Tag Archives: bitcoin

Is this another cryptocurrency bubble?

No doubt most of you have been following the explosive increase in cryptocurrency valuations over the past month. The price of one ether has risen about 400% in the past 30 days. The value of Bitcoin has doubled over the same period, with a single coin trading at an all-time high of nearly $2,500. Litecoin has similarly more than doubled in value.

In short, it’s starting to feel like late 2013 again. For those of you that weren’t around the last time this happened, this isn’t the first time that we’ve seen runaway valuations on cryptocurrency. In the span of 30 days between late October and November of 2013, Bitcoin saw its value increase roughly 500% to a then-high of over $1,000. Over that same one-month period in 2013, Litecoin saw a meteoric ~2500% (!) rise from about $2 to nearly $50.

If you were in the cryptocurrency game back then, you may remember that I urged caution to potential investors as digital currency prices continued to set new price records daily. Less than a month after I published my 2013 correction prediction, prices started to decline, and a few months later they were back to roughly pre-bubble levels. Lots of folks that bought BTC or LTC during the insane price run-up decided to panic sell on the way down, and some people lost a considerable amount of money.

I write this simply to remind everyone to stay sane when it comes to investing in cryptocurrency, especially if you’re thinking about committing money that you really can’t afford to lose. Price increases like the ones that we’re currently witnessing aren’t normal, and are mostly being driven by speculative greed—not new developments or adoption (and for evidence of this claim, look no further than the recent ~1000% price increase on Dogecoin, an essentially joke currency that’s been dormant for three years). When prices eventually reach a level that can’t be sustained (and admittedly, there might be quite a bit of additional increase before that!), expect a sell-off to follow.

Somewhat related: this is why I like mining. If I’m investing $1,500 today and use it to buy ETH directly, then I’ll be really disappointed if the price drops to zero tomorrow, as I’ve lost 100% of my investment. If I build a $1,500 mining rig with the expectation that I’m going to mine ETH and eventually turn a profit, then I’ll certainly be disappointed if the ETH price drops to zero tomorrow—but I’ll still have $1,500 worth of computer hardware that I can re-purpose or sell.

Bitcoin price hits all-time high

Bitcoin has gained about 15% in value over the past week, putting it at over $1,450 on Coinbase currently. That’s higher than any point since its inception!

Ethereum and Litecoin are both also doing quite well. ETH is up roughly 50% compared to just one week ago, and LTC has nearly quadrupled in value since the start of 2017.

What’s driving the recent spike in cryptocurrency valuation? Other than the imminent SegWit activation for Litecoin, there doesn’t seem to be any big news that should be driving prices up at this pace. Are people reacting to political uncertainty around the world by converting some of their fiat currency into digital cash? I’m honestly not sure—but it’s certainly interesting to follow!

Newegg begins accepting Bitcoin

This morning, Newegg announced that they’ve started accepting Bitcoin on their website (via BitPay), making them one of the largest and most popular internet retailers to jump on the cryptocurrency bandwagon to date. Newegg’s homepage is currently prominently featuring Bitcoin, and they’ve created a helpful “about Bitcoin” page on their site to help educate those that want to learn more about it. Bitcoin is even currently appearing at the top of the “payment options” list during Newegg’s checkout process—ahead of credit cards, Paypal, and other methods.

I’m surprised it took Newegg this long, but it’s nice to finally see them embrace cryptocurrency. I’m curious to see what kind of impact this will have on their business—Newegg really seems like an ideal candidate for Bitcoin adoption, given the nature of their products and techno-enthusiast customer base. Hopefully this turns into a major success story for them.

Xapo CEO predicts $1 Million Bitcoin price

The Wall Street Journal posted a short interview with Wences Casares, CEO of bitcoin startup Xapo, regarding his thoughts on the future of bitcoin. Casares predicts that one decade from now, a single bitcoin will be worth somewhere between half a million dollars and a million dollars.

That’s quite the lofty predication, and one that isn’t entirely surprising coming from a guy that runs a business that depends on people buying and holding bitcoins. However, Casares is far from the first person to make such a prediction, and there are fairly rational models that support single bitcoin valuations in the 5 to 6 figure range.

I’ve personally stated many times that I believe the far future (5+ years, in technology) of bitcoin only holds two possibilities: it either fails to catch on and its value drops to zero, or adoption reaches a critical mass and its value skyrockets far beyond where it is today. A scenario where bitcoin simply stagnates and plateaus at a value of several hundred dollars (or a somewhere in the low four figures) is the only unreasonable one to me. I wouldn’t be completely shocked to see a 5- or 6-figure bitcoin price in a decade, just like I wouldn’t be astonished if bitcoin was no longer around. So I suppose a 7-figure valuation isn’t out of the realm of possibility, either.

