In January 2017 Bitcoin Was Selling For $1,000, And Now It Is Selling For $13,000

I have never seen anything quite like this in my entire life.  As 2017 began, Bitcoin was selling for about $1,000, and many were optimistic about what the new year would bring.  But nobody could have imagined this.  When Bitcoin hit $5,000 in October, it made headlines all over the world, but it has continued to rise at an exponential rate since then.  My friend Joseph told me that Bitcoin would hit $10,000 “by December”, and it actually happened.  This week, the euphoria has hit an entirely new level, and as I write this article the price of Bitcoin is sitting at an eye-popping $13,899.50.

The price of Bitcoin is going up so fast that it is difficult to keep up with it.  Just check out this chart.  Bitcoin hit $12,000 on Tuesday night, and it could very well be above $14,000 by the time this article gets to you.  The following is how CNBC summarized the price movements that we have been witnessing over the past few days…

Bitcoin climbed above $13,000 Wednesday afternoon after topping $12,000 Tuesday night.

The volatile digital currency leaped 11 percent to hit a record high of $13,017.96 and was last trading near $13,000, according to CoinDesk. Bitcoin topped $12,000 Tuesday night in a rapid recovery from a 20 percent drop last week.

I have been writing a lot about Bitcoin lately, and I will probably be writing about it a lot more in the months ahead.  We are in uncharted territory, and the financial community is having a difficult time coming to terms with what is happening.  In all my years, I have never seen this sort of exponential growth over an extended period of time…

Just in the year 2017, Bitcoin, in particular, has seen unprecedented increases in value relative to the U.S. dollar. On January 1, 2017, the price of Bitcoin had just topped $1,000 per coin. Fast-forward to December 1, 2017, and the price of Bitcoin blew right on past $10,000 per coin.

So how high could Bitcoin ultimately go?

At this point it seems like the euphoria will never end, and some analysts are predicting a price of 1 million dollars by the year 2020.  Books with titles such as “Mastering Bitcoin For Dummies” are starting to pop up all over the place, and there is no shortage of people that are willing to teach the finer points of trading Bitcoin (for a fee of course).

But there are trouble signs on the horizon as well.

For example, on Wednesday we learned that “the largest crypto-mining marketplace” in the entire world has been hacked

As Bitcoin explodes higher on what now appears to be constant demand out of South Korea, there were unconfirmed (at least until recently) reports that Nice Hash, the largest crypto-mining marketplace, has been hacked with over 4,000 bitcoins worth over $50 million stolen.

50 million dollars is a lot of money.  If Bitcoins can be stolen this easily, will investors really feel safe having so much money tied up in cryptocurrencies?

This hack is one of the biggest news stories in the world right now, and NiceHash has put out a lengthy statement about this incident.  The following is an excerpt from that statement

Unfortunately, there has been a security breach involving NiceHash website. We are currently investigating the nature of the incident and, as a result, we are stopping all operations for the next 24 hours.

Importantly, our payment system was compromised and the contents of the NiceHash Bitcoin wallet have been stolen. We are working to verify the precise number of BTC taken.

Clearly, this is a matter of deep concern and we are working hard to rectify the matter in the coming days. In addition to undertaking our own investigation, the incident has been reported to the relevant authorities and law enforcement and we are co-operating with them as a matter of urgency.

The future of Bitcoin remains unclear at this point, but many of us that missed out on investing in the early stages are deeply regretting it.

Only time will tell if Bitcoin continues to soar or if it comes crashing back to Earth, but without a doubt this is one of the biggest financial stories that we have seen in a very long time.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

‘The Currency Of The Apocalypse’? Doomsday Preppers Flock To Bitcoin As It Surges Past $8000

Once upon a time preppers would hoard gold and silver in anticipation of the meltdown of society, but now Bitcoin is becoming the alternative currency of choice for many in the prepping community.  On Monday, Bitcoin hit an all-time record high as it surged past $8,200, and it has now gone up nearly 50 percent in just the last eight days.  As I have admitted previously, one of my great regrets is not investing in Bitcoin when it first started, because we have never seen a meteoric rise quite like this.  Bitcoin hit the $5,000 mark for the very first time just over a month ago, it is up more than 700 percent so far this year, and it is up almost 40,000 percent over the past five years.  At this point Bitcoin has a market cap of over 130 billion dollars, and many believe that this is just the beginning.

