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Bitcoin Prices Largely Unchanged in Past 30 Days, After China-Driven Bubble and Crash

December 19, 2013 at 5:34 by BitcoinNews

In the past four weeks, bitcoin prices have just slightly more than doubled and halved again. The price on Bitstamp currently is back at $544, just a bit shy of half the peak of $1163.  So after all the excitement, it’s really only 10% lower than the price of 30 days ago. If you had been asleep since November 18th, you’d think just about nothing had happened since then by simply checking the price alone, as 10% up or down is not even unusual for a day where the bitcoin market is concerned. Nonetheless, many can’t help getting caught up in the euphoria and the panic of financial bubbles.

Of course, the famously speculative Chinese, among whom are perhaps the most prolific gamblers in the world, apparently discovered bitcoin and an exchange of their own, BTC China, opened up the world of bitcoin for first time to many in this region. However, bitcoin markets are rather sparse in liquidity compared to more developed markets, so even a small fraction of a population as large as China’s could send prices skyrocketing.

The Guardian’s article on bitcoin prices today claimed it’s due to the main exchange BTC China, not being able to accept new deposits due to losing it key payment processor. Additionally, there’s further speculation China’s Central Bank may have put pressure on it, in an attempt to cool the speculative fervor, which caught fire so suddenly last month, perhaps at least for a time to figure out more about what bitcoin is. Jason Del Ray at All Thing D, also espouses the “pause” theory– though the bitcoin bubble might have caught China’s leaders somewhat flat-footed, they haven’t banned it at all. Just as most of bitcoin’s real aficionados probably immediately something really big in bitcoin, it nonetheless took many months of  reading more and trying it to really figure it out.

That might be the optimistic corollary to that bout of worry. It really might not last long or amount to anything. Quite briefly stated, prices went through the roof, only to head right back to the ground again, as inevitably happens no matter the reasons pinned on it later. Again going on the Bitstamp price, bitcoin today is worth 390% more than it was just months ago– so despite the rocky road, that is phenomenal growth in terms of investment.

Regardless, it’s simply adding fuel to an ongoing burst of the recent China-led bitcoin bubble. New and uncertain holders of bitcoin start to worry and ditch it as quickly as they bought it. Really these price movements of speculative bubbles and crashes happen so inevitably, one really doesn’t need to ascribe reasons to the movement back down from unsustainable heights.

Some of new Chinese buyers might have had little understanding yet of what they were buying into, just knowing it looked exciting as it was gaining in popularity, and in price. Or in all the excitement, some might have bought more than they ultimately needed for a real world use, as they’re intended to be used for real transactions. Or many who were traders and speculators simply don’t hold onto to anything falling in price as much as they stand ready to buy anything rising in price, i.e. they’re purely trading on momentum, and they want to follow the wind if it appears to change direction, behavior which of course only exacerbates both the bubble and the burst.

But you’ll know at what price the real believers and end users of bitcoin have as a collective sense of the real value of bitcoin, if only in retrospect, when we eventually see where bitcoin bottomed out in this current– yes, it is admittedly probably the most exciting yet– wave of the cycle. Since that’s some time off, the only pertinent question is, what is bitcoin worth to you?

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