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10 Reasons Why Bitcoin WILL Go to Zero: A Pessimist’s View

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The Davos Conference threw up a wide variety of Bitcoin price predictions this week, ranging from the hopeful to the apocalyptic. A recent article on CCN suggested 10 Reasons Why Bitcoin Will Never Go to Zero, and while I don’t necessarily disagree with the points made, I thought I’d take upon the role of devil’s advocate and offer a pessimistic counterbalance.

I am operating on the assumption that Bitcoin (and blockchain in general) doesn’t need to hit a dollar value of zero to be deemed a failure – it only has to fail at gaining mass adoption. That may be a high standard to set, but frankly, it’s the only standard I’m interested in.

1. People Don’t Want Decentralization

We all talk about decentralization and freedom as though it were obvious that these things are what people desire. Throughout all of human history people have organised themselves into hierarchies, with a centralized governing figure at the very top; be it God, the King or the latest President.

A lot of the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency movement is about personal freedom, personal responsibility, emancipation from centralized power – but I ask: just what makes you think that’s what people want?

Extending this point…

2. Linux Ain’t Beating Windows Anytime Soon

What if there was an operating system that was free, open-source, and even developed by a decentralized, non-hierarchical group of contributors? What if there was a operating system out there that didn’t constantly siphon data from your every move on the internet? One that wasn’t beholden to the whims of a mega-corporation which has a track record of using its devices to spy on people in their own homes?

Such an operating system does exist – and nobody uses it.

Windows and MacOS run on 95% of the world’s computers combined. Linux users represent 2%.

The self-reliance that comes with using Linux is for all intents and purposes simply too much for the average Joe or Jane. Similar to Linux, Blockchain and Bitcoin may well continue to be used by specialists in the future, but to assume anything else at this point is a stretch.

3. How Many People Use the Tor Browser?

Another example of the gap between what we think people want, and what people actually want. The issue of personal data collection and internet privacy is brought up in conversation every day, yet even with a free, anonymous alternative to Chrome and Internet Explorer available for one and all, still only a few million people use the Tor Browser.

4. World War 3

America needs YOUR Bitcoin!

A vast majority of Bitcoin mining takes place in China, and if World War 3 were ever to break out you can be damn sure that Bitcoin would suddenly become a war asset – to be fought over and pulled apart by world powers.

As suggested in my recent ponderance of Bitcoin’s role in the U.S and China’s ‘New World Order’, any potential war with the Chinese would inevitably spell the end for the Bitcoin blockchain.

5. Sabotage

All of BTC’s decentralized features count for very little when a powerful cartel can simply come in use Bitcoin’s democratic structure to their advantage. Many view Bitcoin as a shell of its former self given the reduction in block size, and implementation of SegWit and LN – both compromises on the whitepaper’s original goals.

Even back in 2014, an early Bitcoin miner by the name of Stefan Molyneux gave an eerily accurate prediction of how the financial elite would choose not to destroy Bitcoin completely – but rather commandeer it under their own auspices, and slowly dismantle it over time.

If you haven’t already heard about the sources of Blockstream’s funding and don’t wish to be made any more cynical – don’t google it.

6. Bad Reputation

Much like the aforementioned Tor Browser, Bitcoin currently suffers from a bad reputation. The classic line that BTC is used by criminals may be a laughable criticism (after all, how did criminals buy stuff prior to the early 2010’s?) – but that doesn’t mean it’s not important in shaping people’s perceptions.

Emotions often completely trump our more rational functions, and to this very day I live beside neighbours who still refuse to touch the internet due to some vague, rumoured fear of hackers, viruses and criminals.

Imagine an internet ruled by 64-character addresses, where every move you make could prove financially fatal, and you’ve got one more reason why Bitcoin will never make it.

7. Exchanges

Exchanges have a lot to answer for when it comes to Bitcoin’s bad reputation, and for as long as they exist the chances of mass adoption are slim. Coin hacks, personal data breaches, and a flagrant disregard of cryptocurrency’s supposed anonymity (KYC process anyone?) are just some of the problems stemming from centralized exchanges.

And perversely enough, given my assertion that people don’t like responsibility, any future promise of a decentralized exchange (DEX) would ultimately prove just as messy.

8. People Don’t Vote!

“It could be used for voting…” they often say of blockchain, as did Dr. Ben Goertzel on a recent episode of the Joe Rogan podcast.

