The Future Outlook for Bitcoin (BTC)
Anyone that has paid attention to the crypto industry lately knows about the way that Bitcoin has revolutionized it. Just last year, Bitcoin led an assortment of different cryptocurrencies through the biggest influx of crypto investments of its history. However, it was followed by a major crash, which caused the loss of many followers. Still, there are some investors and contributors that still have faith in the industry, and they are hearing some of the same questions that the industry faced about five years ago.
This is the perfect opportunity to reintroduce the entire industry, essentially going over the basics of what has been happening lately to get a better understanding. First of all, the market reached a peak in January around $800 billion.
However, only a couple of short months later, the value plummeted by over 60%, which corresponded with the new regulations being issued in countries that previously made a big impact in crypto. By the time June came around, the entire market dropped to 70%, which is fairly close to the dramatic dip that the Nasdaq experienced with the dot-com bubble.
Is Bitcoin (BTC) Actually Money?
A big question that newcomers to the industry have is – is Bitcoin actually money? The answer is technically yes, but there is more to that answer. There still are few people that use Bitcoin to make purchase, although it is possible. While most people trade tokens to earn better value or expand their use, the volatility of the market makes it hard to keep a stable value. When the industry was young, Bitcoin was not worth much and could be used to purchase something as simple as pizza.
However, when Bitcoin rose to $6,000 and higher in value, it was clear that this income was worth investing. Those fluctuations make it a little harder to invest and spend than fiat currency. The best way to define Bitcoin is that it is essentially an electronic asset that is completely decentralized, though its value depends on the demand of the market.
Negative Press About Bitcoin
There are plenty of reasons that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency have been the victim of negative talk by current and previous investors. Warren Buffet has famously called it “rat poison squared.” There have been major price swings, but the big issue is how involved cryptocurrency has been in some major criminal activity. Most notably, there have been ICO scams, money laundering, theft, and more. Even though these issues were easy to ignore when crypto held a position on the sidelines, it is a bit harder to ignore when there are reports every other day regarding investment opportunities or another risk that consumers face. There are regulators that are trying to improve the industry, but there has not been enough time with these regulations to determine if it will help.
Commodity or Security?
Crypto assets are like both commodities and securities in different ways. As a commodity, as stated above, the value is driven by the demand and by how much the investors are willing to pay. Cryptocurrency is common to use as a commodity in countries that have banks on certain purchases and where hyperinflation can influence local currency. As a security, cryptocurrencies act like stocks, allowing users to get profits through multiple opportunities. ICOs are usually the perfect opportunity to get involved at the ground level of any startup, but the success has the same chances as stocks; value entirely depends on the way the rest of the community accepts those new tokens.
Unfortunately, the classification as a security has opened up a metaphorical can of worms, since officially classifying as such comes with many regulations from each country. In fact, some consumers believe that it threatens the ability to maintain a decentralized market. Some regulators have decided to withdraw from cryptocurrency entirely, while others have put down certain restrictions for the platforms that want to operate in their country. The main reason for the crackdown is because so many countries saw money leaving their economy, urging them to do something to preserve their economy. However, there are some countries, especially the United States, which have not managed to reach a helpful strategy.
Buying Your First Bitcoin
Purchasing Bitcoin is the first step to getting involved with cryptocurrency, and it can be done in a few ways. The most direct way to make a purchase is through an online exchange where the user trades fiat currency for crypto, which can be held in a digital wallet. However, anyone that maintains an online wallet is at risk of theft, which is why hardware wallets are beneficial. Consumers can also place wagers on Bitcoin, though they do not have to make a purchase.
Wall Street, for the most part, has notably kept away from crypto. Even though there has been more interest lately, little has changed still. There are major banking lenders, like JPMorgan and Bank of America, who have banned customers from purchasing crypto with the credit cards associated with their accounts. However, there are some companies, like Goldman Sachs Group, which has begun to actually trade with Bitcoin for customers.
Still, Bitcoin is far from the only coin in the industry. There are thousands of others, though there is no way to determine if they will end up being beneficial for the user. Some of them were made with the intent of correcting some problems in Bitcoin, like transaction speeds or fees. However, a discouraging number of them were scams, attempting to steal from any investor that thought they were getting in on something revolutionary. The key to finding a reliable altcoin is often longevity and follow-through, though consumers risk missing out on the ground floor with this caution.
The question remains – what is to come? Honestly, no one really knows. The industry needs to get more positive interactions from other countries and other industries to make a comeback, which will hopefully be helped as countries figure out exactly how to balance decentralization and new regulatory measures.