After being titled as 2014’s worst investment with the Russain Ruble, Bitcoin was expected to leave its poor performance behind to pursue 2015 in a rather bullish manner. The BTC/USD chart crashed yesterday below $300, to around $269.15 at the time of writing, according to the data provider Brave New Coin (BNC)‘s index.
BNC index is widely-considered by professional investors to be the most accurate measure of bitcoin’s price since BNC’s proprietary index tabulates over 50 exchanges and more than $150 million in daily trading volumes, across more than 160 FIAT currencies.
Some attribute the Bitcoin value decline to the negative price pressure provoked by holidays and falling market interest. Bitcoin is inferior if compared to US dollar, which is easier to use and has relatively stable price.
Joe Carter from Acton Institute PowerBlog writes: “Right now, Bitcoin is only mostly dead. As an investment, it was the worst of 2014. As a currency, it was destroyed by the IRS by a single sentence (“For federal tax purposes, virtual currency is treated as property.”). All that really remains is for it to become a financial network. But then it will be likely killed (i.e., all dead) with one word: regulation.”
Bitcoin miners are those who were affected the most by the decline, as their revenues have significantly fallen. According to Blockchain.info, miners’ daily profits decreased from $4,62 million in January 2014 to $1.05 million in December 2014. Moreover, this is given the fact that the process of mining is becoming rather challenging.
However, things are not all that bad. There is a positive trend of escalating bitcoin transaction volumes, what is expected to increase global interest in the digital currency. In addition, the lower bitcoin price could prompt buyers to purchase it as it cost less. Rich people, who see an investment’s value drop, usually buy low, and then sell when it rebounds.
The possible reason for bitcoin sliding is the increasing U.S. dollar. The number of merchants accepting bitcoin is growing (even Microsoft started accepting the virtual currency), as well as the number of customers. Each day, new wallets, trading options and debit cards appear on the bitcoin market.
Still, the US dollar is the problem. According to the government, its price is growing, up by 4% in the last quarter. But given the fact that currencies in Europe are declining faster than dollar, doesn’t mean it is more stable. After the bitcoin creation in 2009, dollar’s track record was something dubbed economic bubble.
One of the reasons not to fear the price drop is its broader acceptance by merchants, what is a sign of its strengthening and growing market demand.
Besides, bitcoin has already gone through its bubble, particularly, it went through Silk Road 1 & 2 shutdowns, the Mt. Gox Bubble, bitcoin exchange market regulation by People’s Bank of China and Ben Lawsky’s NY Bitcoin License fiasco.
Nobody said bitcoin development would be easy. Bitcoin is unlikely to stop given the amount of investments made, the technology available, its built-in advantages and high corporate interest. Bitcoin must go through this phase.