This subreddit is solely devoted to following the price of bitcoin. his is for those interested in investing in this virtual currancy and speculating on its future value as opposed to discussing the ideology, economics and the technology surrounding bitcoin.
I'm thinking people right now wants to get the "free money" from the hardforks and will most likely sell off after it happens. Is it reasonable to think that this increases the chances of seeing a dip right after? submitted by
Michael Kapilkov 1 hour ago Bloomberg finds Ethreum’s bull run to be speculative while contending that Bitcoin’s appreciation is driven by fundamentals. 4314 Total views Listen to article News In its August crypto outlook, Bloomberg remained unimpressed with Ethereum, calling its rally “speculative”. The publication contends, however, that Bitcoin’s (BTC) rise is based on solid […] submitted by
Disclaimers: submitted by
I think it's important to share a contrarian view here, given the hype and euphoria over the last few days. I think I also have a some-what unique perspective on cryptos. Educated as an economist, I've spent a career in the technology departments of large banks. I've also taken the licensing exams to open my own investment manager, though I haven't launched one yet. I held some bitcoin as a speculation, but have exited on this rally because the mania is getting out of hand - even for a believer in the technology with high risk tolerances.
I'm not trying to be a downer or spread FUD - just provide a sobering reality check based on my understanding of investing and market structure. After all, it is extremely easy to lose sight of reality when you're sitting on fat paper profits. That type of complacency is an integral part of market cycles and one of the core weaknesses that professional traders exploit.
I do believe bitcoin is both something of tremendous value, and a bubble. History shows that bubbles form as society digests new forms of value - it happened as humans minted their first coins, their first paper currency, their first stocks and bonds, etc. Every new innovation in financial instruments is typically accompanied by some sort of bubble - the 2008 innovations in mortgage securities should be fresh and memorable for most.
The size and scale of the bitcoin bubble's inflation speaks about the underlying technology. It will, no doubt, be transformative across society - in many ways we cannot foresee now. However, that doesn't mean it has unlimited value, and "it'll go to the moon!" Or that it's even an investment. In fact, the hallmark of a bubble when people buy for fear of missing out on a price, without connecting that price to underlying economic activity. That's exactly what's happening here. Why Bitcoin is NOT an Investment, and that's Okay
First, let's talk about what an investment is. By definition, an investment is an asset that yields a return above its purchase price.
If you invest in bonds or equities, you're usually looking at some kind of discounted cash-flow to decide whether to invest or not. Either your bond will pay a coupon of $X per year, or your company will generate $X amount of cash annually - and you project these values over time. Then you compare that to the return on less risky assets, like the US 10 year Treasury, and decide if the return is worth the risk.
But bitcoin doesn't yield anything. No matter what industries it disrupts or entrenched powers it destroys, it will never yield anything. If you own 1 BTC today, it's still 1 BTC in the future without any dividends, coupons, or splits. By definition, it cannot be an investment - there's no return. Non-yielding assets can never be an investment.
This is why bitcoin is a cryptocurrency. Crypto for the source of authority (proof-of-work or proof-of-stake), but currency for the asset's behavior. You don't invest in a currency, you can only speculate in it. You can buy a currency in order to buy investments denominated in that currency (eg. trading dollars for yen to buy Japanese Government Bonds), but the currency itself is never an investment.
Now, it's perfectly okay to buy another currency in expectation that it's price (against your 'native' currency) will rise. But that's just a trade, and one fueled by speculation. And some speculation is okay, it helps grease financial markets and discover 'real' prices. It's just important not to fool yourself, and to realize what you are doing. This also means no HODLing - every transaction has a lifecycle that ends in liquidation.
Some professionals make a living doing this, but typically they're not just speculating - they're helping institutions and companies intermediate between their 'native' currency and wherever they do business.
Are you Toyota selling a car in the US, trying to bring your dollars home as yen? A currency trader can help you. It's probably also probably worth noting here the recent settlements between the world's biggest banks and their regulators for openly fixing currency markets. The professionals tend to stay in business with a healthy dose of fraud and trading against their clients.
