Already users have pointed out that this new phenomenon presented their legitimate candidacy as a means of payment in the form of digital money, although with serious doubts about his current abilities to become a unit of account and deposit of value.

It is true that in this short but intense period we have continued to ask ourselves questions, posing scenarios about the future of this market, debating and learning about blockchain, the technology that sustains them; but it is not less that we have also attended important events that we will analyze next.

The cryptocurrency market has behaved in an erratic way, firing its capitalization (1) at the end of 2017, peaked at the beginning of 2018, touching 700 billion euros, to correct more than 50% down just three months later.

And on that trip he has taught us that he has a volatility that multiplies by eight and ten times that of assets such as gold or the dollar and that apparently have no correlation (2) with traditional financial markets such as equity, fixed income, currencies or even commodities.

In addition, it is a narrow market, since on average, two thirds dominate only four references: the bitcoin, which remains the king, but less and less (slightly more than 40%), the ethereum, which is gaining positions (15 %), ripple (8%) and bitcoin fork (3), bitcoin cash (4%).

At the same time, a new phenomenon is beginning to develop, in my opinion of much more depth than cryptocurrencies and which we have also dealt with in this blog: the Initial Coin Offering (ICO).

The ICOs allow transcending the term cryptocurrency and replace it with a broader and much more important one: we talk about crypto assets and a window towards the “tokenization” of a part of the economy.

At the time of the cryptocurrency market, the ICO market skyrocketed in 2017 and reached a world volume close to 4,000 million dollars (4), which, to get an idea of the magnitude, is double the figure that the venture capital industry managed to collect among investors, in the same period, to finance projects associated with blockchain. If you are interested in blockchain, you can signup by given below form:

And if you are wondering if we have an ICO market , the answer is yes, and very incipient, with large and interesting operations announced for 2018: one of them launched by a food company listed on the Alternative Stock Market (MAB)

Logically, these movements could not go unnoticed by regulators and multilateral institutions that, at least on paper, monitor and ensure the stability of global financial systems.

Some examples:

The European Central Bank redefined its 2012 position on cryptocurrencies and in a study published in 2015 (5) began to consider them as “a digital representation of value, not issued by a central bank, a credit institution or an electronic money institution , which, in some circumstances, can be used as an alternative to money.

The G20 economic forum, at its Argentina summit held in March this year, announced in a part of its joint statement after the meeting: We ask the organizations that set international standards to continue with the supervision of cryptocurrencies and their risks, and evaluate the necessary multilateral actions.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its director, Christine Lagarde, have repeatedly ruled on the desirability of having a regulation for cryptocurrencies; the last one has been in a post written by herself, in which she expresses the need to develop regulatory frameworks to face the challenges that arise from these assets.

In February 2018, the European Commission showed its willingness to act autonomously in order to address the risks of cryptocurrencies for financial markets if they were not addressed internationally, although it has urged to await the outcome of the discussions to global level, and just two months later, the European Chamber approved a series of measures to combat anonymity in the cryptocurrency market.

And on the planet in February 2018, in my opinion under pressure by what their European counterparts had done, the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) and the Bank of Spain finally decided to pronounce on this phenomenon and its possible operations in the market, and they did it through two joint communiqués in which they indicate that cryptocurrencies are not fiat money , understood as money of legal tender, and therefore they are not money itself, although they can be considered a means of payment.

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