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As the average value of bitcoin for the week approaches new highs of 140 dollars, once again we are seeing a new round of Tulip comparisons sprouting on the net.
And the concern is fair.
In 1637 Holland's fancy colored tulips became all the rage, And in just a couple months, the price multiplied.
At the height of this tulip mania, one tulip could be exchanged for two tuns of butter, four oxen, eight adult pigs or even a mug of silver.
But on February 3rd 1637, the tulip market had an historic collapse.
Many refer to this Tulip Mania as the first economic bubble, and as such, the story is often tossed into the discussion when the prices of bitcoins surge up.
But many pundits suggest that this a not a valid comparison.
Indeed they claim that Bitcoin is more like Apple Computer or the Internet because of the array of services it offers. Others suggest that bitcoin's services could prove to be even more valuable than Apple and the Internet combined.
So while tulips can be replaced with roses, vases or paintings, what exactly that they claim bitcoin offers?
First, Bitcoin's near zero transaction costs could not only revolutionize international remittances but also free stores from hefty credit card fees.
This offers a savings to consumers of hundreds of billions of dollars a year.
Second: Money can be sent easily without the nightmares of chargebacks, credit card fraud, falsified checks and bank limits.
Third: Bitcoin's unlimited and free accounts, give hi-tech financial access to the world's un-banked.
Highlighted recently by a number of homeless men with a bitcoin account.
This service could improve the lives of over a billion people.
Finally: bitcoin offers to be the first truly un-inflatable currency in history, indeed becoming gold on steroids.
New Euros, Yen and Dollars are printed daily, even gold is still being pulled out of the ground or could eventually be synthesized.
But Bitcoin's limit is fixed, capping itself at 21 million total coins.
Because of all of this, one recent article suggested that even wary banks could increase profits by adopting bitcoin.
While no one can predict the value of a currency, and bitcoins could still prove to be a dangerous bubble, one thing is clear if bitcoin can provide all that its technology promises, well, real services have real prices.
And hundreds of billions of dollars of services could make one pretty tulip indeed.