Cryptocurrencies are once again in the bullseye of world governments. And as a result, Bitcoin has now taken a dive for the 5th day in a row. Bitcoins haven’t dropped in price for this many days in a row in over a year. And those with Bitcoin holdings can thank both a rabid Chinese government and a fired up JP Morgan Chase CEO.
And possibly they can thank themselves. Let’s be honest, Bitcoin is less perceived as a traditional stock market investment. For many investors, this is get rich quick schematic, at best, it is hedging a bet against the success or failure of the stock market. Don’t forget to check out my how to survive a stock market crash article when you have time. Preppers, it isn’t just survival bags….
So the Chinese are waging war against cryptocurrencies. American banks are saying mean things about them. Investors are trying to make fast cash off them.
But is this all bad news? I’m not sure, let’s try to figure it all out.
On Tuesday, Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, went on the attack against Wall Street investors who continue to trade and hold Bitcoins. Dimon spoke extensively about Bitcoin and at some point, turned to dramatic rhetoric by calling it a “fraud.” This comment came on the heels of Dimon tempering his own expectations that President Donald Trump will make good on bank deregulations. Specifically, either heavily altering or taking out the Barack Obama Dodd-Frank Act, which many banking experts have claimed to have hamstrung the industry.
“We’re not going back to where we were [before the financial crisis],” he said. “And no one’s asking to go back.”
Yesterday, his bank compared Bitcoin investing to “pyramid schemes.”
And then there is this morning’s crucial events: China has once again went on the attack against Bitcoin technology. Having previously banned Bitcoin funding inside their borders, they’ve now said they will stop all Bitcoin trading. BTC China will cease the acceptance of new account registrations on the domestic BTC China exchange, a move they claim follows a period of “carefully considering” the earlier September move of limiting the funding. This means Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will no longer be traded in the communist country.
This has sent Bitcoin into a financial dump. As of the writing of this column, Bitcoin has fallen from roughly $3900 to roughly $3500 (it was below $3500, it mildly rallied).
Let’s begin with Dimon’s comments regarding Bitcoins as “fraud,” we might need to temper our own reaction to such commentary. Dimon has always claimed to be skeptical of Bitcoins from the outset, but that hasn’t stopped him from investing in Bitcoin technology
companies. Maybe Dimon truly believes a crash is on the horizon and he’s hedging his bet. Or maybe, just maybe, he’s participating in the fluctuation of Bitcoin prices. There is a lot to gain from putting out “evil Bitcoin” rhetoric, buying cheaper Bitcoins, then assuming a strong position as the price rises again. That might be a heavy conspiracy to some of you, but Bitcoin holding and selling is now completely based on public sentiment. This isn’t Apple who has a net worth portfolio on a public exchange. Bitcoin is hardly understood by the public at large.
Block-chain technology, which is the core competency of cryptocurrency usability, is hardly understood. Therefore, its application into a society as a mainstream currency isn’t comprehended all that well. Strategic implementation of Bitcoin is unsavory stuff trending towards dire. It would be difficult to ultimately implement. And that scenario is even worse when you consider that most central banking entities will view it as a threat. Oh, enter China.
No matter what you may have read today, China will not kill off Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, however, the Chinese are now exposing some serious issues with cryptocurrency that’s causing massive investor hesitancy. For starters, China is one of the most relevant funders of cryptocurrency. Unless these Chinese investment firms find a way to push money from off-shore locations, Bitcoin advancement will be compromised to some degree. And some of this may come down to how China handles those who attempt to skirt their laws. No one wants to lose a hand, that’s just fact. For two, they provide a real-life scenario that shows how one country can essentially regulate crypto. Translation: what happens if and when the United States decides they’ve also had enough? You know, they’d be “protecting us from a clear financial bubble.” You’d have to be living in your own bubble to believe such stated motivations, however, considering the events which led up the 2008 mortgage crisis. Bitcoin, as both luck and strategy would have it, take on the very core presence of central banking. And central banking is the wagger of the tail that’s attached to all of us. Central banking can drive inflation and deflation on an at-will basis. Bitcoin is deregulated currency that doesn’t “seemingly” expose itself to the potential of such manipulation. Or at worst, that manipulation scalability falls out of the reach of central banking. In some ways, we might consider the idea that central banks never believed that Bitcoin would take off.
So why has it?
It isn’t because Bitcoin is a great currency replacement. Bitcoin is at best, a good idea that needs serious refinement. Bitcoin, as fortune would have it, is a day trader’s dream. Bitcoin is fueled by investors who look to make fast profits. And for some investors who got in early (think Bitcoin at $100), they most certainly have achieved the American dream if they’ve unloaded even a portion of their holdings. Bitcoin investing feels like a casino’s craps table. Back in early September, China decidedly stopped funding capability to Bitcoin for this central reasoning. Because Bitcoin is less of a proven currency and more of a proven money-maker. JP Morgan Chase’s Dimon could wait for Bitcoin to bottom out (let’s say that’s at $3,000), he could then buy it up. His investment plus some kind rhetoric could easily push Bitcoins back to over $4,000. See how this works? Nowhere in the process is anyone talking about how great Bitcoins are unless you are Kim Jong Un. This morning, North Korea was attempting to hack cryptocurrency exchanges as a way to gain even more relevance in Bitcoins. The most authentic value in Bitcoins is in the deepest, most bottom-feeding of the most nefarious establishments.
So am I saying Bitcoin is a bad idea? Not in the slightest. It’s a great idea. If it weren’t, the central banks wouldn’t fear it. But the past week has once again confirmed that Bitcoin is less a technological achievement anymore, and more a day-traders playground. It will remain volatile until investors begin truly believing in the block-chain technology. And so long as it has the ire of globalists and central banks, it will remain at risk for evaporating into thin air.
Photo by Rivard