Is Bitcoin Dead?
The Death of Bitcoin
Everywhere you look the headlines are screaming, “Bitcoin is Dead!” and “Bitcoin down 70% from all time high!”. Economists can’t seem to stop talking about just how “useless” cryptocurrency is. There appears to be a sense of urgency to jump ship and reject this new form of currency. But is it really what it seems?
Take a closer look. This is not the first time Bitcoin has experienced a downturn or market pullback. Nor is it the first time its death and demise has been predicted. In 2017, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies exploded into the public sphere and it seemed everywhere you looked, everyone was jumping on the bandwagon. They just couldn’t get enough. Fast forward to January 2018 and we saw the market make a massive correction and continue its downward turn throughout the year. While there were small rallies, there was nothing to indicate that Bitcoin would leap back up to its previous high. And this could very well be a good thing.
A bubble, yes. But is it over?
As public hype wanes, Bitcoin is stabilizing itself and remaining steady for the moment. Time and time again, since the inception of the original code written by the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin has proven itself to be a survivor. According to mainstream media, Bitcoin has already “died” 326 times and counting. The first claims of Bitcoin’s death came when the currency was valued at only $0.23USD. It was declared dead another six times as it hovered between $3.10USD and $20.45USD. Given that the current price of Bitcoin is sitting at $3,552USD can anyone say with certainty that they can predict the death of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general? It would appear that this apparent attempt to takedown crypto could be nothing more than smoke and mirrors, designed to drive the market down further and cast doubt in the minds of the public.
So why does Bitcoin refuse to die? The answer is potentially simple. The technology that it is built on, the blockchain, and the idea of a decentralized network, is proving to be quite useful and have real-world application. Despite Deloitte reporting in 2017 that more than 90% of almost 27,000 blockchain projects were no longer active, this failure rate is pretty much equal to the predicted failure rate of any startup business, meaning that blockchain is just like any other new industry finding its feet. There are many with vested interests in the success of blockchain technology, including institutional investment, which may mean the sector continues to grow, despite the dire economic forecasts.
Where to from here?
Although it appears to be a grim outlook on the surface, many enterprises continue to create businesses that are built around decentralized systems and money continues to roll in and support this technology. Institutional investors continue to show interest in cryptocurrency and key players continue to buy in, ensuring the continuation of relevance for cryptocurrency. While the price may fluctuate, one thing remains the same; the fundamentals of Bitcoin don’t change. People are actually using it and continue to do so, paving the way for potential future mass adoption.
No one can safely and reliably predict where Bitcoin and cryptocurrency will be next year, in 5 years or in 10 years. Like any financial market, there are upswings and downturns, which is the nature of the business. But one thing we can be certain of is that the fate of Bitcoin and its underlying technology is in the hands of the people, which is exactly where it needs to be.