It’s that time again. Time to spin the wheel of predictions and see where the needle lands. Will the price increase? Will the price decrease? What about the fundamentals? Will China buy more bitcoins because of capital controls? All of these questions and more will be answered with wild, unsubstantiated speculation because I heard over in a chatroom that a whale is going to pump the price so you better buy now. Bitcoin is halving, and with the increase in difficulty comes an increase in speculation about the future of the digital currency.
One of the most enduring truths in the bitcoin space is that beneath all the tecno-babble and political interests, bitcoin believers deep down really only care about the price. Namely, that the price goes up. In a clear indicator of a flawed market, everyone involved in bitcoin has a strong interest in seeing the price rise. Drawing parallels to the real estate market, the miners, sellers, traders, exchanges, investors, everyone involved, all want bitcoin to increase in price. No one has a stake in stability, or need I whisper these awful words, a price decrease. It’s akin to a penny stock backed by strong math and a quirky variety of political outsiders.
So will the price go up? Maybe. Oracles abound in the bitcoin space, talking about price movements. Rainbow charts, fractals, you name it and someone has probably tried to predict bitcoin’s price with it. This isn’t helped by the bitcoin believers sense of superiority over Wall Street and traditional economic thought. I mean, how much can a bunch of the most successful and most highly educated people on the planet REALLY know? Haven’t they ever read the white paper? Can they even spell “praxeology”?
The promise of blockchain technology to act as a clear validation mechanism for currently opaque financial contracts like derivatives and options is clearly valuable. The value of bitcoin continues to be speculative. As I’ve said before, I think the belief that drives bitcoiners is more involved in validating their personal political convictions than in providing anything of value to the market. It is then unsurprising that bitcoin’s “killer app” has yet to materialize, and every passing year makes it less and less likely. I have a sneaking suspicion that most of the bitcoin faithful were hoping their specific ideology was going to be the killer app, that suddenly folks would wake up and decide en masse to adopt techno-anarchism or some other flavor of hokey economics.
With the bitcoin halving, or ‘halvening’ as it has been termed, soon upon us, what can we expect? More of the same. Bubbles and bursts, ups and downs. The same propaganda and the same underperformance by VC-backed firms. It isn’t all bad news; the price has been surging upward, with a clear positive trend. Hopefully the Chinese exchanges that are faking enormous trade volume to prop up the price don’t stop doing that. That probably wouldn’t end well for bitcoiners.