This is not behavior to emulate, and should give pause to anyone speculating in cryptocurrency. Who do you think you're trading against when you buy bitcoin from an exchange? There's a concept that everyone trading needs to know - the 'greater fool trade.' Are you buying because you have reasonable ideas about what the asset will return, or because there's a greater fool who will pay you more for it?
From what I've seen, and the yield on bitcoin, it seems like most people are betting there are greater fools out there. 'Hard Money' and Metcalfe's Law
These are common arguments I've seen posted here. A lot of people don't trust the Federal Reserve, or think of bitcoin as some technology that can be priced according to a model that describes the adoption of ethernet. Neither make a ton of sense in the light of day.
The bitcoin mining curve is modeled after gold, the original 'hard money'. By design, it's supposed to be deflationary. I'll admit I've never gotten along well with gold bugs and usually don't persuade them, but I'm happy to trade against them.
There's hundreds of year of economic history demonstrating that deflationary currencies are bad for economic growth. Where deflationary currencies have existed, they've been out-competed by mildly inflationary currencies. This is why they don't exist anymore, except for brief periods of severe economic stress. The idea that real economic activity can occur with a deflationary bitcoin is contrary to both experience and theory, which shows that 'real' economic activity slows as people anticipate further gains in currency value. The incentive is to hoard instead of spending or lending, so they don't, and economic activity falls.
Likewise, gold has been a bad inflation hedge, and there's no reason to expect bitcoin to do better. The last hundred years of data shows that even in inflationary periods, stocks have performed better than gold (inflation adjusted, anyone who bought gold at it's local maxima in 1980 at $650/oz would still be underwater at 2011's global maxima at $1,900/oz). And needless to say, stocks have yielded many-fold the return over gold in that time period by dividends alone.
If you're holding bitcoin because you don't trust the dollar or are worried about inflation, you should ask yourself why you don't also hold gold. It's the same logic. Then you should ask yourself why you would hold either.
As for Metcalfe's Law, this is a bit of a red herring. The idea is simple - networking effects produce exponentially more value as more people join the network. Champions of this idea point to fax machines, the internet, and Facebook - and publish interesting graphs showing the price of bitcoin neatly following Metcalfe's curve.
But we need to remember what we're examining - users of the network. If I register a Coinbase account to speculate on bitcoin, am I really using the bitcoin network? Is bitcoin's value proposition becoming more valuable intrinsically? Or is the price just increasing, because of the money flowing into it?
Twitter provides a good example. It's dominated by bots who are 'on the network', but provide marginal value and don't conform to Metcalfe's Law. It's taken a few years, but the price (what you pay) has caught up to the value (what it's worth), as the market has digested that many nodes in the network don't really count.
If the value proposition of bitcoin is in trustless transactions, how many of it's exponentially growing users are actually using bitcoin to perform trustless transactions? Transaction volumes are relatively flat year-on-year, while the number of new wallets have skyrocketed - so let's not fool ourselves about Metcalfe's Law. Correlation does not mean causation, and the network is not becoming more intrinsically valuable because more people are trying to speculate on bitcoin's price.
There IS some real growth here from adoption in jurisdictions where cryptos have been recognized as legal tender, but we can't fool ourselves about the impact there. Again, bitcoin is deflationary, and the incentives are hold instead of spend. If recognition and accessibility were really driving adoption, transaction volumes shouldn't be flat year-on-year. But What About the MASSIVE DISRUPTION?
This is where bitcoin shines - it has tremendous disruptive potential. It allows counterparties to interact without trust or central authority, which removes the role for banks, money transfer agents, and other folks who would usually clip some part of a transaction. Open, distributed blockchains will revolutionize many industries and social institutions.
However, this doesn't go too far in helping bitcoin's value. An asset's value depends on the rights it bestows to the owner - just like above, where we could value a stock or bond by the rights to the cashflow it grants. But what does bitcoin grant the owner?
