- Blockstream’s CSO Samson Mow raises concerns about a potential split in Bitcoin into ‘institutional’ and ‘normal’ versions as financial giants like BlackRock increase their involvement in the cryptocurrency space.
- Mow suggests that while ‘institutional Bitcoin’ may be restricted and less accessible, leading to a lower price, ‘normal Bitcoin’ could see a price premium due to its greater utility and freedom of use.
In the ever-evolving narrative of Bitcoin, a new chapter may be on the cusp of unfolding, presaged by the strategic insights of Samson Mow, the Chief Strategy Officer of Blockstream. The increasing involvement of financial titans such as BlackRock has sown the seeds for a potential bifurcation of Bitcoin into two distinct classes. This significant development beckons both opportunity and caution in the cryptosphere.
Institutional Players vs. Traditional Bitcoin: A Developing Dichotomy
Mow’s prognostications stem from an astute understanding of Bitcoin’s dualistic future. Institutional Bitcoin, as he suggests, could become ensconced within the vaults of financial institutions, tethered to the whims of the corporate world. This variant of Bitcoin might trade at a discount, attributed to its reduced utility and accessibility for the average person.
We may see #Bitcoin split between “Institutional BTC” and “Free BTC” in the coming years. Coins held by ETFs/custodians may not be allowed (or limited by friction) to re-enter the free market of self-custodial holdings. pic.twitter.com/VFMADjns4J
— Samson Mow (@Excellion) November 8, 2023
Conversely, ‘normal Bitcoin‘ promises to retain its intended ethos: a decentralized currency unfettered by institutional oversight, maintaining its utility in everyday transactions and potentially commanding a premium due to its unfettered nature.
The theoretical underpinnings of Mow’s assertions draw parallels to the concept of ‘burning’ in the cryptocurrency domain—where tokens are intentionally sent to an irretrievable address, effectively reducing the circulating supply. Institutional Bitcoin, while not burned per se, could be perceived as being similarly ‘removed’ from circulation, locked away in the coffers of the financial elite.
Mow’s perspective is not just speculative but grounded in a protective stance for individual investors. His advisement for Bitcoin holders to secure their assets in personal wallets echoes the lessons learned from high-profile calamities such as the FTX collapse. Control over one’s digital assets, he insists, is the bulwark against the vagaries of centralized platforms that have previously faltered, taking their users’ assets down with them.
The discourse surrounding Bitcoin’s potential split is more than a speculative exercise—it’s a reflection on the growing pains of a maturing asset class as it navigates the waters of mainstream adoption and corporate interest. As the lines between the financial establishment and the crypto frontier blur, the community stands at a crossroads that may redefine the essence and value of Bitcoin for years to come.