“The Bitcoaster We’ve Grown to Love and Hate”, A Bitcoin Story

Is Bitcoin’s (BTC) nosedive a case of ‘been there, done that’? The Bitcoaster we’ve grown to love and hate.

2013 was a bit of a rollercoaster for bitcoin. It started off the year worth only a few bucks before skyrocketing to more than $1,000 towards the end of the year. Over the past few years, though, the digital currency has experienced both massive increases and significant decreases in its storied four-year history.

This volatility, according to central banks and financial institutions, is the reason why consumers should completely avoid the virtual currency industry. This is what German central bank said about bitcoin last month:

“Because of its design and because of the large volatility, bitcoin [is] highly speculative,” said Bundesbank board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele in an interview with a German financial news publication early last month. “We do not see that the price is being driven by fundamentals.”

The Bundesbank official added: “There is not state guarantee for bitcoin and investors might lose all of their money. The Bundesbank is warning emphatically about these risks.”
Opponents have even referred bitcoin to a Ponzi scheme or a pump and dump scheme as well as a bubble that is on the verge of popping.

bitcoinBitcoiners tend to disagree with this vitriol language and counter the points with the concept that the price levels are part of the experimental process and January’s stability is a good example of bitcoin working itself out.

As the data would indicate, bitcoin’s jumps have been on the decline in both the number of times it transpires in a given month and in the value in the past month. Perhaps for those interested in entering the cryptocurrency market, the important question is: when will the next great buying opportunity take place?

Here are some important dates to consider when looking at its prices:

  • Jul. 11, 2011: bitcoin reaches $31 | Dec. 2011: bitcoin drops to $2
  • Apr. 11, 2013: bitcoin hits $266 | May 2013: bitcoin falls to $130
  • Jun. 2013: bitcoin stabilizes at $100 | Nov. 2013: bitcoin jumps to $1,250
  • Dec. 2013: bitcoin crashes to $600 | Dec. 2013: bitcoin increases to $1,000
  • Dec. 2013: bitcoin declines to $500 | Dec. 2013: bitcoin goes back up to around $800
  • Jan. 2014: bitcoin remains around $800 to $900 | Feb. 2014: bitcoin plunges to $619

The Mt Gox fiasco over the past few days caused mainstream media outlets to declare that the bitcoin bubble has popped.

For those who are completely unaware of the cryptocurrency industry, this appears to be a bubble. It’s important to consider, though, that bitcoin remains to be in its infancy stage and a lot of bitcoiners will argue that the digital currency is innovated and developers correct errors that are highlighted.

Last month, Marc Faber, the publisher of The Gloom, Boom and Doom Report and contrarian investor, warned that the bitcoin “bubble could burst any day” and essentially argued that the alternative currency doesn’t have any inherent value.

“I prefer physical gold and silver, platinum to bitcoin. Bitcoin can have a lot of competition. Gold, silver, platinum – they have no competition. How do you value a bitcoin? I can value gold to some extent and compare say gold to the quantity of money that is floating around the world, to the wealth increase, and to the monetary base increase, to the credit increase, and so forth and so on, and to the production costs.

“So I have an idea of where gold should be. I’m not sure because prices overshoot. How do you value Netflix? Is it overpriced or underpriced? Is Tesla overpriced, underpriced?”
Will the latest bitcoin “bubble” pop? If so, it could very well be a case of “been there, done that.” Also, this could be the last great buying opportunity for those interested in bitcoins.

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