Is Bitcoin a financial best friend for expats

Published:  8 May at 6 PM
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It’s fair to say Bitcoin is now a huge topic of interest amongst the worldwide expat community as well as an investment for the adventurous.

First created and launched in 2009, the cryptocurrency concept was designed to become a universal method of payment achieved through secure, automated transactions. In fact, the design itself was the groundwork for a totally new monetary system. From the start, it was used as an investment as well as a currency, leading to the amazing 2017 rise in its value from $1,000 to $19,000 over a short period of time and its subsequent crash to half its value in US$ terms.

For expats, Bitcoin could be the answer to the exchange rate issues caused by this multi-currency world, as it’s not restricted by international borders and can be spent in all countries by anyone. It’s new, it’s cool and a fast-growing number of businesses are accepting it, including a number in the airline sector. Bitcoin's logical future is being seen as the online payment method of choice, thus freeing up world travellers and expats from the chore of currency conversion and its associated fees and commissions.

For expat professionals working in politically unstable countries where rule changes can mean disaster for the local exchange rate, Bitcoin could be a useful tool, and banking crises causing capital controls or even frozen funds could be laughed off by those holding the cryptocurrency. Given its possible advantages, it has to be said that, purely as an investment or a place to store wealth, it’s not yet proven to be stable. The massive fluctuations seen last year gave even its strongest supporters pause for thought, as no-one at the time knew where the fall would stop and only those who bought in during its first few years could be said to be winners.

Current economic indicators coupled with growing political instability in the West could cause increased volatility in conventional markets which could well spill over into cryptocurrency. Supporters of Bitcoin should also remember that a number of countries are now introducing legislation to either tax, control or even prohibit cryptocurrency usage.
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