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Bitcon be damned – watch your mortgage instead?

What a load of old cobblers I am reading about Bitcoin.

It’s a con - a plaything invented by tech-nerds for an intellectual pastime gone way too far. It’s a global excuse for money laundering and tax evasion because crooks are much smarter than geeks or governments. And now, unbelievably, some banks around the world are trading Bitcoin – even Bitcoin futures - as if it had some kind of value. The directors of some banks probably need their avaricious heads examined.

Only a couple of years ago there were three so-called crypo-currencies in dubious circulation. Now there are more than 1000. The idea behind them was to develop a currency which had no borders or tariffs; no political interference or governmental control.

All of the above reasons, of course, are why governments hate crypto-currencies and will, in my view, ultimately intercede to ensure they do not succeed. If they cannot collect tax, then they will have to ban them or there will be no government as they know it – and governments won’t want that!

I have yet to read of anyone who has swapped them for goods, in say, Boots, or has got one changed up in a branch of Barclays.There is no evidence of which I am aware that you can fill up your car, pay your electricity bill or redeem your mortgage with Bitcoin. So, quite simply, what is their value to any of us? Yet, disturbingly, a recent YouGov survey reveals that 43 per cent of young adults (aged 18 to 24) were confident they understood Bitcoin, while only 15 per cent said they knew about tracker mortgages.

Now this may just of course be the braggadocio of the young but even so it numbs the senses. Most young people tell us that they still want to own their own home. 90+%. The tracker is one of the most basic forms of mortgage.
Is that so hard to grasp?

Is it our failure, those in the financial know, that these poor naïve souls feel confident to profess about something which merely exists as a complex piece of computer code, yet don’t acknowledge the solid basis of bricks and mortar? Possibly.
Is it the despair we know they feel that a deposit and a mortgage for a first home seem beyond reach so they cling to a misguided dream of making gazillions trading code in the cosmic web? Perhaps.

What is certain is that we should be on a mission to explain to our young folk – desperate as they may well be – and to help them get a home and a great first investment.  I may be wrong but I don’t think I am. When this sort of crazy speculating  happened in the seventeenth century with tulip bulbs, at least you’d get a nice tulip when you’d lost your money.

PS: The views expressed above are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Family Building Society.

By Steve McDowell 

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