We come up short. Bitcoin is a token representing a proof-of-work for authenticating transactions on the network. All it grants to the owner is a high mathematical likelihood that the token is not fraudulent or double-spent. So what's that worth?
Depends on who you're transacting with. When we pay in dollars, there are systems in the background looking for fraud. These costs get spread across society in the fees we pay for credit cards (both in our interest charges, and the fees charged to merchants for accepting cards). If we don't need a card issuer and bank to back the transaction and guarantee that it's legitimate, there is substantial value that can be recaptured.
Likewise, bitcoin's portability can be a source of value. If you can send bitcoin across borders, there's no need for money transfer agents to send remittances. There's no need to be scammed by a cabal of currency traders. This is all value that can be recaptured as old, expensive institutions become irrelevant.
However - is that value recaptured by the owner of the bitcoin? Or is it captured by the nodes on the network authenticating the transaction?
Bitcoin would substantially reduce the fee for sending money, but the actual fee would go to the miners - not the holder of bitcoin tokens. Holders of bitcoin would see no direct benefit.
Now - it's reasonable to think, "if bitcoin replaces those institutions, that's trillions of dollars that will have to flow into bitcoin, and the price will skyrocket!". And there's some truth to that. Based on money flow and bitcoin's illiquidity, it will have to rise. But it's not realistic that things will happen that way, as it embeds some bad assumptions:
- Bitcoin will soon replace banks and money transfer agents
- No other technology will compete with bitcoin (whether another open blockchain, or a closed one operated by the existing banks)
- The face-value of all the money handled by banks will flow into bitcoin
The first two points are fairly straightforward. Even if bitcoin replaces existing institutions, it's important to consider how and when - and whether the market price for bitcoin today is being too optimistic and forward-looking. Likewise, bitcoin is not the only game in town, and other cryptos already have value propositions that can out-compete in certain niches. All the big banks are already working on their own blockchains, which aren't as revolutionary as bitcoin, but will likely be easier for mass consumer adoption.
The last bullet point is the real rub. Bitcoin is deflationary, and a main purpose of banks is to create leverage throughout the monetary system. $1 deposited in a bank can become $5 throughout the whole system, and extended further with clever credit structures and derivatives. Because bitcoin is deflationary, that kind of leverage (and face amount of fiat) cannot be lifted-and-shifted into bitcoin. No one would lend, except at interest rates high enough to contract the money supply. Several trillion dollars in the banking system today would shrink by orders of magnitude in a bitcoin economy. The initial inflows would create a spike in the dollar value of bitcoin, but economic activity would grind to a halt shortly after.
This is why the really smart folks like Andreas Antonopolous comment far more on what the technology can do than what the token is worth. It's why he's testified to the Canadian Senate that we will see many different 'monetary recipes' across different cryptos, and the future is wide open for any mix of them to dominate. It's why he talks about the bitcoin protocol as a base layer, which may be abstracted from any future end-use and doesn't speculate on the price.
If you're sitting on a big profit, maybe it's time to re-examine exactly why you think there's substantial value ahead. And if you're buying in at these levels, you should be asking yourself why it's worth paying ~$10k. As prices go up, the risks get bigger - not smaller. The rate of advance means there are a lot of people who have bought in the last three months, and could quickly leave if they see a big profit turn to a loss. Anytime a market moves like this is a time for greater caution, not greater greed.
** TL/DR ** There's a lot of enthusiasm, backed by naive and childish arguments, saying that bitcoin should keep advancing at a rapid clip. But there are still serious impediments, and even success of bitcoin (the technology) doesn't mean the tokens are worth anywhere near where they trade today. Everyone should be taking this rally as an opportunity to reality check their assumptions, and figure out if they're long because they're bullish - or if they're bullish because they're long. You can still love bitcoin without the hype.
With the high fee's and confirmation times, its not doing well as a currency. Plus people suggest that its stupid to spend it as its going up in value... submitted by
So if Bitcoin is not good for buying things or speculating on bitcoin whats the point?
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