MVHS discusses cryptocurrencies

Examining student’s opinions on cryptocurrencies


Gavin Hung

In the middle of May of 2022, the price of cryptocurrencies crashed, impacting the prices of the most popular coins, such as Bitcoin and Ether, and the altcoins, like Dogecoin and Cardano, dropping them to their lowest price since 2020. The crash also impacted the price of the UST coin, which was designed to have the same price as one U.S. dollar. As of May 24, the price of UST has fallen to 7 cents, causing people to question the validity of cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrencies became a reality with the release of Bitcoin in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto. According to the Bitcoin white paper, Bitcoin is meant to be “a purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash [that] would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.” The traditional method of currencies involves banks controlling the money supply and demand. The U.S. dollar, for example, is regulated by the Federal Reserve, which has the power to control its price through monetary policy.

Senior Krish Agarwal agrees with the cryptocurrency philosophy of disconnecting currency from a financial institution, but acknowledges the risk.

“It seems like being decentralized is a good thing,” Agarwal said. “You don’t really touch a country, and your money is not being wasted. For example, if the U.S. enacts some sort of policy, and your money can certainly become devalued pretty instantly. But also, if you’re investing in crypto, you don’t really know what you’re getting yourself into.”

Senior Raj Gokidi believes that the decentralization from a central institution to regulate the price of cryptocurrencies causes the price to be volatile and makes it more controllable by popular figures.

“So the problem with cryptos is that a lot of individuals have a lot of power over it,” Gokidi said. “For example, Elon Musk. I think Luna tweeted about Elon buying some Luna and I think it pumped 100% right after that. But certain people like those have control over the crypto world.”

Junior Sai Bhaskar Kuchimanchi believes that the fluctuations in the prices mirror the behavior of stocks in the stock market.

“[Crypto’s] volatility is kind of reminiscent of the stock market,” Kuchimanchi said. “What I am thinking about is you can either make hella good gains or you make a lot of losses. So if you invest at the right time and have some luck, you can make a lot of money.”

Another form of storing money is in stocks. Agarwal believes that given the volatility of cryptocurrencies, he would rather utilize stocks, since he believes he can more accurately predict the future price.

Despite the volatility of the price of cryptocurrencies, Gokidi says that the variety of different cryptocurrencies allows you to choose which mediums to support. For example, Gokidi mentioned the coin Hedera, which uses energy efficient technologies to validate its transactions. Gokidi said this is important because the energy needed to validate transactions of the popular coins, such as Bitcoin and Ether, are near the energy consumed in a small country. According to the New York Times, Bitcoin alone uses 91 terawatt-hours a year.

Gokidi is excited for the future of cryptocurrencies, but does not want the motivation of people using cryptocurrencies to make money to overshadow the potential it has in the future.

“If you look at Bitcoin, it really blew up only because it was an investment opportunity,” Gokidi said. “If you look at the people that actually use crypto and trade it, a lot of them are really just behind the fact that you want to get money. And that’s what could cause crypto to really just fail as an idea because crypto in itself is supposed to be a way for you to make transactions, rather people just buy some of this wait for its value to go up and then sell it that creates a continuous cycle where you have immediate dumps after like pumps in price. And because of that you can really see crypto not fulfilling his actual potential and it’s like usability and society.”