Greece’s financial catastrophe is about to come to a head. On July 5, the country will hold a referendum on its economic future. The New York Times provides a brief summary of potential consequences of a “Grexit:”
A “Yes” vote means that Greece will continue the grinding era of austerity that has caused so much pain to its citizens over the last five years, in exchange for keeping the euro currency and the monetary stability it provides.
A “No” vote almost certainly means that the country will walk away from the euro and create its own currency (which will surely devalue sharply), bringing financial chaos in the near term but creating the possibility of a rebound in the medium term as the country becomes more competitive with its devalued currency.
The Guardian suggests that an alternative to the euro or Greek currency may exist: Bitcoin. Greek citizens may find that the cryptocurrency offers more security than any government-regulated money because of its relative independence from global economic markets.
The flipside, however, is that increased activity will increases Bitcoin prices, benefiting current owners, not potential buyers. Bitcoin co-founder Tony Gallippi giddily acknowledged the possibility on Twitter:
As speculation escalates, it is possible that Bitcoin users will burst the Grexit bubble before Greeks can even inflate it further. If too many users price out those in need of alternative currency, they will not even benefit from that bump, leading to a rapid market collapse. But for the time being, Bitcoiners will gladly imagine the riches they may soon earn.