The 10-year history of Bitcoin is full of overwhelming highs and lows. Let's analyze the key events and find out what will happen to Bitcoin later?
Although Bitcoin has become famous all over the world a couple of years ago, there is a rich history behind this cryptocurrency. We monitor the long road traveled and analyze what could happen to Bitcoin.
The first years of Bitcoin
As we know, great inventions are created to solve big problems and digital money is no exception. There was an important event that sparked the course of things and made people understand that there is a dire need for drastic changes.
In October 2008, the Wall Street Journal contained the following headline: "Crisis on Wall Street as Lehman Totters, Merrill is sold, AIG tries to raise money". The bankruptcy of the Lehman Brothers bank triggered the chain reaction that led to the government's bank bailouts. The situation recalled the Great Depression of 1929.
It should be noted that there have been some attempts to create a certain store value and make it independent of intermediaries or a central counterparty.
In fact, Bitcoin is not the first phenomenon of your child. It has forerunners called ECash, HashCash, B-Money, BitGold, anonymous electronic Cash.
However, all previous experiments failed.
On October 31, 2008, the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto sent an e-mail with a cryptography site declaring that he had invented electronic money that would establish a monetary system without the need for intermediaries (government, banks or any other financial institution ). The attached white paper was titled "Bitcoin: a peer-to-peer electronic payment system".
Introduction: slowly but constantly
On January 3, 2009 the Bitcoin source code was released and the first block of 50 bitcoins was extracted. On the same day, the cover of the newspaper The Times declared: "Chancellor of the second bank bailout", the sentence was obviously published to criticize the current financial system that was close to collapse.
1.5 years passed and on August 17, 2010, Mt.Gox appeared. It was the first exchange in which Bitcoin could be exchanged for fiat currency. On the first day of trading, its price was $ 0.07. After that, the price of Bitcoin started to ride endless roller coaster.
February 10, 2011 – BTC reached parity with the US dollar.
2 April 2013 – Bitcoin for the first time exceeds $ 100.
November 28, 2013 – Bitcoin for the first time exceeds $ 1,000.
In the period between 2013-2014, some events caused a fall in the price of Bitcoin.
For example, the founder of Silk Road (the leading online drug and arms market that used Bitcoin payments), Ross William Ulbricht, was arrested. Bitcoin began to be linked to illicit goods and was called "drug currency". Since most of the transactions were organized in that market, the currency had diminished.
In December 2013, the Chinese central bank issued a notice to financial institutions and businesses that any Bitcoin trade would be considered illegal. At that time, 80% of the transactions were made in China, so this event was a great success for the cryptocurrency. Finally, in January 2014, Alibaba canceled BTC payments on its eCommerce portal. Thus, Bitcoin has lost its main world market.
The chain of unhappy events for cryptocurrency is not over, though. On 28 February 2014, Mt.Gox, the biggest Bitcoin exchange at the time, declared bankruptcy after a serious attack by a hacker. He lost 750,000 Bitcoins of customers, plus 100,000 coins, to the company. The website had already faced hacker attacks previously, but this was too disruptive. The confidence in cryptocurrency and Bitcoin decreased and the price fell by 80%, returning to the previous year's rate.
New heights – new hopes
Starting in 2015, large companies and institutional investors have begun to show their interest in the technology behind Bitcoin, which has exceeded the threshold of $ 1,000 per unit by the end of 2016.
2017 marked a turning point in the history of Bitcoin. The world has seen a widespread adoption of cryptocurrency. Here is a brief breakdown of important events:
In January 2017, the number of Japanese eCommerce stores that accept Bitcoin increases by 4.6 times in the last year.
Bitcoin begins to be widely used in the B2B supply chain.
Japan and Russia use Bitcoin as a payment method.
The largest Norwegian online bank, Skandiabanken, introduces Bitcoin accounts.
In March 2017, the number of GitHub projects connected to Bitcoin exceeded 10,000.
The volume of trade continues to grow. For example, from January to May 2017, Poloniex reported an increase of over 600% of active online traders and the volume of processed transactions increased by 640%.
In August 2017, Bitcoin split into 2 derivative digital currencies: the Bitcoin chain (BTC) with a block size limit of 1 MB and the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) chain with a block limit of 8 MB. This division has been called "Bitcoin Cash hard fork".
In October 2017, Bitcoin reached the price of $ 5,000 and $ 6,000. Along with the clamor of the media, the fear of some governments has also increased: the authorities were worried that Bitcoin could be used in illegal activities.
On December 17, 2017, Bitcoin reached its all-time high of $ 19,783. How did it happen? The attention of the media, the birth of new cryptocurrencies, ICO and cryptography projects and numerous investment options have contributed to all this hype. However, it did not last long – the price has failed as quickly as it has increased.
2018 – Bitcoin struggles with obstacles
2018 has not been an easy year for Bitcoin. While some governments are trying to implement payments with Bitcoin and contribute to its introduction, others see it only as a threat to the well-established traditional economy and order forces. For example, on January 22, 2018, South Korea issued a regulation that requires all Bitcoin merchants to disclose their identity. Furthermore, anonymous trading of BTC has been banned.