Ok, but for that to happen we’ll have to address the fact that almost half of the U.S still doesn’t turnout for presidential elections. As it stands, walking to your local school or community hall and ticking a box is too much for 45% of the citizenry. And you’re going to ask them to set up nodes?

9. The Slow Creep of Regulation and Taxation

The ruling powers don’t need to destroy something to render it toothless, they only need to absorb it.

We find ourselves just a few years into the crypto movement, and already we can find horrific examples of arbitrary taxation on cryptocurrency trades – something that wouldn’t be possible were it not for the eager compliance of the aforementioned exchanges.

10. Political Differences

The individuality which being the master of your own private key demands is at absolute odds with the growing political trend of passing off responsibility onto a higher power.

Depending on which wing of the political spectrum gets voted into power next, we may see more pressure applied to Bitcoin and crypto in the very near future. We may think of Bitcoin as apolitical, but that doesn’t mean everyone else will.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 144 rated postsGreg Thomson is a full-time crypto writer and digital nomad. He eats ICOs for breakfast and bleeds altcoins. Wherever he lays his public key is his home.




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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Daniel Won

    January 27, 2019 at 8:01 am

    Great balanced analysis.

    I don’t think BTC will ever go to zero because there will probably always be a niche community of users at the very least (might go really low but not zero), but it’s definitely clear that there’s a lot of work to do to make it appeal to a wider audience.

    • Greg Thomson

      January 27, 2019 at 1:12 pm

      Thanks. I agree with you for the most part, and was really just trying to throw up some plausible critiques which avoided the more basic, flimsy fearmongering (electricity usage, hard drive space, etc).

      I do think the first point is where the rubber will meet the road, but there may well be technological advances between now and then which make dealing with crypto in an autonomous manner a lot easier.

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Analysis

Crypto Update: Another Spike Fails in Crypto-Land

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The major cryptocurrencies continue to follow the pattern which consists of sudden spikes followed by choppy sideways periods. Today, the top coins jumped higher, with the strongest currencies testing their recent swing highs, but the move quickly failed. The market continues to be dominated by low liquidity and the bearish long-term forces, making it difficult to make money trading the long side.

That said, the short-term break-outs, which were formed one week ago, remain intact and our trend model is also on short-term buy signals in the case of the relatively stronger coins. Despite the buy signals, traders should remain cautious with new positions, as the long-term forces continue to work against bulls here.

The leadership of last week’s move continues to be weak and without a new batch of coins hitting new short-term highs, it’s hard to see what could propel the market higher. The top 3 coins haven’t been able to pull their weight either, so odds clearly favor the continuation of the bear market from a broader perspective.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin remains stuck below the $3600 level despite today’s spike, and the bearish drift that started last week in the coin continues. BTC’s relative weakness is a negative sign for the whole segment, and although it’s still above the support/resistance zone just north of $3450, the long-term setup continues to point of the $3250 and $300o support levels.

That said, the short-term buy signal is still in place in our trend model, and traders could open small, speculative positions in BTC, with strong resistance zones being ahead near $3850 and between $4000 and $4050.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ripple has also been showing relative weakness in recent days, and today it dipped back below the key $0.30 support/resistance level following the failed rally attempt. While the coin once again avoided a move towards the next main level of interest at $0.28, it is still likely to violate that level and test the August low near $0.26.

With that in mind, traders should stay away from XRP, with our trend also being on short- and long-term trend signals, and barring a move above $0.32, the immediate outlook is also negative, with further resistance levels ahead near $0.3550 and $0.3750.

Litecoin Tests $44 Level Again as Ethereum Clings to $120

LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

After settling down near the $41 price level, last week’s star LTC spiked as high as $44 today, but it failed to break-out above the key resistance zone. While the break-out remains intact and the MACD indicator still only points to a correction, the market-wide trends remain negative, and the previously leading coin hasn’t shown signs of relative strength in the last couple of days.

Traders could still hold their positions here even though a swing low is not yet confirmed, but strict rsik management rules should still be applied. A move back below $38 would trigger a downgrade in our trend model, which is still on a short-term buy signal. Above the initial resistance at $44, further levels are ahead near the recent swing high near $46 and at $51, while support below $38 is found near $34.50 and between $30 and $30.50.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum has been trading in a narrow range today and the recent short-term swing high capped the rally attempt in the second largest coin. While the coin is still holding on to most of its gains from last week, trading well above the $112 level, the lack of bullish follow-through is a negative sign even regarding the short-term outlook.

