Friday, 29 November 2013

bitcoin - three links on what to think at US$1000+

In the world of bitcoin life has got even more interesting since my first post on the subject ten days ago. 
(h/t @ppearlman)

Not only has the price remained parabolic but, at the time of writing, it is getting close to the gold price.


The only factor seemingly even remotely keeping pace with the bitcoin price...are bitcoin mentions (although even this has broken down over recent days). 

So...what should we be thinking?  A few more links...

I have noted that - as seems to be the trend increasingly in financial circles - China is leading the way on bitcoin demand, just as it is on gold demand (see the latest statistics on this here).  This article notes some of the reasons for this with the observation that:

'China’s bitcoin obsession primarily traces back to two central factors: the difficulty of getting wealth out of China, and the fact that Beijing does not allow the yuan’s value to float freely. Should either of these change, bitcoin’s value could plummet'.
On my original bitcoin link, I highlighted a story centring on the Chinese government's strategic interest in bitcoin because of its potential future role as a global currency.  This story takes that concept a stage further into the day-to-day realities of the nouveau riche Chinese.  So a positive pincer movement from the moment. 

Followers of bitcoin will know that there has been a history of previous 'e-currencies'.  This piece (possible paywall), from the Financial Times provides a good summary.  The key quote from the article is:

'“It appears many digital-currency firms may have underestimated their regulatory obligations, the anti-money laundering risks presented by their business models and the degree of law-enforcement concern surrounding those risks,” Adam Shapiro, consultant at Promontory, wrote in a recent client note.'

For what it is worth, the bitcoin site I have been in contact with requires more than sufficient 'know your customer' information in my view.  My observation is that the crypto-currency industry is learning.  That's a positive.

Finally, I note some growing disputes between fans of different crypto-currencies.  I thought this article made some good points on bitcoin vs Litecoin.  My favourite quote was:

'Speculating on altcoins, in general, is pure greater fool theory in action, because there is no significant fundamental utility, no "improvement delta" over Bitcoin itself'.

The greater fool theory, eh?

I posted this chart at and my Twitter feed on Thursday with the comment that:

'The bitcoin price movement (for those of you with good eyes not quite showing the US$1000 level being attained as it was earlier today) on the right, the price of tulips in the mid 1630s excitement in the Netherlands on the left'. 
 (h/t @henri_haguet)

This led to an interesting Twitter exchange (thanks Jon), some excerpts of which are presented below:

From @CapitalJon
So does that mean is now at peak or do we have some way to go?
From @financial_orbit
a strict application between the interim and ultimate peak suggests that's it...but tulips are tulips whilst is money?!

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