At one time many preppers were quite skeptical of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, but now that is starting to change in a major way.  The following comes from a Bloomberg article entitled “These Doomsday Preppers Are Starting to Switch From Gold to Bitcoin”

“Not too long ago, people in the prepper community were actively warning against crypto, and now they’re all investing in it,” said Tom Martin, a truck driver from Washington who runs a social-media website for people interested in learning skills to survive disaster. “As long as the grid stays up, people will keep using bitcoin.”

In addition to gold, silver and stocks, Martin invests in bitcoin and peers litecoin and steem because they’re easier to travel with, harder to steal and offer better protection in the event of the kind of societal breakdown that would unfold if a fiat currency like the dollar collapsed.

He’s among those confident that bitcoin can withstand even a complete blackout through the strength of the underlying blockchain, the anonymous public bookkeeping technology that records every single bitcoin transaction.

At the end of the day, cryptocurrencies only have value because people believe that they have value.  If the global financial system completely collapses, will there still be demand for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?  And will they be accepted for food, medicine and other basic emergency supplies when everything falls apart?

These are legitimate questions for preppers to consider, because cryptocurrencies do not actually have any intrinsic value.  At the end of the day these cryptocurrencies only exist in cyberspace, and some of the biggest names in the financial world continue to be skeptics

J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon thinks bitcoin is a “fraud.” Investor Mark Cuban called it “a bubble.” Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is still undecided. But whether or not executives believe in the potential of bitcoin, ethereum or blockchain technology, they and their companies can’t avoid talking about cryptocurrencies.

And there is a very real possibility that the marketplace could soon become absolutely saturated with “cryptocurrencies”.  At this point it seems like a new crytpocurrency is being started on almost a daily basis.  Here is more from CNN

Dragonchain, a crytpocurrency startup originally backed by Disney (DIS), has held an ICO. Filecoin, a cloud storage company, raised more than $250 million earlier this year from an ICO — the biggest ever.

And online retailer Overstock (OSTK) is even planning an ICO for its tZero blockhain unit.

“In an effort to bypass the rules and costs associated with getting listed on an exchange, many startups now are opting to raise funds by issuing their own digital currency based on blockchain technology,” Holmes wrote.

For now, we will probably continue to see wild up and down swings in the price of Bitcoin.  Those that were able to buy low and are able to sell high will make an extraordinary amount of money, but those that hold on to the bitter end may ultimately lose everything.

As is the case with so many things in life, timing is everything.

And for all of the preppers that are getting into Bitcoin, even Bloomberg is skeptical that the cryptocurrency will be of much use in an apocalyptic situation…

Still, it’s hard to envision people walking around spending digital coins to buy Spam, canned beans or bottled water at a local supermarket when they don’t have electricity at home to charge their smart phones, let alone a working internet connection to access their digital wallets.

Of course up to this point those with the last laugh have been those that invested in Bitcoin despite what the skeptics were saying.

Countless numbers of “Bitcoin millionaires” have already been created, and many believe that this is just the start of the cryptocurrency revolution.

But will this revolution end up resulting in heartbreak for those that don’t get out before the bubble bursts?

Only time will tell…

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

How High Can It Go? Bitcoin Shocks The World By Crossing The $7000 Mark Less Than 1 Month After It Sold For $5000

Less than a month ago, Bitcoin was selling for less than $5000, but now it has smashed through the $7000 mark with seemingly no end in sight.  At this point Bitcoin has a total market cap of more than 100 billion dollars, and some analysts are suggesting that it could eventually go as high as a trillion dollars.  Cryptocurrencies overall are up an astounding 640 percent so far in 2017, and personally I regret not investing when Bitcoin was still in the very early stages.  I always thought that governments would eventually crack down and regulate cryptocurrencies out of existence, and that still may happen someday, but it hasn’t happened yet.

One of the great things about Bitcoin is that it represents a medium of exchange that is not controlled by the central bankers.  So when you use Bitcoin you are choosing to become less dependent on a system that is designed to financially dominate the entire planet.  Any way that we can become more independent is a good thing, and so I greatly applaud the use of cryptocurrencies.

But there are those that are warning that a major bubble is forming and that extreme downward price action will be coming at some point.  Needless to say, the upward momentum that we are witnessing at the moment is certainly not sustainable indefinitely.  The following comes from Breitbart

The price of Bitcoin smashed another record early Thursday morning — $7,000 for each unit of the digital currency.

As of 7 AM Eastern time, BTC is selling for $7,191.16, according to data from Coinbase. Bitcoin — which is minted by a decentralized network of miners, not a governing body — hit this latest benchmark with a single-day increase of nearly $640, only 13 days after it first became valued at $6,000. If an individual bought 1 BTC exactly one month ago, it has grown $2,902.33 or +67.67% in value.

