Do we really need cryptocurrencies? With this question, contained in an editorial by Riccardo Luna in the Press of 28 November, we would like to open a debate to listen to different voices on the topic to think together about the future of a revolution that started out full of promise and which instead, not only due to the latest news events (Binance and FTX), seems confined to an entirely overall marginal compared to expectations. The first intervention is by Andrea Ferrero, CEO and co-founder of Youngan Italian startup that has launched a platform to buy, sell or accumulate cryptocurrencies.
The cryptocurrency market is often overshadowed by sensationalist headlines and sensational cases like FTX e Binancewhich risk making us forget the essence and importance of cryptocurrencies in our contemporary society.
Today more than ever it is important to understand why we need to turn our attention back to Bitcoin and what it really represents for the global economy. First of all, it is essential to recognize the existence of a fundamental distinction between Bitcoin and the so-called altcoins, i.e. all cryptocurrencies other than BTC. Bitcoin is emerging as a potential solution to address complex economic problems, questioning the traditional concept of money and government management. This alternative paradigm represents an intellectual challenge, stimulating deep reflection on the social and economic model we have built. It is therefore clear that its role goes far beyond being a mere investment tool or object of speculation. But can we really consider alternative coins, which for convenience we will refer to as cryptocurrencies, as an essential part of our economic future? Or are they simply a passing fad, destined to be supplanted by more stable and traditional financial systems?
The recent ones lawsuits taken by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Justice and the CFTC (Commodity Futures and Options Markets Commission) of the United States against Binance, other exchanges and some protocols, mark a crucial watershed for the cryptocurrency industry. The global reach of US financial influence means that decisions made in Washington can have ripple effects around the world. This leads us to ask: how will global markets react to these lawsuits? And more importantly, how will Bitcoin fare in this increasingly regulated environment?
While some cryptocurrencies may find themselves in turbulent waters, Bitcoin appears to be uniquely positioned to withstand such challenges. Bitcoin it is not simply another cryptocurrency, but a new asset class in its own right, with a potential that transcends normal market dynamics. This distinction highlights the importance of understanding not only the market value, but also the intrinsic value and resilience of an asset like Bitcoin in a rapidly changing environment. With increasingly stringent regulators, Bitcoin could not only survive, but also emerge as a pillar of stability and innovation. Echoing Bitcoin’s fundamentals, other cryptocurrencies are often seen as symbols of financial freedom and innovation, but some models of cryptocurrencies or digital currencies could actually represent an attack on freedom. The emergence of centralized digital currencies, or CBDCs, could become a potential tool for surveillance and control, in stark contrast to the original concept of decentralization and autonomy that cryptocurrencies promised to bring.
While Bitcoin holds true to the principles of freedom and independence, other cryptocurrencies appear to align more closely with government interests. This vision raises an essential debate about the future of cryptocurrencies: are we witnessing the birth of a new paradigm of financial freedom or are we facing an evolution that could lead to greater centralization and control? Are cryptocurrencies really necessary in our financial future, or do they represent a step backwards from the values of individual freedom and sovereignty they claim to uphold?
The ‘crypto dysphoria’, eloquently captures the identity crisis plaguing the world of cryptocurrencies. This state of confusion concerns the classification of cryptocurrencies: they are securitiessimilar to stocks and bonds issued by companies like Microsoft, oppure commodities, raw materials traded on global markets? This regulatory dilemma is not only a technical challenge, but also reflects the difficulty of integrating cryptocurrencies into existing legal and financial systems. Their hybrid and innovative nature challenges traditional categories, leading to questions and uncertainties for both investors and regulators. The way in which they will be classified and regulated will also have a decisive impact on public perception.
It is clear that the debate on cryptocurrencies goes far beyond simple speculation on their market value. This is a complex and multidimensional discussion that touches on the regulation, identity and future of our financial system. In this context, the question ‘Do we still need cryptocurrencies?’ is not only relevant, but crucial to understanding and navigating the ever-changing financial landscape, and the answer requires looking beyond the glittering surface of technological innovation.
The economic and social crisis we are experiencing provides us with the answer: we still need those use cases that embody the original values and principles from which Bitcoin was born – decentralization, transparency, resistance to censorship, and independence from centralized systems. These aspects represent a paradigm shift, a step towards a more equitable and accessible financial future.
However, instead, we do not need tools that simply replicate the old financial paradigm in new guises. Cryptocurrencies must be more than just new toys for speculators: they must offer concrete solutions to real problems and open doors to a more inclusive and democratized financial future. In light of this, the future of cryptocurrencies does not just depend on their acceptance or market value, but on their ability to hold true to the revolutionary principles they promised to bring.