‘Hard forks’, hacks, robberies, ransomware, threatening regulation and many warnings from the financial establishment: nothing could stop the advance of the digital crypto-currency Bitcoin this year. The question now is not whether this bubble will burst, but rather than that when and in what extent.
To say that 2017 is the year of Bitcoin is not wrong. Four years ago, 2013 also seemed to be the year of Bitcoin. From $ 13 in January 2013, its value had reached $ 979 on November 25 to burst shortly after hitting the magical $ 1,000 record. But as this ceiling, it is the whole bubble that exploded following the warnings of financial institutions, including the People Bank of China, but also and especially the collapse of Mt.Gox, one of the popular Bitcoin processing platforms. The course fell in a record time to just over $ 300. It was then necessary to wait until January of this year, before the Bitcoin again passed the milestone of 1,000 dollars.
There are a lot of parallels to do with 2013, so the annual chart is also worrying. 2017 was full of facts that had also appeared in 2013. But anyway, Bitcoin has not stopped surprising. We witness the following 5 facts:
2017 Bitcoin Analysis
1. Hard forks
Before the summer, there was only one bitcoin, whereas today, there are already three versions. On August 1st and for the first time in Bitcoin’s nine-year history, a ‘hard fork’, as we say in jargon, took place and gave birth to ‘Bitcoin Cash’. It was born under the impetus of a group of developers who wanted to make cryptocurrency more usable as a means of payment.
And in November, we were again entitled to a ‘hard fork’ and the birth of Bitcoin Gold. From such a split, we actually get two parts that have a common history of the code, but then go their own way. In principle, anyone can create this kind of clone because the underlying code is open-source. Once the split has become reality, compatibility is no longer guaranteed. So, what about the value of Bitcoin in all this? He survived the splits in 2017.
The Bitcoin Mt.Gox platform collapsed in 2013 due to double hacking, during which the attackers seized more than 750,000 Bitcoins. Since then, there has been at least one piracy each year of this magnitude. In 2017, too, there were incidents. Yapizon has lost 3,816 Bitcoins due to piracy, while a South Korean stock exchange went bankrupt after a hacking, but the recent looting of NiceHash is still much larger, since the hackers took Bitcoins for a value greater than 50 million dollars. What about the value of Bitcoin in all this? That same day, the cryptocurrency set a new record.
Many experts and connoisseurs of traditional financial markets discussed the dangers of Bitcoin trade during the year. Data News also discussed the risks that a lot of small investors face when they go head to head in the Bitcoin adventure. Especially after the 2017 summer, the term ‘bubble’ was on everyone’s lips. What about the price of Bitcoin in all this? He ignored all these warnings and continued to climb happily.
4. Price increases
From $ 1,000, it rose to 2,000, then quickly to 5,000. From there, the rise gained even more speed. But even $ 10,000 was not a ceiling for Bitcoin. Bitcoin never stopped surprising in 2017. For a moment, it was thought that its course would reach $ 20,000, but it’s not yet the case. Optimists predict meanwhile that Bitcoin could easily grow up to $ 100,000. Unless the bubble burst soon, which others expect.
The advance of the currency also has side effects. As a result, network transactions have become overpriced because of its popularity, which means that merchants refuse to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment. The speed of transactions is also under pressure. In addition, the energy consumption of the entire Bitcoin network seems ridiculously high. And of all this anonymous decentralized idea of peer-to-peer payments, there is not much left, now that the vast majority of business is done through online platforms that you know or should know well. A lot of inconveniences, but you’ll have already guessed it: in 2017, it had no effect on the value of Bitcoin.
What does 2018 hold? Bitcoin expectations for 2018
While writing these lines, the value of the Bitcoin is going down: the gain of the past week is erased. Is it a correction or a break after a frantic record race? Or is it really the beginning of a greater decline. And will 2017 end in the same way as 2013? It’s possible, but not at all certain. A big difference with 2013 is that Bitcoin easily reverses all the obstacles that come its way. There is from time to time a slowdown, even a decline, but in 2017, the machine has always revived quickly and this, unlike 2013. Anyway, 2018 promises to be a captivating year now that big banks embark on the adventure, among other things, the introduction of ‘futures’ in the United States. The crypto-party therefore continues temporarily. We notice the same behavior for other crypto-currencies such as Etchereum and Litecoin, which are also flirting with their records.
However, there is also an eel under rock with these crypto-fans who don’t want to follow the technical course of Bitcoin. The splits of 2017 were a symptom. So far, Bitcoin has resisted all ‘attacks’, but new attempts will still be evident. The next few weeks, we will not forget to keep an eye on Bitcoin Cash: the result of a split (hard fork) of Bitcoin on August 1, which should allow more transactions on the network working with a bigger size of block on the blockchain. The followers of Bitcoin Cash, including Roger Ven, the co-founder of Bitcoin.com and the CEO of the ‘mining’ company Bitmain, even evoke the ‘real Bitcoin’. Will they succeed in doing so in 2018?
Or will there be another split? It is true that we are already talking about the creation of Bitcoin Uranium, Diamond Bitcoin, Bitcoin Silver and Bitcoin Cash Plus. Most will fail without doubt, but perhaps one of them will attract the attention of fans, miners, developers and traders and will succeed.
And then, there is still the threatening regulation and the ban set in the meantime by some countries, such as China and Vietnam.
How will the crypto-world end next year? No one knows it, and even more so now that a call for regulation is becoming more urgent and that the G20 for example wants to address the subject in the spring. But you must not have a crystal ball to know that in the meantime, speculation will go well.