Anything that goes up that fast is eventually going to come down, and those that invest at $7,000 could end up seeing the price fall back several thousand dollars.  Or, the euphoria surrounding Bitcoin cold propel it through the $10,000 mark and make all of the skeptics look like idiots.

We just don’t know, and that is part of the charm of Bitcoin.

And according to Bloomberg, soon investors will be able to trade Bitcoin futures…

The digital currency got new impetus this week after CME Group Inc., the world’s largest exchange owner, said it plans to introduce bitcoin futures by the end of the year, citing pent-up demand from clients. Skeptics including Themis Trading say the rally is evidence that the software-created asset is a bubble that should not be given regulatory cover.

Of course Bitcoin is not the only major cryptocurrency that is out there.  In fact, there are rumblings that Amazon is about to start promoting Bitcoin’s chief competitor

Ethereum, the top digital currency behind Bitcoin, has plunged in price as Bitcoin enjoys its massive surge, falling from a 24-hour high of $301.41 to $277.82 Thursday morning.

However, this Tuesday, Amazon bought the domain names amazonethereum.com, amazoncryptocurrency.com, and amazoncryptocurrencies.com, fueling speculation that it may get into the action on decentralized digital currencies. Ethereum is not just a currency like Bitcoin but an app development platform — the Windows or OSX of blockchain. The domain purchase could be a sign that Amazon may join the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance — a group of large companies, including JP Morgan and Microsoft, putting their weight behind blockchain tech.

If Ethereum ultimately becomes the dominant cryptocurrency in the marketplace, what would that do to Bitcoin?

Or could it be possible that there is room enough for both of them?

The truth is that we don’t know what the future will hold.  Cryptocurrencies have never existed before, and there are so many variables at play.  The biggest variable is how national governments will respond to these alternate currencies, and I still believe that they will eventually make a move to heavily regulate them.

And unlike gold and silver, these cryptocurrencies do not have any intrinsic value.  The only reason that they have any value at all is because people believe they have value.  But for the moment the number of believers continues to rise, and this may be a factor in why the price of gold is relatively low right now.  This is something that Ron Paul commented on recently

“Does it represent real money to you?” Cambone further asked the former presidential candidate.

“Not to me, no, it doesn’t,” Paul answered. “But if it serves the voluntary exchanges of people, and serves the purpose of exchanging wealth, … it could act as if it were money ….” he stated.

“Some say Bitcoin is stealing the thunder away from gold,” Cambone continued, “and that’s one of the reasons the yellow metal is not rallying further. Do you agree with this?”

“I think that’s a very strong possibility,” he considered. “I am amazed,” he laughed, “at all the capitalization on these cryptocurrencies. It’s a huge amount of money,” Paul emphasized.

Once again, I greatly applaud the use of cryptocurrencies as a way to become more independent from the system.  I love the fact that mediums of exchange are being developed outside of the control of the central banks, and we should greatly resist any efforts by national governments to take control of these emerging new currencies.

However, as an investment these cryptocurrencies are exceedingly risky.

There are some that have already become quite wealthy by investing in Bitcoin at the very beginning, but there are others that will invest at the peak of the market and will get very badly burned.

As with all forms of investing, there will be winners and there will be losers, and timing is everything.

But we should all love the principles underlying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.  To me, they are all about liberty and freedom, and the more liberty and freedom we have the better.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

The Collapse Of Bitcoin

BitcoinBitcoin is a virtual currency that has no intrinsic value.  The only thing giving bitcoin value is the faith that people have in it, and now that faith has been shattered.  This week, the most prominent bitcoin exchange in the entire world, Mt. Gox, totally collapsed.  At one time, Mt. Gox boasted more than a million accounts and it accounted for approximately 25 percent of all global bitcoin trading.  But now the website has been taken down, there are rumors of catastrophic losses, and many investors are concerned that they will lose all of their money.  In fact, according to one report, investors could be facing total losses of up to 367 million dollars.  The collapse of Mt. Gox is also affecting other bitcoin exchanges.  As I write this, the market value of bitcoin had fallen to about $470, but just three months ago it was trading close to $1,200.  Needless to say, a lot of bitcoin investors are going to be licking their wounds tonight.

I have never written much about bitcoin because I never believed in it.  Personally, I have always preferred to stick to silver and gold.  But I can’t blame people for wanting to create a monetary system that worked outside of the central bank-controlled paradigm that we have today.

