Is Bitcoin Still Alive in 2019? Bubble or Boom times ahead?
Bitcoin (BTC) only really entered the mainstream public consciousness in late 2017 when a single Bitcoin became worth an eye watering 20,000 dollars. Since then the now more widely known cryptocurrency has dropped significantly in value and has been written off or labelled a bubble. The rapid ascent to 20,000 dollars in the winter of 2017 certainly did represent something of a bubble. But what has happened since then and is Bitcoin still alive in 2019 and will it continue to survive looking forward into the future?
10 years on from Bitcoin’s creation, it’s fair to say it’s been a wild ride. From the now infamous 10,000 bitcoin pizzas purchased in 2010 to the bitcoin mania of late 2017. Bitcoin has not failed to surprise and confuse both the public and economists alike.
What is Bitcoin?
For those of you reading this that are still not sure what Bitcoin is, I could give you the long and technical explanation. But other cryptocurrency experts have already done so in much detail so for now read here for a more in-depth explanation at your leisure. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency or to put it simply a form of digital currency. Unlike fiat currencies such as the dollar it is decentralized meaning no government or regulating body controls bitcoin. In fact, it is digitally mined and only available in digital form as a means of payment on the internet.
There are numerous reports and famous stories of those that made their fortune in Bitcoin. Most of those were early adopters of Bitcoin who either mined or bought Bitcoin when is was a mere fraction of today’s value. Eric Fineman the 11-year-old who began investing in Bitcoin in 2011 and is now a millionaire in 2019 is perhaps one of the most well-known Bitcoin millionaires. There are many more stories and even more people that have remained anonymous in making their millions.
Can I make money with Bitcoin?
Whether you believe Bitcoin is still alive or not this is still the question everyone wants to know. The short answer is yes you can. However, investing in Bitcoin is highly risky. Bitcoin is one of the most volatile assets on the planet and should not be invested in without serious understanding of the risks. As always never invest more than you are willing to lose. Many people still make money trading in cryptocurrencies and through speculatively buying at a perceived low point. For example, 1 Bitcoin (BTC) as recently as December 2018 could have been purchased below 3,300 dollars however as of today (June 4th, 2019) Bitcoin is trading just below the 8,000 dollar mark. That’s more than double its value in 6 months!
What is the future for Bitcoin?
Since the crypto winter, as it has become known, Bitcoin did drop significantly in value along with many other cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin has been trading below 4,000 dollars in January 2019 and as of May 2019 has been trading upwards of 8,000 dollars. Already Bitcoin has overcome many of the doomsayers that have written it off in 2019 and it has bounced back sooner than expected. The alone gives much weight to the arguement that Bitcoin is still alive and well.
The real test for Bitcoin’s future will be not how much value it can regain but mainstream adoption. Bitcoin was after all created as a decentralised payment system, in other words Bitcoin was meant to be used to buy stuff with. On the surface this purpose seems to have lost to those holding Bitcoin as a speculative asset.
This HODLing (holding on for dear life) as it is known in crypto communities appears to be more prevalent than many would hope. Research reported by Bloomberg and carried out by blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis shows that only 1.3% of transactions for bitcoin came from merchants in the first four months of 2019. That certainly shows that Bitcoin is some way off achieving its initial aim.
Hope for Bitcoin in 2019 and beyond
Blockchain, the technology used to create Bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies is not going to disappear. In fact, it has been hailed as one of the most important technologies of the 21st century and in its current state likened to that of the early days of the internet. Blockchains’ uses go beyond cryptocurrencies and every year more and more companies and governments worldwide are exploring its potential.
Bitcoin as the first and original blockchain based cryptocurrency is unlikely to disappear in the short-term at least. Bitcoin has been likened to a digital form of gold as a store of value and digital asset that will long hold value. Whether this is true remains to be seen and its current volatility will need to change to support this theory.
As a digital payment system there is still much for Bitcoin enthusiast to be positive about. The number of people reported to have used Bitcoin for payments is on the rise. Added to this is the very recent news that the largest provider of mobile telephone services worldwide AT&T, will now accept bitcoin for payment from US based mobile phone customers. If other large companies, follow suit then Bitcoin adoption will likely accelerate.
Bitcoin may be more than 10 years old now but as a technology and concept it is still in its infancy. Nobody can accurately predict Bitcoin’s future. Many have tried and been burned trying to do so! However with the intial question in mind, is Bitcoin still alive in 2019? It is safe to say that Bitcoin is far from dead and certainly has a future which as yet remains unknown.