Bitcoin To ‘Disappear In A Puff Of Smoke?’ — Or Are The Fires Just Getting Stoked?
The bears are again out in full force, grumbling on about the impending death of Bitcoin. History and fundamentals suggest that the cryptocurrency is far from becoming ‘wiped out.’
‘A Puff Of Smoke’
I’ve been reading a lot of news lately about the declining price of Bitcoin and have received some ‘I told you so’s’ from nay-sayers claiming that once again, ‘Bitcoin is dead.’
In an article in Independent, Hamish McRae added his voice to the cacophony, stating:
My instinct is that these cryptocurrencies will disappear in a puff of smoke. I just hope too many people are not too damaged when it happens.
I have a hard time getting behind this theory, that one day we will wake up and the value of Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies will be at zero.
Looking at Bitcoin’s history, a lot of reoccurring patterns emerge over time. Granted, the currently declining price of Bitcoin in the first half of 2018 has been one of the largest percentage losses in its history, however, it is not the worst that the coin has ever seen.
In the 411 days between November 30, 2013, and January 14, 2015, Bitcoin saw a massive 87 percent pullback — from $1,163 to $152.40.
The chart below shows data from all the major historical corrections in Bitcoin’s history, including five periods of 50 percent or greater loss. The final date for data used in the chart is February 2018, but if we continue to calculate using the all-time high of $19,666 and the recent 2018 low, $5,793 — we get a total loss of about 71 percent.
Bitcoin has shown how resilient it is time and time again, in its nine-year history. Cycles in the cryptocurrency markets are not much different than those in traditional markets.
A steep and quick bull run comes through, smart investors sell at the top, the price is pushed lower and lower to shake out weak hands, then the cycle repeats when investors with deep pockets get to accumulate at bottom level prices.
I haven’t seen any signals that suggest this cycle in any different than those that came before it.
What Can We Sensibly Say?
One concern that McRae expresses is about the support of the Bitcoin community by its creators in the future:
So what is behind Bitcoin? Well, it is not clear that there is anything there at all. It may be that the holders of Bitcoin will collectively support it, in that they will accept it in return for goods and services. That would allow it to continue.
I would consider this a valid point to stand behind if the statement was made a few years ago.
However, in 2018 Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are constantly making strides in adoption, utility, and community growth. Strong fundamentals and an equally strong history of growth tell me that the cryptocurrency fire is not yet quenched.
Increased interest from institutional investors and declining prices can also brew up the best scenarios for long-term investors to add on to their positions.
Thomas Frey told MONEY earlier this year:
Cryptocurrency is very much here to stay … cryptocurrencies are going to displace roughly 25% of national currencies by 2030. They’re just much more efficient, the way they run.
So, sensibly speaking, in response to McRae’s statement that ‘…cryptocurrencies will disappear in a puff of smoke,’ I say ‘Not likely’.
I should point out that, even though I don’t believe the cryptocurrency markets will disappear in the near future, I do see the possibility of great evolutions and adaptations in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space in order to continue fine-tuning the system.
Veteran investors in the space have learned to tune out the bears that claim cryptocurrency is dead everytime we are met with a downturn. The same bears never really have much to say about it during the high points in the market.
So, to McRae, I conclude:
My instinct is that digital currencies supported by the enormous power and potential of blockchain technology will be a cornerstone of the global economy for years to come. And although the technology may morph and materialize as something quite different down the road, compared to the present, the fundamental ideas and the desperate need for a new economic system will remain. That idea is something I and many other investors will continue to support until the end of days.
What are your thoughts on the future of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency? Is this finally the end? Have we just seen the beginning? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Reddit, Shutterstock