As anyone following the crypto field will know, there has been a lot of media attention around Bitcoin recently, with recent gains over the past few months, a lot of people are asking is it too late to get into Bitcoin or not?
Few knew about Bitcoin during its first couple of bull runs when the price of Bitcoin went from $0.0008 to around $800, some of whom are now either driving Lambos or holding - “hodling” - tight (or a bit of both). With a current price more than 10X that of the 2012 bull run, many believe that now hearing about Bitcoin for the first time, they've missed the boat.
In this article, we will break down why Bitcoin is considered so valuable and where we are in terms of mass adoption. We'll take a look at the longer-term price predictions people are charting and some of the proposed use cases for Bitcoin in the future.
Firstly, for those of you who have only just recently heard about Bitcoin and still are not entirely sure as to what Bitcoin is and why the price is so high, we have explained below the basic fundamentals of this revolutionary currency in order for you to grasp the full potential that these magical coins hold.
On a structural level, Bitcoin is simply code. There are no 'coins' per se, rather long pieces of code that can not be replicated, removing the issue of double-spending. Bitcoin is a form of cryptocurrency - a type of currency that is borderless, decentralized, and censorship-resistant from any central or governing body.
Bitcoin is powered by blockchain technology, a revolution in computer science, that allows every transaction to be stored on a decentralized database or a system which utilizes distributed ledger technology. Every movement of Bitcoin is verified by a large network of computers across the globe who all share the same blockchain data.
The entire network must all agree that a transaction is valid i.e. there are sufficient funds to send to an account, before approving the transaction and placing this transaction in a block. When the block is full of these verified transactions, it will then be appended to the blockchain along with every other previous transaction in history.
With banks, we rely on a human to manually enter funds into an account, which leaves a massive opportunity for human error or manipulation to occur. With blockchain technology, everything is mathematically verified, and each transaction verification relies on data from the previous verified transaction.
This means every transaction is interlinked with other transactions on the blockchain making data immutable. You can not delete or adjust data once it has been put on the blockchain, and any attempts at doing so would be recorded.
In order for transactions to be verified, the entire network must reach a consensus about that transaction and its validity before it is appended to the blockchain.
Bitcoin solves a lot of problems for a lot of different people. Bitcoin is sometimes referred to as digital gold for the properties they both share, which makes an asset valuable.
Assets need to be divisible, durable, and fungible to hold value, meaning it can be easily divided, won't wear down over time, and be interchangeable while retaining the same properties wherever you are in the world.
In addition, an asset is also seen as valuable when it can be used as a medium of exchange and as a store of value over time.
Gold ticks all of the above and so does Bitcoin.
Blockchain technology removes trust and third parties from financial agreements and applications, it uses mathematical verification only. The Bitcoin blockchain is open-source and transparent, anyone can view and track their full transaction history on websites such as blockchain.com/explorer.
Blockchain technology has endless potential; imagine if the government put its spending on the blockchain so everyone could see exactly where each penny went to, there would be much more trust towards governing parties.
Bitcoin is a deflationary asset, meaning that as the price goes up, so does the purchasing power. Bitcoin is a savior from hyper-inflation in some struggling economies, for example, Venezuela with inflation rates exceeding 130,000% in 2018.
The edge Bitcoin has over gold and stocks is its scarcity, with a capped supply of 21 million BTC that can ever be mined. Bitcoin can not be printed into infinity or mined on the moon. Bitcoin is considered to be the most scarce asset in the galaxy.
Bitcoin was first proposed in 2008 by a pseudonymous developer(s) known as Satoshi Nakomoto, following the financial crisis that year.
Satoshi Nakomoto recognized that by continuously printing money and living off of debt, people are living in a dangerously big bubble that will at some point, burst. Keeping their identity withdrawn, Satoshi released Bitcoin in 2009 as a brand new form of currency. One that could not be replicated, double-spent, controlled, censored, or manipulated by high net-worth individuals and/or governing organizations.
For the first time ever, transactions could be stored in real-time on a decentralized ledger with access from anywhere in the world to anybody with an internet connection.
In 2010 the first real-world Bitcoin transaction to ever occur was conducted by Laszlo Hanyecz, who ordered 2 Papa John's pizzas in exchange for 10,000 BTC. May 22nd has since gone down in history and is celebrated annually as Bitcoin Pizza day!
