The Bitcoin price has climbed a staggering 400% over the last 12 months, rising as institutional investors acquire the cryptocurrency and payments giants such as PayPal PYPL add their support.
Right now, with retail investors increasingly eyeing bitcoin in light of its recent gains, new research shows how bitcoin “whales” accumulated a large number of bitcoin tokens in December, helping the bitcoin price to never-before-seen highs.
The resilience of that digital coin and others – and the reasons behind it – have many excited not just about the prospects for this young asset class in 2021, but also for the general adoption of this burgeoning financial technology.
Meanwhile, bitcoin’s status as “digital gold” has risen in recent weeks as governments around the world flood markets with unprecedented levels of newly printed cash – triggering a surge of big-name investors naming bitcoin as a prospective hedge against inflation.
This blend of increased investment interest in Bitcoin as an expense, as well as improved adaptation of Bitcoin, cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies by companies, points to a perfect storm for prices.
Proponents of digital currencies are exuberant about the potential for 2021 and are providing lofty bitcon price predictions after a monster year that saw highflying Bitcoin prices grab control of the spotlight.
That is absolutely nothing brand new – but the much wider feeling across Wall Street that “this point it’s different” is actually.
What The Heck Is Bitcoin?
Back to the beginning:
Bitcoin is actually one of many digital currencies. Unlike traditional “fiat” currencies developed and operated by a government and central bank, Bitcoin is “mined,” or produced by individuals which solve mathematical problems with computing power. Transactions are kept on the blockchain, an encrypted and decentralized ledger that protects the integrity of Bitcoin while at the same ensuring the privacy of the user.
And in contrast to fiat currencies, which can be printed on demand, Bitcoin is constrained to a total of 21 million possible coins once it’s fully mined. (Fortunately, it could be divided fractionally down to 1/100,000,000th of a Bitcoin, known as a “Satoshi.”) It was made to be a real store of value that could not be manipulated.
Bitcoin has had some basic periods since its creation in 2009, but analysts are no longer claiming the “death of Bitcoin.”
Bitcoin Soars In 2020
Bitcoin prices crashed after sharp rallies in 2013 and 2017, but these declines were not precipitated by any serious event spanning multiple asset classes. While it is possible for the charges to fall back down again, you can find yourself being extremely wealthy from this particular investment if you wait it out long enough.
So the bear market of 2020, short as it was, marked the first time Bitcoin as well as other digital currencies faced a truly global crisis which threatened many types of investments.
Those lows were short-lived, however. Digital currencies bounced hardest off the bottom, as well as Bitcoin turned positive by April.