On 24 January 2018, the online payment company Stripe decided not to support payments with Bitcoin by April 2018 under the pretext of increasing the rates and the length of the transactions.
Considering the number of deserving altcoin and blockchain in circulation, Bitcoin has begun to lose its technical superiority. Although it is still the number one cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of $ 65, rivals do not sleep: Ripple and Ethereum are looking.
Is mining still possible?
About two or three years ago, Bitcoin mining was available for a typical laptop user. But now, the difficulty of mathematical calculations is so high that it is impossible to obtain substantial profits even with a good mining platform.
Bitcoin is rather extracted into huge farms that consist of hundreds of ASICs and consume an enormous amount of energy.
What will happen when 21 mln of Bitcoin are extracted?
As we know, the Bitcoin supply is limited to 21 million units. 17 mln of Bitcoin have already been extracted. The remaining 4 mln coins should be mined by 2029. The global Bitcoin offering will reach its limit unless the protocol is changed. According to Bitcoin supporters, it can cause different results.
First of all, the Bitcoin miners will be affected. They will no longer be rewarded, but in theory, it may be necessary to rely on transaction fees to maintain operations. However, according to Bitcoin.com, miners will find the process inaccessible. As a result, the number of miners will decrease and the Bitcoin network will become more centralized.
Transaction fees alone will not be sufficient to allow Bitcoin miners to be financially sound once the extraction process is complete. On the other hand, some experts are sure that transaction fees and mining expenses will go astray.
People put their hopes on mining technologies: mining chips are expected to become smaller and more efficient. This will reduce the efforts and costs of electricity to the miners and increase the ROI of their investments. Furthermore, if transaction fees increase, it may help miners to stay afloat.
And the future price of Bitcoin?
While blockchain experts have predicted that Bitcoin will reach its fund of $ 3,600 in November-December 2018, it has recently been rated around $ 3,200. To date, the cryptocurrency costs $ 3,763, but no one can guarantee that the fluctuations are over.
Bitcoin has gone through significant increases in recent months. But what is clear is that its limited offer will increase the price. Who owns exclusive coins can enjoy a huge profit in a few years.
According to expert estimates, there are stocks of inactive coins that are spread all over the world. Probably, the biggest offer belongs to Satoshi Nakamoto. It can contain about 1 million Bitcoins and is intentionally saved for the moment when the global offer addresses a level of wild demand.
The future price of Bitcoin depends largely on the interest of the big institutions. If they prefer Bitcoin to other cryptocurrencies and blockchains, we can expect the price to grow 100-200% from the current state.
Here are some predictions on Bitcoin for 2019.
Joel Kruger, currency strategist at the LMAX exchange:
"Our 2019 forecasts for Bitcoin are much more constructive than we anticipated for 2018. By the end of 2017, we had warned that Bitcoin had surpassed" the point of rational appreciation "and highlighted a massive downside risk in a boiling market with too many holes (regulation, development, hard forks).
Bitcoin in 2019 could see a continuation of weakness in the first half of the year before the market finally stabilizes and starts to back down in anticipation of what should be an impressive second wave for cryptographic assets.
We will look for Bitcoin to end the 2019 trading in the region from $ 5,000 to $ 8,000, after recovering from the lows that may have expanded below $ 2,000 between now and the end of the first half of 2019. "
Kevin Murcko, CEO of CoinMetro:
"Despite the fairly limited use of Bitcoin, and although its technology may be less sophisticated than other projects, it will likely continue to remain the market leader in 2019. Bitcoin still has the reputation and liquidity that make it preferable to other Cryptos.
It is important to remember that the crash we saw with Bitcoin this year does not indicate the lack of long-term value. The bubble could have erupted in 2018, but there is still a huge substance and potential in the cryptographic market in general.
The cryptos that survives this incident will continue to strengthen next year and for years to come. Like Amazon and eBay, from a collection of criptos that fail, a small but significant minority will succeed. "
Mitch Blakeway, Head of Trading at Quantatex:
"We expect a high degree of volatility in the near future.
Recently, a high level of Bitcoin has been moved from the cold store to the hot storage of important factors of influence in the cryptocurrency market. This means that investors who have the opportunity to move the market are gearing up for trade. This could mean shifts of more than 10% in both directions.
There are significant levels of support and resistance with support around the $ 2,850 level for Bitcoin and resistance around $ 4,000, so a break below $ 2,850 or above $ 4000 could lead to momentum in that direction.
We believe that Bitcoin will eventually shake off its recent weakness during 2019 and expect the price to reduce the $ 20,000 record by December 2019. This is justified on a number of fronts. "
In recent years, Bitcoin has gone through ups and downs, but despite numerous claims that it is a bubble, the cryptocurrency does not seem to be nearing its end. Just like many other cryptocurrencies, it is gradually becoming more stable, and there is an interesting long road.