The establishment has thrown more dirt onto Bitcoin than TMZ has on Charlie Sheen. The latest in a long line of gravediggers is Juniper Research, who last week forecast Bitcoin transactional values of the Bitcoin Block Chain will drop almost 60% this year from current values. This seems to disregard the 80% value lost in 2014 as some non-market correction that didn’t factor in all the issues outlined in this latest “research paper”. In effect, Juniper thinks Bitcoin’s dollar value will drop to around $100 in value by year’s end if transaction volume doesn’t increase.
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A financial bridge to the future is being built
This transaction volume drop would factor in any Bitcoin exchange collapses, recent Bitcoin thefts from individuals or 3rd-party exchanges, and “regulatory concerns”, all plausible. The problem is this focuses on all the potential negative influences on Bitcoin, and doesn’t properly factor in the upside growth rampant within the ecosystem. Increases in venture capital are well ahead of last year’s pace, with Coinbase taking in $75 Million in January alone. A new American-based exchange by Coinbase has been created. And 2015 is sure to have another impressive round of partnerships with elite merchants like PayPal and Microsoft wouldn’t counter these potential issues?
As we’ve covered here on CCN, 2014 was poor for Bitcoin’s dollar value, but the infrastructure for consumer acceptance grew by leaps and bounds. Now, you can buy Bitcoin at 10,000 Indomaret convenience stores in Indonesia, on millions of PadeMobile cell phones in Mexico, and Nigerian billionaires are investing $100 million in African Bitcoin startups. There were dozens of such expansions of Bitcoin access and education throughout the world in 2014, which are not factored into this report.
“……(Digital currency transactions increases as a whole) overwhelmingly attributable to brief spikes in activity during the first quarter in Dogecoin, Litecoin, and Auroracoin.”
Global use of Bitcoin has also grown in recent months, according to Blockchain.info, which charts Bitcoin use exclusively. Their charts show the current level of Bitcoin transactions reaching Mt. Gox levels at Bitcoin’s peak in 2013. Even as Bitcoin USD value fell consistently throughout last year, transactions volume did not drop after the initial Mt. Gox collapse in January/February. So if they are wrong on Bitcoin transaction volume, what else are they wrong about? I’ll take Blockchain.info’s word, who’s site handles more Bitcoin wallets than any other in the world, over this Juniper study. Juniper has not shown they are a leader in the Bitcoin space, and this study may be just to attract attention to a newbie in digital currency news.
Finally, Juniper argues that only the tech-savvy will adopt Bitcoin going forward, not the general public. This condemnation wasn’t used hundreds of thousands of times on the Internet in 1995, was it not? Bitcoin will evolve into a more easily obtained, user-friendly currency as more businesses, venture capitalists, and even governments get involved in its evolution. The Internet moved past using IP addresses to communicate with other users, and Bitcoin will get past the public keys stage. Bitcoin is like an organism, with all the users, investors, and miners acting as cells, replicating and growing the system as a whole. Again, Bitcoin is six years old, so it is far from a finished product, any more than the Internet was as good as it could be in 1995.
In closing, this paper would make sense if Bitcoin never received hundreds of millions in venture capital each year or never evolved or improved. If Bitcoin never gave access to millions of new users worldwide and never attracted more merchants by the tens of thousands every year. If you want a forecast or an Ouija Board on where Bitcoin is headed, look at its father in concept, the Internet itself. I shouldn’t need to explain the design similarities, and the successful blueprint built within. The only difference is Bitcoin is growing at a faster rate, given it works on top of the Internet platform that wasn’t available a generation ago. The blueprint for decentralized success is now proven. It’s just a matter of when will the digital currency bridge be completed? People are so eager for a better economic system; they are figuratively walking on wires to get to their financial future while the digital road hasn’t even been built yet.
The world has successful decentralized before, in the realm of information, with the Internet. And with the multitude of issues befalling fiat currency and central banking these days, the world will do it again, maybe even out of necessity. Fiat currency is a house of cards if ever there was one. Bitcoin may never belong to a sovereign nation, but a decentralized financial opt-out mechanism of the current paradigm couldn’t have come at a better time.
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