Bitcoin is the poster-child, for good and for bad, of cryptocurrencies. BTC is often confused with the blockchain technology and the inflated price has garnered interest, positive and negative.
The price of bitcoin is relatively steady under $15,000, which is over 15 times the level seen in early 2017, but some 25% off the highs seen on December 18th, when the CME Group enabled trading bitcoin futures.
During most of 2017, the saying “there is no such thing as bad publicity” seemed to work for bitcoin. Any piece of positive news about BTC sent the price higher and higher. And any negative attention did exactly the same. In some case, a negative report such as a ban from one regulator or another sent the price falling, but these falls were short-lived.
And when hot-shots such as Jaime Dimon talked down the digital coin, the outcome was just an elevated price. All in all, BTC/USD exploded over 1300% during the watershed year.
Have the tables turned against bitcoin?
The big crypto crash of December 22nd may have been a turning point for the cryptocurrency. All cryptocurrencies fell from grace just before Christmas but then recovered.
And that is when we began seeing how bitcoin’s recovery has been overshadowed by other cryptocurrencies. No, the market cap of the coin is still No. 1 at nearly a quarter of a trillion USD, but others are gaining ground.
Faster Ripple Transactions
Ripple stands out. The market cap is now worth more than $100 billion. XRP/USD rose mostly on the upcoming usage of the technology in many Japanese banks among other reasons.
And there is a bit of bitcoin bashing here as well. The XRP coin technology promises transactions within seconds. Ripple’s CEO went on television to bash bitcoin, by saying that until your transaction of ordering coffee and paying with bitcoin is approved, the coffee is already cold. Indeed, bitcoin transactions are becoming too slow.
Calling it a bubble, not from the most suspicious places
Another example of bashing comes from China. A lot of cryptocurrency activity happens in Asia. China’s People’s Daily says plays down the advantages of bitcoin: strong liquidity, fidelity, transparency, decentralization, and scarcity. The mouthpiece of the party says that these so-called advantages only disguise pure speculation.
Ardo Hansson, the Estonian member of the European Central Bank, should have shown more sympathy given his country’s wide usage of technology in government business. Estonia is often the envy of the world in digitalization. However, he said that the cryptocurrency bubble is like a religious sect. He says that the bubble, fuelled by emotion, will eventually burst.
It’s not only bad news for bitcoin: Tech billionaire Peter Thiel’s Founder is said to have made a “monster bet” on bitcoin. This may have provided support to the price, but it hasn’t risen too much, especially when compared to its peers.
All in all, bitcoin isn’t as formidable as it used to be just three weeks ago. Even if the price doesn’t collapse as some predict, it may be overshadowed by other cryptocurrencies.
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