Recently I started investing in bitcoins and I’ve heard a lot of discusses inflation and deflation but not lots of people actually know and consider what inflation and deflation are. But let’s start with inflation.
We always needed ways to trade value and the most practical way to do it would be to link it with money. Previously it worked quite well as the money that has been issued was linked to gold. So every central bank needed enough gold to cover back all the money it issued. However, in past times century this changed and gold isn’t what is giving value to money but promises. As possible guess it’s very an easy task to abuse to such power and certainly the major central banks are not renouncing to do so. That is why they are printing money, so in other words they’re “creating wealth” out of thin air without really having it. This process not merely exposes us to risks of economic collapse nonetheless it results also with the de-valuation of money. Therefore, because money is worth less, whoever is selling something has to increase the price of goods to reflect their real value, that is called inflation. But what’s behind the amount of money printing? Why are central banks doing so? Well the answer they would give you is that by de-valuing their currency they are helping the exports.
In fairness, inside our global economy this is true. However, that’s not the only real reason. By issuing Bitcoin Era Review are able to afford to pay back the debts we’d, put simply we make new debts to cover the old ones. But that is not only it, by de-valuing our currencies we have been de-facto de-valuing our debts. That is why our countries love inflation. In inflationary environments it’s better to grow because debts are cheap. But which are the consequences of most this? It’s hard to store wealth. So if you keep the money (you worked hard to obtain) in your bank account you are actually losing wealth because your cash is de-valuing pretty quickly.
Because each central bank comes with an inflation target at around 2% we are able to well say that keeping money costs all of us at least 2% per year. This discourages savers and spur consumes. This is one way our economies are working, predicated on inflation and debts.
What about deflation? Well this is exactly the opposite of inflation and it is the biggest nightmare for our central banks, let’s understand why. Basically, we have deflation when overall the prices of goods fall. This might be caused by an increase of value of money. For starters, it would hurt spending as consumers will be incentivised to save lots of money because their value will increase overtime. On the other hand merchants will undoubtedly be under constant pressure. They’ll have to sell their goods quick otherwise they will lose money because the price they will charge for their services will drop over time. But if there is something we learned in these years is that central banks and governments do not care much about consumers or merchants, what they care the most is DEBT!!. In a deflationary environment debt will become a real burden as it will only get bigger as time passes. Because our economies derive from debt you can imagine what will function as consequences of deflation.
So to summarize, inflation is growth friendly but is founded on debt. Which means future generations can pay our debts. Deflation on the other hand makes growth harder but it implies that future generations won’t have much debt to pay (in such context it could be possible to afford slow growth).
OK so how all of this fits with bitcoins?
Well, bitcoins are designed to be an alternative for the money also to be both a store of value and a mean for trading goods. They are limited in number and we’ll never have more than 21 million bitcoins around. Therefore they’re designed to be deflationary. Now we have all seen what the results of deflation are. However, in a bitcoin-based future it would still be possible for businesses to thrive. The way to go will be to switch from the debt-based economy to a share-based economy. Actually, because contracting debts in bitcoins will be very expensive business can still obtain the capital they need by issuing shares of their company. This could be an interesting alternative as it will offer you many investment opportunities and the wealth generated will be distributed more evenly among people. However, simply for clarity, I have to say that part of the costs of borrowing capital will undoubtedly be reduced under bitcoins as the fees would be extremely low and there will not be intermediaries between transactions (banks rip people off, both borrowers and lenders). This might buffer a few of the negative sides of deflation. Nevertheless, bitcoins will face many problems unfortunately, as governments still need fiat money to pay back the huge debts that we inherited from days gone by generations.