It was only a year ago that 1 bitcoin was worth near $10K. What has happened between now and then that has caused bitcoin to steadily decline? Will 2018 not only earmark a brutal bear market for digital assets but also be known as the year the cryptocurrency died?
As bitcoin rings in its 10th anniversary with prices are hovering around $3,700 this week, there is little cause for celebration. The hype has died down since last year’s excitement and unrelenting market volatility has weeded out many long-term investors who held out hope when it was optimistically believed $6,000 could be the bottom floor for bitcoin.
While the digital asset might not be going anywhere, anytime soon, it might not continue to be viewed as an investment, but rather a currency as was originally intended. Bitcoin was not born into the world as a get-rich-quick-scheme, it was a solution to the double-spend. It was the first digital currency that could “prove” (through asymmetrical cryptography and hash mining) the same coin had not and could not be spent twice. Where, when and how stability will come for bitcoin, if ever, is a question that is difficult to answer. As it moves away from the hype for bitcoin to succeed to must move towards being legitimately useful and widely used.
It isn’t just bitcoin that has lost 75 percent of its value this year, altcoins like Litecoin and Ehtereum and Ripple have similarly tanked. The total CoinMarketCap market value has nosedived a whopping $670 billion in the past year alone.
What will it take to bring stability to the market? Some suggest increased utility and real-life use cases, or perhaps government regulations to encourage Wall Street to finally integrate crypto trading desks. Right now many like Warren Buffet, for example, are thinking “told you so,” while others believe we are simply reliving the earliest stages of the internet’s development and the subsequent dot-com bubble. Investors will be tested through the end of this year as bitcoin prices continue to plummet.