The Bitcoin price has added a phenomenal 400% over the previous 12 months, surging as institutional investors warm to the cryptocurrency and financial giants like PayPal PYPL add their support.
The second half of 2020 was noteworthy for the flood of institutional money flooding into the cryptocurrency market.
The resilience of that digital coin and others – and the reasons behind it – have many excited not just about the prospects for this young asset class in 2021, but also for the entire adoption of this burgeoning financial technology.
Meanwhile, bitcoin’s status as “digital gold” has risen in recent weeks as governments around the world flood markets with unprecedented levels of freshly printed cash – leading to a surge of big name investors naming bitcoin as a potential hedge against inflation.
This combination of increased investment interest in Bitcoin as an investment, as well as increased adaptation of Bitcoin, cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies by businesses, points to a perfect storm for prices.
Despite these expected “bumps,” most in the bitcoin and cryptocurrency space are predicting the bitcoin price will continue to rise over the long term.
What may perhaps actually help make this time different, however, is not that Bitcoin prices hit new highs in 2020 and finished the year with a head of steam. It’s that the cryptocurrency succeeded in its first trial by fire.
What Exactly Is Bitcoin?
Let’s review the basics:
Bitcoin is actually a digital currency created in January 2009 following the housing market crash. It follows the tips set out in a whitepaper by the pseudonymous and mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto.? The identity of the person or maybe persons that created the technology is still a mystery. Bitcoin offers the promise of lower transaction costs than traditional online payment mechanisms and is actually operated by a decentralized authority, unlike government-issued currencies.
And in contrast to fiat currencies, which could be printed on demand, Bitcoin is actually constrained to a total of twenty one million possible coins once it is completely mined. (Fortunately, it can be split fractionally down to 1/100,000,000th of a Bitcoin, known as a “Satoshi.”) It was intended to be a genuine store of value which could not be manipulated.
Indeed, Bitcoin was invented in 2008 and launched in 2009, just as world governments happened to be printing money to respond to the global economic crisis. A slew of other digital assets followed.
Bitcoin Rages Higher In 2020
Bitcoin prices crashed after sharp rallies in 2013 and 2017, but these declines were not precipitated by any major event spanning multiple asset classes. The digital coin was purely cut by the other edge of speculation’s blade; worries about hacking risks, for instance, hampered cryptocurrencies in 2018.
Cryptocurrencies were hardly immune from the bear turn. Investors first started selling off equities in February as they moved to cash, and perhaps protection plays including gold ultimately took a dip in March. But Bitcoin eventually fell, too, crashing hard in mid-March.
Those lows were short lived, however. Digital currencies bounced hardest off the bottom, and Bitcoin turned positive by April.