The Bitcoin yearly candle has finally gone red, with the daily price average about 0.25% below the price from one year ago today. This is the culmination of a long slump in Bitcoin price and trading volumes since the extreme highs of last year. While this article is not meant to analyze trading markets, we would like to mention some of the factors that go into this terrible present for Bitcoin’s tenth birthday.
A year ago, the price we see today was essentially unprecedented, only having just surpassed $5,000 in September. It would go on to triple and nearly quadruple from there over the next few months, and in the intervening months we have seen a steady decline in both trading highs and volumes. We have often tried to analyze the declining price of Bitcoin over the years, but the simple answer is the same as ever: demand has declined and price has therefore declined with it. Those who sold at the highs are now capable of buying their position back by more than 200% if they so choose.
A factor to consider is the homogeneous nature of the cryptocurrency market. This is to say that people who are invested in one cryptocurrency often overlap with those who are invested in others, and so often enough we see money moving from one to the other. In the case of the current decline, however, we’ve seen prices down across the board. A fair argument would state that Bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies are still in fact in a price discovery phase – that the requisite value of a Bitcoin is still far from a settled, known quantity.
Prices tend to rise when new money enters the market and settle at new highs as pre-existing holders offload some of their coin. A Cold War of sorts can emerge when low prices continue for a long time, as long-time holders would prefer to capitalize on the next “pump” than to sell at current market rates. In the present era of Bitcoin, as well, there is a continual dilution every 10 minutes with the introduction of new coins into the system by people – miners – who must by nature sell their coins, though not necessarily immediately.
Whatever the case, Bitcoin is worth many thousands of percent more today than it was when it first started trading almost a decade ago, at which time 10,000 BTC purchased just two large pizzas.