Pymnts.com has come out with its latest hatefest against Bitcoin and in an article entitled “How Low Can Bitcoin Go,” they gleefully note that the recent crash in Bitcoin’s price is not really such a sudden thing at all. They ascribe the decline in price both to miners who are overextended in fiat and to the essential lack of intrinsic value of Bitcoin. “No one needs Bitcoin to make a car run,” they note.
Pymnts has it right that rapid drops in price like this put a lot of stress on those building out the Bitcoin infrastructure and miners are in a precarious position because of their sunk costs and continuing expenses. Despite, this, though, we note that the hashrate has not dropped precipitously suggesting that the miners are at the very least holding their own for now. It has also seemed to us that there has been a hashrate bubble of sorts going on for a long time. The competition for hashrate can seem a little ridiculous at times, and a scaling back may not be the worst thing in the world.
The stress this puts on the developers of all the different Bitcoin projects going on out there concerns us a little more since it’s the strengthening of the system and the development of all the projects and utilities built on top of Bitcoin that are really going to put it into the hands of the average person. In the short term, again, we don’t see this decline has having any more of an impact than the declines we’ve been seeing all year, and we expect that development will continue.
The problem for Bitcoin right now is that, for many people, price is the only real indicator of the health of the currency and they take a severe decline in price to mean an erosion of faith. Another thing that Pymnts and other critics get right is that Bitcoin has no intrinsic price point right now. The key part of that sentence is the right now. The utility Bitcoin will have for businesses and people will develop over time, and as adoption increases, there will be a steady upward pressure on the price that will overmatch shorting speculation or miners who need to liquidate some bitcoins to pay their electricity bill. We are nowhere near that point yet, so any person or entity that chooses, for whatever reason, to dump one or two thousand Bitcoin on an exchange can drive the price down 10, 20, 30, or more dollars depending on the buy demand at that particular moment.
And that is what we have been seeing over the last week or so. Someone, some people people, some group, are deciding to unload not a thousand or two of bitcoins, but tens of thousands. Despite the fact that there are many Bitcoins who buy the dips and see the current price levels as a great opportunity to pick up cheap coins, this is simply too many bitcoins being dumped for enthusiastic bitcoins to absorb and it drives down the price.
If we were conspiratorially minded, we might thing that someone was trying to drive the price down since a more spread out pattern of selling might result in better returns, but we simply have no way to know what’s going on on the other side of these sell orders. What we do know, is that despite the large sell orders, there are still people buying, still people who believe the transformative power of Bitcoin, and nothing that has changed about the technology.