I think Bitcoin is misunderstood – E24

I think Bitcoin is misunderstood – E24

London (E24): 'A misunderstanding', 'an escape hole', and 'much bigger' than critics think: From his office in London, Norway's Christopher Bendiksen is focused solely on Bitcoin.

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Cryptocurrency veteran Christopher Bendixen, 38, sits leaning back in a leather chair in the old bank building of The Ned Hotel in London's financial district.

-What do you think crypto critics misunderstand?

-It often becomes a bit comical. It would be as if you and I were to present ourselves as experts in microprocessors or artificial intelligence, he tells E24.

7500 percent

Bendixen is a biochemist and biophysicist from the Universities of Tampa and Barcelona. For the past eleven years, he has lived in London, where he initially worked as a shipbroker before starting seven years ago as head of analysis at Coinshares Cryptocurrency Manager. Coinshares Cryptocurrency Manager. The company offers a range of financial products that give investors exposure to various cryptocurrencies without having to buy and store them themselves.

Now Bitcoin is his sole focus.

Thus, he experienced the biggest fluctuations in the price of Bitcoin, and learned to live with the fluctuations. Bendixen believes critics misunderstand Bitcoin's importance to the world, and has been riding the cryptocurrency wave for the past seven years.

At the beginning of 2017, the price of one Bitcoin was $900. Now it costs about $70,000. An increase of more than 7,500 percent.

– A Western phenomenon

The Norwegian says that speculation in Bitcoin is primarily a Western phenomenon, and he believes that technology is much more important than that.

– It is not that the currency works well in all countries. It's not even that the currency works well in most countries. Most of the world's population lives in countries where the currency is very poor. This is something that people have to take into account when they sit in the Western world, with Western eyes, and they have to analyze something. So it's very easy to get lost in the fact that the Kiwi on the corner doesn't accept Bitcoin. “who cares?”.

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-If you can buy Snickers from a kiosk with Bitcoin, it doesn't mean anything.

He believes that this is what critics ignore.

– They can't see further than the tip of their nose. This is much bigger than them. It would be as Krugman said in the 1990s that the Internet would never be more important to the world than the fax machine.

Bendiksen in the old bank building at The Ned Hotel.

-There was no such thing as a “Bitcoin job.”

We move across the street to the Coinshares offices. The buildings are filled with pool tables and large screens with graphs and numbers.

From the meeting room you can see directly from the Bank of England. The famous and ancient financial institution that has huge reserves of gold in its vault.

In the job of a shipbroker, before the job of cryptocurrencies, he was particularly focused on the world's energy markets. This gave him insights that he took with him into the world of cryptocurrencies.

– He says it is closely related to how to secure the network.

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Bendiksen now works partly in analysis and partly in sales.

-I discovered Bitcoin as soon as I moved to London eleven years ago. But at the time there was no such thing as a “Bitcoin job,” he says.

– Now I spend my time talking with clients about how to price cryptocurrencies, what is the idea behind such investments, why you should consider this, and how to analyze it.

Quitting his job as a freight broker in London to start selling cryptocurrency products in 2017 came as a shock to many. In 2017, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies were much less popular than they are today.

– It was clearly a big risk. But one of the things I think I'm good at is seeing big trends and their impact on the future, he answers.

-Anyway, I spent a lot of time on this, so the combination of interest and work was attractive.

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– Point in a journey

Bendixen believes that most people who speak out about Bitcoin have never had problems obtaining foreign currency, sending money out of the country, or experiencing severe inflation.

– In many places, the inflation rate exceeds 20% every year, and all you have to use is cash. He believes that seeing Bitcoin as a pure investment object is wrong.

-If you want to save for your children's education in 20 years, you can't save in cash if that cash loses 20 percent of its value every year. This is the case in large parts of Africa, India, Southeast Asia and South America.

Bendiksen believes that not everyone can put money in a high-interest account or in a fund, as the Norwegians do.

– Norwegians have very good access to financial products and do not understand that this is not common at all. It's not even common to get online banking.

The Bendiksen Building at the Coinshares offices, with a view of the Bank of England.

-Do you think it doesn't matter what Bitcoin is today?

– Yes, it really is. But it's not completely irrelevant. It is, after all, a point in the journey. But what you need to be able to see is whether it moves forward and whether the global population will accept this technology. What is it used for? What problems will the world solve with this technology, and is this graph pointing upward? He answers: These are the questions I spend my time on.

Like a kitchen knife

Bendixen doesn't think fiat currencies will disappear just because Bitcoin becomes popular.

– But what I think may happen is that national authorities will have to exercise more fiscal discipline, because it will become increasingly difficult to secure their populations in a single currency.

Thus, inflation will have less ability to deplete the values ​​people are sitting on, Bendixen believes.

– Maybe it was Christine Lagarde who said it: “If there is an exit, people will come to use it.” And now the escape hatch is here. Previously, border control could be used to stop people who were on their way in and out of the country with valuables.

But with cryptocurrencies, that no longer works, Bendiksen believes.

– Many are concerned that cryptocurrencies are an effective tool in crime. Is this something you have to put up with now that you have Bitcoin?

– This is something you have to bear, like gold, diamonds and similar things. Now there are few crimes that use Bitcoin in terms of percentage. Most of them use common currencies. Most money laundering still passes through banks. The comparison isn't even close, says Bendixen.

-All good tools can be used for bad things. This is also the case with kitchen knives and hammers. Cars can also be used in bank robberies. Good tools are also naturally useful to criminals. The most important thing is for the authorities to learn how to do this.

Hanisi Anenih

Hanisi Anenih

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