Regardless of what happens in the future, it’ll probably be interesting to look back at the days of the ~$500 bitcoin.

Newsweek seemingly outs Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto

In a story published this morning, Newsweek has finally exposed the identity of Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. Or at least, Newsweek believes that it has.

The story is an odd account of a perhaps over-zealous journalist ambushing a man at his house in California, and proceeding to ask him questions about Bitcoin that he mostly refuses to answer. At no point does this man actually confirm that he is the creator of Bitcoin, and the story’s author doesn’t provide any actual proof to her claim. Only the shared name (most in the Bitcoin community have always assumed that “Satoshi Nakamoto” is a pseudonym) and the fact that this man has apparently done some classified technical work during his career are submitted as evidence that Bitcoin’s creator has been found.

Newsweek went so far as to publish photos of the man and his house in the article—which seems more than a bit irresponsible given that Satoshi allegedly has access to about half a billion dollars worth of bitcoin. That kind of wealth will likely bring him all sorts of attention for the rest of his life, as well as make him a potential target for criminals looking to get their hands on his private keys.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Newsweek finds itself on the receiving end of a good deal of backlash over the story. It’s big on speculation, light on actual facts, and recklessly cavalier toward Nakamoto’s personal privacy.

Edit 6PM: Nakamoto has reportedly officially denied being the creator of Bitcoin. Some folks over in the /r/Bitcoin subreddit have found some of Nakamoto’s Amazon product reviews and compared them to posts written by the real Satoshi—the difference in writing style is quite obvious. It’s looking more and more like Newsweek royally screwed up and turned some random poor guy’s life upside down for nothing.

Edit 7:30PM: The AP posted the details of Nakamoto’s denial. Apparently he’d never even heard of Bitcoin before Newsweek contacted him.

Edit 3/17: Nakamoto has officially denied being the creator of Bitcoin via a written statement from his lawyer. Lawsuit incoming!

TechCrunch: Is Bitcoin the new Paypal?

TechCrunch posted an article today comparing Bitcoin to the early Paypal days—when fraud, theft, and technical issues ran rampant. TechCrunch’s headline would probably be a bit more accurate if “Mt. Gox” were substituted in place of “Bitcoin” (and to be fair, the body of the article mostly focuses on the current problems plaguing Gox when drawing comparisons to Paypal’s early days), but the write-up is interesting nonetheless.

I do remember a time when Paypal was regarded in much the same way that Bitcoin is today. Back then, trusting a fledgling internet company to “send money across the web” was something that crazy people did. Times have certainly changed, and it’ll be interesting to see where the public perception of cryptocurrency is in five or ten years.

In related news, Mt. Gox issued a short update today apologizing for the continued delays while they work through their issues. What’s up with the “security problems” that Gox claims forced them to relocate? Rumor has it that they’re referring to the three-person protest currently taking place outside their headquarters.

TigerDirect now accepting Bitcoin

Just a couple weeks after Overstock.com went live with Bitcoin payment processing, TigerDirect today announced that they have also begun accepting Bitcoin on their website. TigerDirect is a major electronics and computer parts retailer, and this development makes them one of the largest businesses to accept Bitcoin thus far.

Given the success that Overstock is enjoying with its Bitcoin experiment, and rumors of impending Bitcoin adoption from giants like Google, Newegg, and eBay—it’s looking increasingly likely that 2014 will be the year that most major online retailers start accepting cryptocurrency.

Overstock.com to accept Bitcoin in 2014

CNN is reporting that Overstock.com will begin accepting Bitcoin for purchases made on its site, starting in the second quarter of 2014.

Pretty big news for cryptocurrency—Overstock is the largest U.S. retailer to announce support for Bitcoin thus far. Hopefully the news will cause others to take notice.

Update 1/9/2014: That was quick—Overstock went live with Bitcoin payment support today (US-based shoppers only, for now).

Bitcoin loses nearly half its value overnight

No doubt most of you have already noticed the huge drop in cryptocurrency prices over the last 24 hours. If you’re wondering what’s going on, China’s central bank has ordered all Chinese Bitcoin exchanges to stop accepting new deposits, which triggered a massive sell-off. CNBC has a pretty good write-up of the story here.

Many people, myself included, were expecting a large correction on the recent sky-high cryptocurrency valuations. This crash drops us back down to roughly where we were a month ago, which seems a bit saner. For those of you that have only gotten into cryptocurrency recently, massive swings like what we witnessed today are pretty much par for the course. Expect a lot more volatility in the coming weeks.

Spotted on Twitter: Beer for Bitcoin?

Heineken tweeted out a tacit endorsement of Bitcoin yesterday, and the folks at BitPay are taking notice:

Heineken Bitcoin tweet

Beer and Bitcoin, together soon? More likely, this is Heineken simply capitalizing on some free publicity by taking advantage of Bitcoin’s popularity, but we can hope!