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Bitcoin Recap: Price Decline Resumes Momentum, Nearing April Lows

September 18, 2014 at 21:36 by BitcoinNews

Much has changed in the world of digital currencies since the last recap in late Spring. From the failed rally to the mid-$600s, bitcoin prices have since continued to fall, hovered just under $500 for most of September before continuing to fall over the past week to a intra-day low of $408 on Bitstamp. Prices recovered to $420 by the evening, as traders finally took a break from the high volume, volatile trading session.

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The current decline from June 1 is heading into the four-month mark, while it’s been nearly 10 months since ebullient high prices of late December led to as great of a crash.

Trading volume is increasingly dominated by China’s exchanges, despite the actions directed at regulating exchanges and hampering ties with commercial banking. Some speculation for the recent decline has been New York’s recent regulation of bitcoin exchanges, which, along with banking restrictions, has led to some backlash among entrepreneurs and VC-funded start-ups.

Meanwhile, there are strong efforts of bitcoin entrepreneurs to push new innovation and spread utility of the digital currency. Tim Draper reiterated this week his thoughts that bitcoin could be worth $10,000 in the next few years. While often emotions of speculators coincide with fluctuations in the market price, perhaps $10,000 is his most pessimistic scenario.

A price decline, even one of long duration, also doesn’t indicate that bitcoin hasn’t continued to be a great idea and could possibly be the future of money. My prediction has been that in the near future digital currencies will be worth all of the money in the world, since nearly everybody would simply want to use money digitally.

However, it’s an ongoing question with strong opinions on both sides of what that mix of currencies might be, i.e. how much is entrusted to private entities, to governments, or to decentralized currencies like bitcoin. In the U.S., despite bitcoin business regulation recently being relegated to the individual states by classifying such businesses as money transmitters, the CFTC, which is a Federal agency, has recently approved the first bitcoin-based financial product, known as a swap, according to Reuters.

A swap would allow merchants accepting bitcoin and others to lock-in a known rate, which in principle could provide insurance against  price fluctuations. While based on six indices and satisfying regulators that it won’t be subject to manipulations as in the recent LIBOR interest rate scandal, it would be interesting to see more details on how the firm plans to mitigate risks and how much customers could be at risk, i.e. how reasonable the cost compares to the benefit. It may simply be a matter of starting off conservatively and having ample enough reserves to allow for other participants to start-up and over time bring more certainty into the market.

While other investments may be catching more of the attention now– the stock market is hitting new highs, for instance–those who continue to follow Bitcoin despite the declining price may find many positives under the surface: growing infrastructure and investment, a growing user base, and, growing transaction volume, which hit new highs for the year this week.

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