial collapse. However its utility majorly depends on adoption of the cryptocurrency before the impending crisis.