Bitcoin begins year in price doldrums
Its genesis may have been ten years (and a day) ago, but Bitcoin’s price is looking downbeat and decidedly glum.
Today (4 January), it stands at $3,907. As reported in November, it was about the same – at $3,794. To put all this into context, from about February to October in 2018 it was staying stable around $6,200. (Its zenith was $17,900 on 5 December 2017.)
Opinions will vary as to how it happened and where it’s going. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) pointed out that many speculators fled the market, as shown by falling trading volumes. And a split last year in a smaller currency called Bitcoin Cash created tensions. FinTech Futures covered all that drama here.
In fact, Bitcoin has two birthdays. 31 October 2008 saw the publication of a paper describing this new cash system. While 3 January 2009 was the date the first block of Bitcoins was mined.
There are a lot of views around. One is probably enough, and unsurprisingly, cryptocurrency exchange Luno is staying upbeat.
It explains: “Currently, Bitcoin miners get rewarded with a ‘block reward’ of 12.5 Bitcoin. A block reward refers to new Bitcoin granted by the blockchain network to miners. After the discovery of every 210, 000 blocks, the block reward is halved, which happens around four years. On average, 144 blocks are mined each day. For those whose best friend is the calculator app on your phone, that amounts to 1,800 Bitcoin.”
Luno cites research done by Chainalysis, which finds that as much as 20% of all the Bitcoin in existence is missing. Therefore, while there are 17.3 million Bitcoin currently in circulation, 11 million are accessible.
The happy firm Luno adds: “While it may have taken a while for some to grasp the idea of cryptocurrency, this momentous decennial anniversary is definitely one to celebrate. We’ve seen the adoption of cryptocurrency explode and shrink in equal measure, but overall the industry has made incredible progress. With the community investing in building the infrastructure, we have a feeling that, although Rome wasn’t built in a day, it may be built much quicker than the haters previously thought.”