You’re either on the cryptocurrency bandwagon or you’re not.
If haven’t yet caught crypto fever yet, you are missing out on some potentially incredible gains.
Then again, you could be sitting back watching the greatest market bubble of all time…
We can’t say for sure. But, on Sunday, bitcoin traded through US$9,000 (AU$11,836.68) for the first time ever.
23 hours later, bitcoin was fetching almost $700 dollars more, at US$9,693 (AU$12,748.10) per coin. A 3.4% rise in less than a day.
Better yet, if you had bought five bitcoins last Monday when it broke through the US$8,000 mark, and sold that this morning, you’d have banked around AU$10,000.
Not bad for a week’s work of doing nothing.
Bitcoin has now made nine new thousand-dollar-mark milestones this year. It took five months for the crypto to move from US$1,000 to US$2,000 in May. By August, it had broken through US$4,000. Come the first week of November, bitcoin was at US$7,000.
Mike Novogratz, the man behind Galaxy Digital Assets, a fund, tipped bitcoin to reach US$10,000 by January next year. At this rate, bitcoin will hit that level by the end of the week.
Driving bitcoin to yet another new high this year was the US Thanksgiving weekend. Coinbase, a digital asset broker, says 100,000 new ‘wallets’ were added in a 48-hour period.
Further pushing bitcoin is futures trading, which is set to commence soon. The world’s largest derivative exchange, CME Group, has said bitcoin futures contracts will be available for trade by the end of the year.
So we now have hedge funds and exchanges trading cryptos. These moves give cryptocurrencies an air of legitimacy. And with the price moving up in a straight line for the past six months, crypto outsiders are feeling nervous.
As bitcoin gets closer to the US$10,000 mark, more people are going to be calling it a bubble. But, as you may know, bubbles can last far longer than logical would otherwise suggest.
The problem with bitcoin’s price rise is that it is unlike anything we’ve seen before.
Whether bitcoin is a currency or an asset draws heated debate. Either way, it’s one of the few ways to get some of your money outside the fiat monetary system.
In my view, it’s highly likely that we’ll see the volatility of bitcoin increase around this price level. Chances are, folks that bought in earlier in the year may start cashing out some of their holdings. An FxPro analyst recently suggested: ‘[T]here is a huge risk that big players start taking profit, with new provoking panic and sell-off.’
That may very well happen. But it likely won’t be the end of this incredible story.
You haven’t missed the boat
Where bitcoin moves to after US$10,000 is anyone’s guess. And with the currency sitting around five-figures per coin, ‘trading’ bitcoin is well and truly out of reach for most people.
However, there are ways to take advantage of bitcoin’s surge without buying into the is-it-or-isn’t-it-a-bubble drama.
By investing in what makes bitcoin possible: the blockchain.
The blockchain is simply a way of moving data from one step to the next. Similar to passing files around an office. But there’s a difference.
A file can be tampered with or have pages go missing. Not only that, it’s time-consuming and involves multiple people confirming the information along the way.
The blockchain removes people from the process. Each ‘block’ of information accepts new data but then closes. When there’s new information, another block opens up. It’s secure and tamper-proof. More importantly, it happens in real time at lightening pace, all while removing the risk of human error.
While the market talks about the bitcoin price and what it might do next, some analysts have been looking at the bigger story behind bitcoin. Already some companies are trialling blockchain as the ‘paper trail’ when it comes to tracking the global shipment of goods.
In fact, there are plenty of start-up companies working on blockchain tech, trying to figure out how it can become a true digital ‘contract’.
Right now many of us can’t see how truly game-changing this technology is. Which is why investors are piling into bitcoin and blockchain start-up companies.
But have you ever thought about what makes those two tick? Bitcoin and blockchain may be the razzle-dazzle of this new technological revolution. Yet there’s one thing that makes all this technology work.
Editor, Markets & Money