I just didn’t have any faith in bitcoin.  I considered it something of a Ponzi scheme.  That is why I never recommended it to anyone.  Those that got in early and got out at the peak of the market made a killing.  Good for them.  But most investors are going to end up taking a bath – especially those that got in at the very end.

When you have an imaginary currency that has no intrinsic worth that is being managed and traded by organizations that have very little regulation or accountability, bad things can happen.  And we saw a perfect example of this on Tuesday

A major bitcoin exchange has gone bust after secretly racking up catastrophic losses, other virtual currency companies said Tuesday — a potentially fatal blow for the exotic new form of money.

The website of Tokyo-based Mt. Gox was returning a blank page Tuesday. The disappearance of the site follows the resignation Sunday of Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles from the board of the Bitcoin Foundation, a group seeking legitimacy for the currency, and a withdrawal ban imposed at the exchange earlier this month.

A lot of people out there are insisting that bitcoin can still overcome this and that it is still a sound currency system.  More power to them.  I certainly wish them no ill will.  I just don’t agree with them.

Others are being far more blunt about the matter.  Just consider what Gary North had to say about the collapse of bitcoin…

The biggest Bitcoins exchange has gone bye-bye. It took with it the money that the investors thought was safe.

Reuters reports: “Mt. Gox had $174 million in liabilities against $32.75 million in assets. It was not possible to verify the document or the exchange’s financial situation.”

I say: “A fool and his digital money are soon parted.”

How will the investors prove in a Japanese bankruptcy court that they deserve a part of the supposed $32.75 million? After all, the transactions are all secret.

Anyone that invests in bitcoin needs to realize that they could lose everything.  There is no deposit insurance.  There is very little regulation.  Nobody is going to bail you out if some corrupt businessman takes all of your bitcoins and drops off the map.

It is truly like the wild West.

The amount of money that some bitcoin investors stand to lose from the collapse of Mt. Gox is staggering.

Coinapult and SatoshiDice founder Erik Voorhees says that he may lose about $285,000.

Bitcoin trader Kolin Burgess fears that he may lose about $320,000.

Some people are going to go from being “bitcoin millionaires” to paupers almost overnight.

Yes, I know that there are a lot of people out there that are fervently insisting that this is not the death of bitcoin.

You never know, they may be right.  In the aftermath of the collapse of Mt. Gox, six major bitcoin organizations issued a joint statement.  The following is an excerpt from that statement…

The purpose of this document is to summarize a joint statement to the Bitcoin community regarding the insolvency of Mt.Gox.

This tragic violation of the trust of users of Mt.Gox was the result of one company’s actions and does not reflect the resilience or value of bitcoin and the digital currency industry. There are hundreds of trustworthy and responsible companies involved in bitcoin. These companies will continue to build the future of money by making bitcoin more secure and easy to use for consumers and merchants.  As with any new industry, there are certain bad actors that need to be weeded out, and that is what we are seeing today.

We are confident, however, that strong Bitcoin companies, led by highly competent teams and backed by credible investors, will continue to thrive, and to fulfill the promise that bitcoin offers as the future of payment in the Internet age.

So will the bitcoin community bounce back and be stronger than ever?

You never know.  I certainly wish them the best.  I simply do not plan to participate.

It isn’t just that bitcoin and other alternative currencies are very unstable and offer no protection.  It is also that governments and central banks around the world are starting to crack down on something that they see as a potential threat.  For example, this comes from a Fox News article that was published just this week…

Authorities have been taking an increasingly hard look at Bitcoin and related virtual currencies including Litecoin, Namecoin, Ripple, and countless others. Some countries, including Russia, have effectively banned the currency. In other jurisdictions, authorities are weighing whether to try to tame the marketplace through licenses or other mechanisms.

It is entirely possible that the collapse of Mt. Gox could have been manufactured by a government or a central bank.

Considering the other things that have been revealed over the past couple of years, it would be naive to think that governments and central banks are unwilling to engage in such subterfuge.

In addition, consider what would happen to the other exchanges if the U.S. or the EU publicly announced a complete ban on bitcoin someday.

There are just too many risks.

Like I said, I wish those well that are involved in bitcoin or any of the other alternative virtual currencies that are floating around out there.

Hopefully some of those virtual currencies will succeed.

But most average American families simply cannot afford to put their hard-earned money into schemes that could evaporate literally overnight.

So what do you think about bitcoin?

Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…

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