By eToro

Is Bitcoin ready to “grow up”?

For a very long time, it seemed that Bitcoin, the world’s foremost and most controversial crypto-currency, was born to be a teenager. Tumultuous, unpredictable and prone to violent mood swings from the get go, investors and users alike approached Bitcoin with caution just as they would their teenage son or daughter: for fear it might blow up in their faces.

Bitcoin Growing Up

But with the New York Stock exchange’s recent investment in  Coinbase, a premier Bitcoin exchange and wallet service, is Bitcoin finally on the verge of growing up?

An invitation to the adults’ table

The New York Stock exchange’s investment in Coinbase marks the biggest capital contribution the company has ever seen, but it’s significance reaches much further. A nod of confidence from the elder statesman of all financial exchanges signals a phase shift for Bitcoin investors.

At the very least, it means that Bitcoin is not going away any time soon, a distinct possibility in the currency’s earlier years if you look back at the multiple legal crackdowns on Bitcoin markets and the collapse of Mt. Gox.

At most, it means the launch of a new investment asset class that is independent from the existing stock, commodities and currencies markets and can provide a safe haven (the irony!) for investors in times of financial crisis.

Altogether, this development can only encourage Bitcoin users to trust in the currency’s longevity and stability.

A growing eco-system

The NY stock exchange is not the only financial powerhouse showing interest in a new, more mature Bitcoin. Former bankers from the world’s leading banks, such as Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, the French Societe Generale and BNP Paribas, have announced plans to launch a new Bitcoin trading platform for futures and options.

On the consumer side, major companies, such as Microsoft, Dell and the Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, have recently announced that they would start accepting Bitcoin payments for their products and services. An expansion of Bitcoin’s use as a currency rather than just an investment instrument, is expected to eventually lead to a more stable Bitcoin price.

So why the low price?

Despite growing acceptance and stability, Bitcoin prices haven’t been able to make the climb back to their previous highs.

bitcoin chart feb 2015

Having said that, the price seems to have stabilized (for now) in the $220-$240 range. This can be seen as a sign of maturity rather than decline, since a grown up currency simply moves in small increments, rather than big jumps. For the adrenaline junkies among you this might spell bad news, as a stable Bitcoin would no longer provide the heart stopping thrills of its teenage years. However, for the mature and safe investor this might mean that Bitcoin may finally become a viable investment option.

What do you see in Bitcoin’s future? Have your say!

Cryptocurrencies can fluctuate widely in prices and are therefore not appropriate for all investors. Trading cryptocurrencies is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework. Your capital is at risk.