Bitcoin 2018 Year Review: Troublesome Times or Calm Before Crypto Storm?
2017 gave most people a perception that Bitcoin was an unstoppable force. The prices of Bitcoin started off 2017 by being a little under $1,000 USD and ended up in $19,000 USD in value. That kind of meteoric rise was basically unheard of and is what led many economists to call it nothing more than a bubble.
The rise in interest of investors in cryptocurrencies saw some collateral damage too. GPUs, which could be used for mining, saw its prices rise astronomically, though Nvidia largely downplayed Bitcoin’s role in the company’s fortunes. This year, however, has seen the cryptocurrency’s fortune’s take a turn for the worst.
According to CoinMarketCap, Bitcoin is currently priced at $6,341 but has fallen as low as $5,800 a couple of days back. This month’s peak price was only $7,300 which is just 40% of Bitcoin’s peak price.
Prices are not the only thing declining, consumer interest is taking a toll too. Just a quick look at search trends shows that the interest in Bitcoin had peaked closely following the peak prices.
However, you can see the hashrate power has not diminished and experts will tell you ‘price follows hashing power'.
The graph clearly shows that the currency hit its peak search popularity during the week of January 14th and fell off rather sharply since that time period. The first couple of weeks of June appear to be the coin’s low point in terms of search popularity, but the coin’s rebound has been a sluggish one. Using Google’s own scale, we can see that it recently hit a low point of 13 in terms of search interest and is currently hovering around 18.
Although google trends are not an absolute to measure popularity, it certainly is a reflection of one of the many factors. It is difficult to say rather the low value led to a loss of consumer interest or the other way around. More than likely, it is a mixture of multiple factors that have led to the coin’s decline.
The primary reason for Cryptocurrency prices losing value recently is a number of recent hacks which have seen cryptocurrency exchanges lose millions of dollars in coins. While Bitcoin itself was rarely the target of these hacks, they likely shook consumer confidence in the security of cryptocurrencies especially considering the fact that there is no central organization to ensure such currencies.
However, many are saying that this is just the normalization of stocks as the financial infrastructure around cryptocurrencies stabilize and government regulations catch up with the technology. It is certain that by the end of the year, we can expect to see a more stable trend in pricing although the price itself can only be speculated now.