Throughout the better part of the last two-and-a-half weeks, cryptocurrency investors freaked out over the dramatic decline in Bitcoin. As the biggest piece of the digital-market pie, the Bitcoin collapse quickly took down all other blockchain assets. Like clockwork, the mainstream media pummeled the concept of digital coins, likening it to merely one of several examples of investment bubbles.
On the surface, it’s easy to interpret the Bitcoin collapse as the death of a cleverly-crafted pyramid scheme. At the beginning of this year, Bitcoin was struggling to remain perched above the $1,000 level. Critics lashed out then. But in less than nine months, the king of cryptocurrencies briefly touched $5,000, an unfathomable target. That it finally croaked confirms the negative bias of the media, thereby creating a false association.
But the reality is that rather than joining the litany of investment bubbles, Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency markets have proven themselves resilient and healthy. At time of writing, Bitcoin is just under $4,000, which would place it as roughly a 20% correction from its peak highs. But against an average price level of $4,500, we’re talking about a 12% correction — steep, but not crisis inducing.
Furthermore, I don’t appreciate the false accusations of the so-called “demise” of cryptocurrencies. Investment bubbles all have a unique trait. Bitcoin does not exhibit it.
Consider all the investment bubbles in human history, ranging from the often-cited Tulip mania to the housing and financial crises of the late 2000s decade. In every one of these painful incidents, the root, the thesis that justified a particular market’s mercurial valuation ceased to exist, or radically changed. As a result, the market endures a sudden implosion. Rarely does it ever come back.
The Tulip mania occurred because investors erroneously thought that the tulips they were purchasing were rare. When it was discovered that it was not, tulip pricing plummeted. In the 2000 tech bubble, speculators banked on companies with essentially fake fundamentals. When the fraud was disclosed, guilty stocks tanked. During the run-up to the housing crisis, people assumed that real-estate prices would rise in perpetuity. When it didn’t, the entire house of cards collapsed.
Again, in each of these investment bubbles, the thesis dramatically changed or disappeared altogether. This is NOT what is happening with Bitcoin; not even close! To say that Bitcoin is in a downward spiral is to completely ignore the blockchain and the profound revolution it represents. And to attack the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem is to pronounce digitalization dead to finance.
Under any other circumstance, we would call such pronouncements ludicrous. The Internet of Things has proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that digitalization will impact every aspect of our lives. Why then would finance be exempt?
The only reason is that the banking cartel desperately wants to maintain its hegemony.