In July 2010, the price of Bitcoin soared 900% in just 5 days, taking the price from $0.008–$0.08. By February 2011 Bitcoin was on par with the US dollar holding value at around $1 per Bitcoin. This continued for 3 months or so before a brief peak at $31 in June, before falling back down to approximately $2 - $3 dollars.
Between December 2011 and December 2012 it was a slow rise from $2 to $13, before then a healthy year-long price rally of around 5% - 10% daily growth until December 2013/January 2014 when the price per Bitcoin peaked at around $1000.
The following couple of years Bitcoin's price pulled back, wavering between $300 - $600 until November of 2016 when the price started trending upwards again.
2017 was the biggest bull run so far, with Bitcoin rocketing from $800 in January to $19,783.06 on 22nd December.
It's worth noting that once Bitcoin peaked at this price, it then fell by one-third of its value in 24 hours, dropping below $14,000.
The introduction of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) - the crypto equivalent of Initial Public Offerings (IPO), is a form of crowdfunding which created what is known in the crypto community as the 'ICO bubble' that burst during 2017 after a colossal, bull market based on speculation over an array of exotic cryptocurrencies flooding the market.
Sadly a lot of people lost faith in crypto and exited the market when new crypto projects began failing and Bitcoin's price began falling, for fear that everything was going to crash down to zero and they would lose all their money.
Bitcoin fell to a relative bargain $3,000 in December of 2018, before continuing on a steady upwards trend to attempt the $12k resistance, before ultimately being rejected in June 2019 at $11,800. Bitcoin has held a fairly sideways movement for nearly a year, however has recently broken some significant resistant levels that have since turned into support levels.
Bitcoin holds the most influence over the movement of the crypto markets and similarly, Bitcoin reflects the movements that are in the stock markets. In March of this year at the beginning of the pandemic, the stock market fell off a cliff, and Bitcoin soon followed dropping by more than 50% in 24 hours, to just over $5,000.
Congratulations to anyone who bought the dip as they would have doubled their investment in just 4 months. Bitcoin bounced back from the dip remarkably fast, and much quicker than the stock market.
As there is growing uncertainty around the possible implications of so much money being printed, more people are beginning to look for alternative assets to invest in to maintain their wealth. The price of gold has been increasing recently as there is a growing demand, and Bitcoin looks as though it is beginning to be influenced more by the movement of gold, rather than the stock market.
PlanB who remains anonymous on Twitter as @100trillionusd produces stock-to-flow ratio charts and price predictions that have been fairly accurate thus far. He has publicly tweeted his predictions of a $100,000 BTC by Christmas 2021.
We are still in the very early stages of worldwide adoption. Crypto influencer and on-chain market analyst Willy Woo, thinks half the world will be utilizing crypto assets in seven years from now. In an interview with dailyhodl.com in February this year he explains:
"If you were to look at where we are on the adoption curve, 1% of the world population is holding this asset class, and if you look at the rate at which that’s growing, which is 2x every year, there’s kind of a Moore’s Law of adoption happening right now. It’s 4x in a bull market."
In a pre-pandemic interview with Forbes in August 2019, Anthony Pompliano says "Whenever we get to a recessive period or kind of slowing growth, central banks have kind of two tools: They can cut interest rates, which they did yesterday, and they can print money (quantitative easing). And so, when they do both of those things, it usually takes anywhere between 6 to 18 months to feel the effect of those tools..."
With trillions and trillions of dollars being printed, and more in the past month than the previous 2 centuries combined, the stock market no longer reflects the reality of the economy on the ground, with millions and millions of people out of work, and businesses closing down.
As the recent quantitative easing efforts continue (commonly known as QE Infinity) it is becoming increasingly apparent that the stock market is largely propped up by 5 key players; Apple, Amazon, Alphabet (Google), Facebook, and Microsoft.
The stock market, as such, appears to be in a big bubble, and some speculate it will inevitably burst in the not too distant future. With hyperinflation and negative interest rates becoming a reality for more people every day worldwide, Bitcoin is an easy and simple solution to help preserve one's wealth.
This coming bull run is a very exciting time, with some analysts predicting the biggest bull run yet. Why? Because Bitcoin and cryptocurrency as a whole are becoming more mainstream, with crypto integrations with some of the largest companies on the planet i.e. Microsoft, Google and NASA.
