''We're going to observe changes of $1,000 per day soon, and it will be a norm''

Interview with bitcoin evangelist Konstantin Nikonov about leaps in cryptocurrency and its future

''We're going to observe changes of $1,000 per day soon, and it will be a norm'' Photo: cbc.ca

Bitcoin has reached $2,000 in the middle of March for the first time in history. The currency rate has almost doubled since the beginning of the year. If we remember the analogous period of 2016, the price of bitcoin fluctuated between $400-600. However, truly record numbers were reached last week. The value of bitcoin increased 2,500 and 2,600 first on 25 May and then $2,700. It should be noted bitcoin expected a serious fall by the evening of the same day – it dropped by $430. Realnoe Vremya reached out to bitcoin evangelist, Unolabo Executive Director Konstantin Nikonov to find out whether the latest fall of the currency meant that bitcoin would calm down very soon.

''To link the demand for bitcoin with politics is like to admit rain as natural phenomenon''

Konstantin, what do you think can explain the significant bitcoin price growth in the recent time?

Technology has become clearer for a mass user. New services, cash machines, wallets are appearing… Big money is spent to attract users. This is why new people who were not acquainted with technology are attracted.

As I had forecasted, conservative investors finally entered the cryptocurrency market. For instance, Wall Street analyst Spencer Bogart who became an employee of Blockchain Capital and whose opinion investors rely on is an authority in stock markets. Even Securities and Exchange Commission's refusal to register Bitcoin ETF of the Winklevoss brothers did not confuse the moneybags from New York.

''Technology has become clearer for a mass user. New services, cash machines, wallets are appearing… Big money is spent to attract users. This is why new people who were not acquainted with technology are attracted.'' Photo: newcorediary.com

China turned out to be not all mighty. Government restrictions and attempts to regulate the market significantly worsened the situation in cryptocurrency exchanges of China. The BTC rate sharply fell from $1,200 to about $900 then, but the market was flexible, investors' losses were insignificant and the infrastructure was prepared for such situations. As a result, the reliability of bitcoin as investment tool confirmed.

Can we explain the grown rate by official recognition of bitcoin as legal payment way in Japan since 1 April?

No, probably, everything is on the contrary. If the Accounting Standards Board of Japan simply admitted the bitcoin as currency, it could have affected the rate positively. The cryptocurrency market of Japan fluctuates at about $2-3bn (out of the world 40) and doesn't have an important influence on the bitcoin rate. But the Japanese regulator not only doesn't admit the existence of bitcoin as currency. They are creating a corpus of cryptocurrency circulation, which is rather a negative influence on the BTC rate.

At the same time, there is an opinion that general interest in cryptocurrencies could have affected the rate. What do you think about this version?

It is rather grown interest. As I told above, investments in the marketing of cryptocurrency projects increase information distribution speed. Even Russian charity foundations are already talking about bitcoin. For instance, Sheredar is thinking of a possibility to get donations in bitcoins. The more people speak about bitcoin, the higher its rate is. It is natural.

''I think to link the demand for bitcoin with politics is like to admit rain as natural phenomenon: any political situation positively affects the demand like rain doesn't stop being a creation of nature.'' Photo: vk.com

Some experts are sure the demand for the cryptocurrency could increase due to the political instability in the world…

Bitcoin is indirectly linked with politics. Yes, cryptoanarchists, libertarians and others of like mind consider bitcoin a baby of their ideology.

The Indian case with a withdrawal of gold and devaluation of the national currency at the beginning of 2017 had an insignificant impact on the growth of the bitcoin rate. And India is a country with a huge population and developing technological infrastructure.

During Trump's pre-election campaign, Elon Musk always gave positive comments about bitcoin, but it did not have a big impact on the bitcoin rate. The political instability in Venezuela has been lasting for several years already while the volume of bolívar in cryptocurrency exchanges doesn't reach even $100m. I think to link the demand for bitcoin with politics is like to admit rain as natural phenomenon: any political situation positively affects the demand like rain doesn't stop being a creation of nature.

''The rush rises the bitcoin rate. But it happens analogically, for example, with diamond price growth. How is a price for diamond protected? Like bitcoin – by popularity, use, information.'' Photo: elconfidencial.com

''From a mathematical perspective, bitcoin is almost opposite to the financial pyramid''

Does the sudden rate growth mean speculations? Can we apply such terms as ''speculation'' and ''financial bubble'' to bitcoin? Is bitcoin protected in this respect?

Such concepts as ''speculation'' and ''financial bubble'' can't be put together. There is nothing bad in speculation, it is an intellectual business unlike bubbles that are a lie beforehand. At the dawn of appearance of bitcoin, many sceptics found cryptocurrencies similar to various fraudulent schemes. I often faced analogues with the Ponzi scheme, etc.

Now we clearly see that, from a mathematical perspective, bitcoin is almost opposite to the financial pyramid because, algorithmically, there are few bitcoins. While connecting new users, profit doesn't increase in geometric progression. The rush rises the bitcoin rate. But it happens analogically, for example, with diamond price growth. How is a price for diamond protected? Like bitcoin – by popularity, use, information.

Are not you afraid of a sudden rate growth?

I will cite one of my forecasts I announced earlier to answer this question: ''Some experts talk about a possible growth of $2,000-5,000 by the end of 2017. So I am not afraid of the rate growth at all. It rather gladdens because it justifies my forecasts and correctness of the technical analysis.

Bitcoin collapsed by $430 at the end of the last week. Do you think bitcoin is going to start growing or reducing? Is it true that it is impossible to forecast a growth or fall in the cryptocurrency?

I already don't think the fall by $400 is something unusual. I think it is the case when we observe changes of $1,000 per day soon, and it will be a norm. It is difficult to forecast the bitcoin rate within a short period of time but possible.

''Bitcoin is growing. The majority of cryptocurrencies are growing simultaneously because diversification of cryptocurrency investment package is becoming a norm for any speculator.'' Photo: ey.com

''Bitcoin could have already become the currency of one of the quite big countries''

Konstantin, is it true that the share of bitcoin in the world economy is still very small?

It depends. Do you think $40bn is little? Ukraine's budget income is $27,5bn. So bitcoin could have already become the currency of one of the quite big countries. Bitcoin doesn't have and won't have a share in the economy. Cryptocurrencies have other goals.

Is the cryptocurrency interesting for currency traders?

I think some cryptocurrencies (litecoin, ethereum) exist thanks to currency traders. Bitcoin is growing. The majority of cryptocurrencies are growing simultaneously because diversification of cryptocurrency investment package is becoming a norm for any speculator.

In conclusion, I will ask you quite an abstract question. Do you think it is possible to create a world financial system based on the cryptocurrency?

I will briefly answer the question by a question. Why should we create a world financial system based on the cryptocurrency when there is bitcoin?

By Lina Sarimova