Editor’s Note: The mainstream media says cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are only a fad. But Teeka Tiwari, the editor over at The Palm Beach Letter, shows us why “cryptos” are unstoppable.
On June 20, 2011, Forbes wrote “So, That’s the End of Bitcoin Then.”
On January 16, 2015, USA Today wrote “Bitcoin Is Headed to the ‘Ash Heap.’”
On May 5, 2017, The Daily Reckoning wrote “The Death of Bitcoin.”
Since 2011, bitcoin’s been declared dead at least 135 times.
Newsletter writers, journalists, and academics have called it a “Ponzi scheme.”
Others like the idea in theory but have doubts. They are convinced the government will shut down bitcoin and render it worthless.
If it were 2013, I would have agreed with them.
From 2009–13, bitcoin rallied from a fraction of a penny to over $1,100… and then spectacularly crashed 85% to $185.
It looked like a classic “pump and dump” to me. That’s why I ignored it.
But then something very interesting happened.
Instead of collapsing back to pennies, bitcoin found support in the $200 range. Even after the bubble popped, bitcoin was still worth billions.
This intrigued me because true Ponzi schemes have zero value when they crash.
The fact that bitcoin was still attracting buyers even after the onslaught of negative news… an 85% price crash… and universal scorn… said something to me.
It said that maybe this asset had real value. At the very least, it told me that more investigation was needed.
Lessons From the Dot-Com Bubble
I’ve seen skepticism like this before…
Back in May 1997, Amazon went public at the split equivalent of $1.30.
Amazon shot up to $113 during the dot-com bubble of the 1990s. When the bubble popped, Amazon crashed 94%—to the split equivalent of $5.97.
But again, something interesting happened…
In the depths of the dot-com hatred, Amazon started quietly climbing in price. Back then, I made the mistake of dismissing this action.
My error was buying into the prevailing belief that dot-com stocks were dumb and worthless.
I listened to the narrative instead of digging deeper into the Amazon story.
That was a mistake of lazy thinking.
So when I saw the same thing happen with bitcoin, I decided to do something different.
Instead of listening to the skeptics, I asked myself: “Why are people still buying this supposedly worthless asset?”
That’s when I did a deep dive into bitcoin.
I traveled all over the world interviewing experts, development teams, and venture capitalists. I wanted to understand why bitcoin had value.
Even Governments Are Embracing Bitcoin
Just as important, I wanted to know what would stop the U.S. government from banning it.
How would the currency outgrow its widespread reputation as a form of “black money” used by criminals?
What I found out was this: At its core, bitcoin is just a way to send and receive value without the need for a trusted middleman.
Bitcoin has no central location. That means no government (including the U.S. government) can ever shut it down.
In fact, several countries have already tried to ban bitcoin and found that it was impossible.
At least two of them (Russia and India) have decided to recognize bitcoin as money.
Governments are realizing that it’s better to have a hand in how bitcoin is shaped and regulated than try to destroy it (which they can’t).
Think back to when the U.S. government finally realized that prohibition was unenforceable. Better to regulate alcohol and tax it.
Where’s the Future Value?
The real strength of bitcoin is the underlying network of highly secure computers that support it (called the blockchain).
This is where much of the value creation will come from.
As I write, software developers across the world are building applications designed to piggyback off this network.
Over the next three years, we’ll begin to see a slew of new applications emerge for bitcoin and the network that supports it.
They will support everything from asset tracking to recording land registries.
And much more that we can’t even think of yet.
That’s why bitcoin will continue to grow in value.
Since those obituaries started popping up in 2011, bitcoin has rocketed from a low of 75 cents to as high as $3,030—an astronomical 404,000% gain.
The next time you find yourself being scared out of owning bitcoin by a negative article, do yourself a favor… Read the last 135 times bitcoin was declared dead.
Editor, The Palm Beach Letter