Bitcoin, Ethereum, Crypto: Prices & Froth
What has been happening recently in Bitcoin, Ethereum and the cryptocurrency space has been nothing short of incredible. Prices went parabolic producing once in a lifetime returns (and wealth) for many lucky individuals. I suspect the recent price declines have stripped many of their savings, but you tend to hear less about those guys.
Before I continue: Let me emphasize that what follows is not investment advice. I am completely unqualified to offer investing or trading recommendations. What follows is pure guesswork and speculation. Trade and invest in Bitcoin, Ethereum or any of the other cryptos at your own risk.
Where Have Crypto Prices Been
Ethereum [ETH] which many view as the future of crypto is up several thousand percent this year (and we’re only 6 months into ’17!).
Justified? Maybe. Too much too soon? Quite possible. I think incredible things exist and are coming in this crypto, but prices that go parabolic tend to correct.
ETH launched on July 30th, 2015 which was roughly 700 days ago. Below is a chart of Bitcoins [BTC] first 700 days:
Don’t misinterpret this chart as an indication from me that ETH prices will decline, I have no idea.
There are several reasons why this specific comparison may not be valid – I could easily place charts comparing tech stocks in the 2000 or tulip prices in the 1600’s. Prices can often move too far too fast regardless of the validity of the asset itself.
Bitcoin in 2013 was the first major crypto currency and people had to wrap their heads around the entire concept. Often Mt. Gox gets solely blamed for the 2013 price bubble, but pure speculation was also a participant. Obviously Bitcoin is now trading well above the 2013 peak, just as many tech stocks are at highs today.
Ethereum is a new player to a more understood field and therefore open to faster adoption which could justify the rise. The last several months saw several exchanges come online, many new technology developments and a large jump in media coverage.
There are some signs for caution – much of the Ethereum technology is still in very early development, despite attracting large investment. Bitcoin is wrestling with its blocksize issue which may resolve in the next several weeks (segwit August 1st). There is lot happening very fast and its easy to let hype drive emotion.
Whats Ahead for Bitcoin & Ethereum
Somewhat akin to the theory of Diffusion of Innovation early adopters have come quickly into the space. While money is flooding into cryptos (Just look at the ICO or Initial Coin Offering market) the doors to huge assets doesn’t appear open yet. Anecdotally, it seems like Venture Capital is just catching on to the hundreds of millions being raised. (Here is a great Tim Ferriss, Nick Szabo podcast). Wall Street still hasn’t come on board if the SEC initial ruling on Bitcoin ETF’s are any indication. The lack of regulation (part of what some say is great about crypto) is a hindrance for government regulated entities. Additionally, for large entities there are massive issues in crypto when it comes to custody of funds and the like. I’d speculate that both sentiment and technology will grow, and open the doors to much larger pools of capital.
What tends to get lost in all of the price speculation is the technological revolution thats arrived. Today, with Bitcoin you can move millions of dollars globally, at an instant, for pennies. In Germany the Ethereum network helps charge up electrical cars and collects payment. Many think this is all leading towards “Web 3.0” which will decentralize the internet making it more efficient.
Regardless of current trading level amazing things are happening. As the innovation continues value will grow, and price will follow.