Published: Feb 9, 2018 4:19 p.m. ET However, maybe the most divisive debate of them all centers on a decentralized payment system that relies on the ‘trust’ of complicated software protocols and problem-solving techniques, which are purely reliant on the internet: Bitcoin. At one end you have the combative Winklevoss twins who challenge the imaginations of cryptocurrency skeptics, claiming bitcoin is going to be worth over $300,000 and could eventually replace gold.

Then you have your older traditional investors like F. William McNabb, chairman of Vanguard Group, who said bitcoin poses a systemic risk to the financial system, and it’s volatility undermines its adoption, adding that he sees a “decent probability that its price goes to zero.” With every 10% swing in the price of bitcoin

BTCUSD, +3.49%

the bulls and bears are moving further apart. Often fueled by wildly inaccurate claims based on little research or understanding on what remains an enigmatic facet of the financial system.

“The current discussions are triggered largely by bitcoin’s spectacular price increases, and all too often, participants only repeat dogmatic claims, for example that ‘bitcoin will soon be dead anyway’ or ‘bitcoin will soon dominate the financial sector,’” Deutsche Bank said in a research note. At one end of the spectrum, proponents of bitcoin believe that one day digital currencies and blockchain technology will replace the entire banking system.

As Deutsche Bank points out, it’s no coincidence that bitcoin was created during the financial crisis. Antiestablishment and libertarian at its core, those who believe in bitcoin argue it’s a more reliable and safer payment system, that doesn’t strip users of their personal information like the evil empires (i.e., banks) do.

However, at seven transactions per second, bitcoin pale in comparison with a credit card system that handles millions of transactions per second. And as bitcoin has become more popular, confirmation time has skyrocketed—a trend that doesn’t bode well should uptake increase. Read more from…

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