More people are beginning to hear about Bitcoin, and it's slowly attracting media attention for the right reasons, erasing the idea that crypto is purely for scams and dark-web use.
Recent crypto partnerships with Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal mean it is now easier and more accessible than ever to get involved and integrate crypto in everyday use cases.
Morgan Creek CEO Mark Yusko said in an interview with Altcoin Buzz:
"If we come to gold equivalence, meaning the market cap of Bitcoin equals the market cap of gold, which I think is perfectly logical, you could easily see that $400,000 to $500,000 price [at] some [point in time]."
Morgan Creek's CEO Mark Yusko
Ideally in the future when all BTC has been mined (current prediction is approximately in the year 2140) and the price begins to stabilize as Bitcoin and crypto become more widely adopted, it is suggested that Bitcoin will be used as a stablecoin, as per Satoshi's original idea of creating an alternative, global currency.
To be used as a global medium of exchange, Bitcoin will need to become less volatile in price. For the next 100 years though it seems, Bitcoin will more likely be used as a store of wealth as it is the top-performing financial asset, with more than 98% days in profit during the entire Bitcoin history.
Crypto Youtuber That Martini Guy (TMG) stated in recent videos that he expects a million-dollar Bitcoin sometime in the near future - that's nearly 1000X from where we are now.
It is worth considering how much longer we will be even using dollars to gauge the prices of assets and goods in the marketplace. Will everything be valued in satoshis as the new world reserve currency?
Bitcoin is the largest cryptocurrency and arguably the safest investment in the crypto market. However, if you're wondering is it too late to get into Bitcoin, several other investments could hold potential gains even larger than those of Bitcoin:
Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap and is the foundation for the majority of other cryptocurrencies and decentralized applications.
The Ethereum blockchain was created by Vitalik Buterin and allows anyone to develop applications and deploy smart contracts, creating an opportunity for money to be programmed and move dependent upon specified conditions being met. e.g. If my child gets grade A at school, transfer $50 to his/her account.
Ethereum has been considered to be undervalued by many crypto enthusiasts for a while now, currently sitting about 3X away from its all-time high, compared to Bitcoins almost 2X.
If Bitcoin achieves $100k this bull run, it is highly-anticipated by analysts that Ethereum could reach between $10k-$20k. If you invest in Bitcoin now that would potentially generate nearly 10X returns, if you invested in Ethereum now it would be between 20X-25X return on your investment.
ChainLink is another key component of a decentralized future as it is the oracle network that brings real-world data to smart contracts.
Oracles are databases of real-world data that can be used in decentralized applications that provide external data/off-chain data to be used on the blockchain.
ChainLink has announced partnerships and integrations nearly every week of this year, with global giants such as Google, NASA, and Microsoft.
The Link Marine community have defended their favorite coin for years, believing that it will moon one day. LINK started 2020 priced at $1.76 and has continued up until it's recent all-time high at $19.83, with strong speculations of a $200 LINK by then end of the 2020/2021 bull run.
Bitcoin has made a lot of people millionaires. Depending on how much you can afford to invest at this time, there's a chance it can still do so for you too.
Compared to the rest of the crypto market, Bitcoin is the longest-running, with the strongest network. Bitcoin has provided gains to the cryptocurrency community for longer than any other coin.
If you're worried is it too late to get into Bitcoin, remember we are still in the very early stages of global adoption, with Wall Street banks and businesses only just beginning to do a one-eighty turn on their previous stance of Bitcoin, with several firms recently investing millions of dollars into Bitcoin.
However, if maximizing gains is your desire over a safer store of value for your wealth, there are potentially more gains to be made over the short-term with investing in smaller-cap altcoins that have more room to grow to 10X or 50X.
Naturally, there is more risk with investing in altcoins as they are more volatile and the projects stand more a chance of failing the newer they are.
Either way, getting into crypto is a good idea to protect and preserve your wealth, and be in control of your own money. The sooner you get into the crypto market, the sooner you're likely to make any gains. Do your own research, and be sure to not only rely on articles such as this for financial advice. However, if you want to learn more about crypto and blockchain, be sure to visit the top blockchain academy Ivan on Tech Academy.
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