Bitcoin’s Surge - It’s Different This Time (No, Really!)

This post originally appeared on Brian’s blog Fast Break Finance on June 26th, 2019, accidentally nailing the short term top as it’s currently trading at $10,700 lol.

Bitcoin is on fire. At the time of me writing this, $BTC (on Coinbase) is at $13,832.74, up 21.72% today.

Bitcoin price on June 26th via Coinbase app.

Bitcoin price on June 26th via Coinbase app.

While we aren’t yet to the December 2017 high of $19,783.21, Bitcoin’s current run is pretty incredible. Per the WSJ, Bitcoin is now at its highest level in 17 months, and has rallied over 45% this past week.

However, unlike in late 2017, there isn’t a mass hysteria across pop culture and social media, despite the parabolic move. A simple look at Google Trends over the past 3 years shows that searches for “Bitcoin” on Google are only at a score of 17 versus the peak popularity of 100 from Dec. 17-23 in 2017.

3-year Google Trends chart for the search “Bitcoin”

Another encouraging sign for the crypto’s resurgence is its record volume (over $40 billion on June 26th based on the previous 24 hours). Per CoinMarketCap’s data, Bitcoin’s volume has steadily increased since this winter and has surpassed volume at the Dec. 2017 peak.

Bitcoin volume from 2017-present via CoinMarketCap

This big move is coming right as Facebook announced details about “Libra”, its own cryptocurrency. The major announcement came on June 18th, and Bitcoin has jumped around 50% since then. Whether or not that has been the core reason for the move since then is hard to tell, but Bitcoin has been constructively moving off the ~$3500 range to around $8695 in late May before this news came to light.

While predicting movements in the stock market can be extremely difficult, I’d say analyzing where cryptocurrencies will go is even harder. That being said, at a very basic level, I like that there doesn’t seem to be any euphoria, people telling their family members about cryptos at holiday meals, or articles with headlines like “Everyone Is Getting Hilariously Rich and You’re Not” in my Twitter timeline. I don’t know enough about Libra to say if it will be successful, but the fact that Facebook is getting into cryptocurrencies and are teaming up with big names in Fintech, including Visa, Mastercard, eBay, PayPal, Stripe, Spotify, Uber, Lyft, and Coinbase undoubtedly legitimizes the broader concept, and Bitcoin is the poster child for the industry.

So as cliché as it may be, and by all means feel free to tag @OldTakesExposed on Twitter should this come back to bite me, it appears to be different this time.

Disclaimer: I hold a (small) position in Bitcoin and Ethereum.