ECONOMÍA

¿Bitcoin como medio de pago en mi startup? ¿En mi vida?

Fuente: StocksMasters

¿Recibirías dólares como pago en tu startup si supieras que hay un 50% de probabilidad que en una semana el tipo de cambio en Perú suba de S/ 3.20 a S/ 6.40? ¿Y si al mismo tiempo hubiera 50% de probabilidad de que baje a S/ 1.60?

Yo no. Mi caja necesita predictibilidad.

A un riesgo similar estaríamos expuestos si decidiéramos aceptar Bitcoin. Sólo que en este caso la volatilidad sería mucho más pronunciada (gráfica de serrucho le dicen algunos) con desviaciones estándar (dispersión o distancia promedio de los precios de cada día al precio medio en la muestra) difíciles de encontrar en otros mercados. No es lo mismo saber que el dólar puede fluctuar entre 3.20 y 3.30 que decir que puede variar entre 1 y 10 soles.

En términos prácticos, con data de mercado, si el Lunes pasado le hubiéramos recibido a un cliente un bitcoin como forma de pago teníamos en nuestras manos cerca de $11,000 y alrededor de $6,500 hoy. La gráfica en la siguiente imagen lo muestra claramente.

Fuente: CoinMarketCap

¿Por qué alguien querría recibir entonces Bitcoin como forma de pago? ¿Es en verdad un repositorio de valor (value storage) si tiene esa volatilidad?

Seguramente suena hasta sexy decir que tu proyecto ahora recibe Bitcoins, o incluso Ethereum o Ripple para los más osados (sobre todo si estás en fintech) pero la verdad es que no sería una movida inteligente. No hoy al menos.

Abajo la Volatilidad

El mercado de criptomonedas y sus entusiastas tienen aún por delante consolidar lo que se llaman los fundamentos de mercado. Para que el mercado de criptomonedas sea realmente lo masivo que puede llegar a ser, el precio del Bitcoin y sus amigos debe poderse explicarse más allá de la escasez (sólo habrán 21 millones de bitcoin en total) y que por tanto “su precio sólo puede subir”. Lamentablemente ese es el argumento que más se repite en blogs, podcasts y charlas de la industria de criptovalores. Yo no termino de entenderlo.

Si el bitcoin quiere mostrar su potencial de “oro del futuro” tiene que acercarse a las personas y para ello su precio debe ser relativamente predecible como casi todos los metales, divisas y hasta acciones. Hoy se usa en países africanos con inflaciones que son una locura, pero su volatilidad empieza a ser un problema.

¿Cómo se puede llegar a ese punto?

En mi opinión, aquí son claves 3 puntos:

  1. Reducir el riesgo de manipulación de precios de mercado. Difícilmente será masivo si grupos reducidos de personas e instituciones mantienen el control de un porcentaje importante de las monedas. Se dice que 40% de todos los Bitcoins en el mercado (en total, un poco menos de 17 millones) está en manos de 1,000 personas.
  2. Uso. No se habla lo suficiente de cómo crece el uso y el número de comercios que aceptan Bitcoin y otras criptomonedas. Tampoco de como se usan efectivamente en esos comercios progresistas e innovadores. ¿Es a través de las franquicias conocidas como Visa, Mastercard y American Express? ¿O llego a ese café en Silicon Valley con el loguito de la B afuera y el barista me dice cuántos satoshis tengo que transferir a su billetera? Nadie ahorra en lingotes de oro porque nadie los recibe para comprar una casa o un almuerzo.
  3. Una vez que los dos puntos anteriores realmente tomen importancia y se empiece a entender que hay una relación del precio del bitcoin (cualquiera que sea, $100 o $1M) y su uso, y que además este flota libremente en el mercado a merced de la oferta y la demanda, entonces empezaremos a entender sus fundamentos. Es clave que se creen y entiendan masivamente indicadores y su correlación con el precio. Se debe llegar a análisis del tipo “por cada nuevo Bitcoin aceptado en comercio retail en el mundo su precio sube X dólares” ó “por cada dólar enviado en remesas a través de criptomonedas el precio de estas se afecta de tal o cual manera”

¡Que emprendan bien!

Moisés Otero
Emprendor Digital, Co-fundador de la primera comunidad p2p para el cambio de dólares en Latam, MidPoint FX; Fundador de Embarkee y exGerente de Negocios de Comparabien. Escribe sobre sus vivencias, experiencia y el desarrollo del mundo startup y la industria fintech en Perú y la región.
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