Binary option brokers bet on bitcoin

(@davidgilson) | Published on June 20, 2013 at 10:00 BST

There is a new sign of bitcoin acceptance in the financial world. Two so-called binary options brokers – SetOption and TradeRush – have begun offering trades in BTC. In the press releases from both companies, there is a clear reaction to the volatility and building value of the digital currency.

On first glance, it would seem this is good news that bitcoin is a step closer to gaining mainstream acceptance. Stockbrokers are seeing the value in trading between BTC and fiat currencies. Those brokers will no doubt include the basics of bitcoin in their education pages, and thus more traders will be exposed to the digital currency.

It is telling that the stock brokers have seized upon bitcoin’s volatility as a point in its favour, while many find this to be something that counts against adopting bitcoin.

In its press release, TradeRush stated:

Bitcoin trading values private currency and its rate is constantly changing and experiencing significant increases. It is for this reason that bitcoin trading has gained such recent popularity in the markets.

This confirms the idea that many people are using bitcoin as a speculative commodity, rather than a reliable currency. This in itself could harm the currency. How could someone rely on the value of a currency that is changing so frequently?

Stock brokers already handle fiat currencies, and so we cannot denounce them for speculating on bitcoin. However, bitcoin needs balance to both reward traders and to give confidence to merchants and consumers.

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