Bitcoin price rises to US$19,000 (AU$24,756).
Bitcoin price falls to US$16,500 (AU$21,501).
A 13% fall in one day.
Welcome to the wild ride that is bitcoin.
The cryptocurrency has been major news this year. Undoubtedly, its unstoppable price rise has played its part.
Starting out at US$997 per coin in January this year, the price of bitcoin touched an all-time high of US$19,957 (AU$25,537) earlier in the week. However, shortly after, the price fell as rumours of insider trading circulated.
Don’t expect the price to stay low for long, though. Bitcoin has managed to shake off every single market shock this year. With alarming regularity, it then moves on to new highs.
In September, when Chinese authorities announced that they’d be banning initial coin offerings, it caused the price to fall 37% over two weeks, to US$3,150 (AU$4,104).
There were suggestions that China’s ban would deal a death blow to bitcoin.
That was three months ago. Since then, the price of bitcoin has more than tripled.
In spite of all the market shocks that should have crippled the cryptocurrency, it’s up an incredible 1,564% as at last night.
Of course, these stomach-churning drops of 40–50% aren’t for every investor.
But that’s because many people only focus on bitcoin. Yet there are other ways to make bitcoin-like gains potentially without delving into the cryptocurrency market.
And many of those opportunities are to be found on the ASX.
While the S&P/ASX 200 has put in a comparatively low 5.7% gain for the year, the S&P/ASX Small Ordinaries has nearly tripled that figure, up 14.29% in the same period.
S&P/ASX Small Ordinaries daily/yearly chart
Source: CMC Markets
[Click to enlarge]
The usual suspects lead the way in terms of returns on the Small Ordinaries index. There are the mining companies. And a few obscure tech stocks as well.
Now, it’s no secret that Australia doesn’t have a dominating tech sector. However, local Aussie tech companies listing on the ASX may change that over the next year or two.
As everyone’s been busy watching bitcoin rise, tiny tech companies have flown under the radar.
Take GetSwift Ltd [ASX:GSW] for example. While it’s hardly small-fry now, this company, valued at $287 million, is up an outstanding 1,113% this year. GetSwift is an international company specialising in routing and tracking of customer deliveries. Yet few people know it trades on the ASX.
Then there is MyFiziq Ltd [ASX:MYQ]. Cashing in on the fitness craze in Australia, their software creates online avatars of users’ bodies. People scan their body and save it in the app. This way, not only can they track their weight loss, but also how their body shape changes over the course of a new exercise regime. In the process, this backdoor listing at the start of the year has netted early investors a whopping 2,299%.
Big Un Ltd [ASX:BIG], meanwhile, was a company valued at $40 million in January this year. Yet its share price has exploded, and Big Un is a now worth $500 million. Big Un provides online video advertising content for small-to-medium-sized businesses. Early investors are sitting on a tidy 1,208% gain so far with this one.
While everyone is living and breathing every single price movement of bitcoin, exciting investing opportunities can be found elsewhere.
Australia may not have much of a tech sector today. But small and innovative companies are out there. Strong returns from these companies may encourage more tech firms to list on the ASX over the next year or two. 2018 may even prove to be the start of a booming tech industry in Australia!
If not, there’s always bitcoin to rely on…
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. I’ll see you again in January.
Editor, Markets & Money