The hostile long-term setup raises the odds of a failed short-term rally, and although pour trend model remains on a short-term buy signal, traders should only consider small, speculative positions here. The $120 level continues to be at the center of attention, with another strong resistance above that being found near $130, while further support is found in the $95-$100 zone.

Featured image from Shutterstock

Disclaimer:  The analyst owns cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but doesn’t engage in short-term or day-trading, nor does he hold short positions on any of the coins.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 464 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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Analysis

The “Accessibility Premium”: How Coinbase’s Overseas Expansion Could Affect Crypto Prices

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The accessibility premium refers to the affect on a cryptocurrency’s price when it is added to Coinbase. The $8 billion valued exchange is now looking to expand beyond its U.S-based institutional trading business to offer institutional services worldwide. Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin may end up being the greatest beneficiaries. These cryptocurrencies could gain from increased accessibility; the new “Coinbase Effect”.

In 2018, as the exchange added more cryptocurrencies, some writers wrote about a perceived “Coinbase Effect”, like Ari Paul. They theorize about an “accessibility premium”, in which those crypto-assets that are more accessible rise in price. With Coinbase bringing crypto to worldwide investors, it could bolster demand for those coins that are listed on the San Francisco-based “Goldman Sachs of Crypto”. They would be more accessible. When a new cryptocurrency or token hit the exchange, traders might expect a bump in price. 

On May 3, 2017 Coinbase integrated Litecoin, resulting in a 30% increase in the price. When Coinbase listed Bitcoin Cash on December 19, 2017, trading on global exchanges skyrocketed. Bitcoin cash closed at $4,000. Two days prior, its price had been $2,200. Volume increased from $2.5 billion on December 18 to nearly $12 billion on December 20 for a 380% increase.

Coinbase added Ethereum on July 21, 2016, resulting in a modest 14% rally. Things changed when Brave browser’s token, BAT, launched on Coinbase. It declined in price. Further data is needed to know the truthful dynamics. By the time BAT was listed, the price of crypto had long since started a consolidation, leaving sentiment low.

Fast forward Q1 2019, and Coinbase is expanding overseas. It is laying down infrastructure for the long-term as it looks towards Asian markets, amid moves to attract international institutional money to cryptocurrency trading. (Coinbase’s product GDAX offers US-based institutional trading) New traders might find Coinbase’s familiarity welcoming. Higher volumes would be to expected for the cryptocurrencies offered by the Silicon Valley giant. 

So, the popular exchange is undergoing an extensive expansion. Coinbase customers residing outside of the U.S. can now trade without a domestic bank account. This could be a boon to the prices of cryptos offered by Coinbase, led by Bitcoin.

There has been discussion about the correlation between simplicity and demand. Opinions on the effect ease of use has on demand are not entirely aligned. As Donald Norman says in his book “Living with Complexity”:

… the so-called demand for simplicity is a myth whose time has passed, if it ever existed.

Make it simple and people won’t buy. Given a choice, they will take the item that does more.

Features win over simplicity, even when people realize that features mean more complexity. You do too, I’ll bet. Haven’t you ever compared two products side by side, feature by feature, and preferred the one that did more? …

Would you pay more money for a washing machine with fewer controls? In the abstract, maybe. At the store, probably not.

Ultimately, Norman argues for managed complexity. But, the demand for simplicity – or at least clarity – seems logical in a chaotic, complex world. In a blog on their website called “The Customer Demand for Pervasive Simplicity”, Cisco writes of this perception, and how it tailors its products towards this end.

A bastion of crypto-simplicity, Coinbase has long courted institutional investors in the U.S., but now its targets are clearly set on a global institutional book. The stage is set for crypto’s first truly global exchange, though Coinbase will need to first successfully assimilate into new countries, with their unique business practices languages, laws, and regulations. Currently, differing regulations in different countries keep crypto’s exchange ecosystem quite regional.

Coinbase holds 5 percent of all bitcoin, 8 percent of all ethereum, and 25 percent of all litecoin in circulation in cold storage. Its success overseas would likely underpin their prices if the “accessibility premium” holds true.

Marcus Hughes, recently appointed as lead counsel for Coinbase in the United Kingdom, has been tasked with overseeing cross-border expansion: “Coinbase takes the long view on bitcoin and wider cryptocurrency prices,” Hughes said, “We need to move beyond the speculation phase of bitcoin and cryptocurrency to the utility phase.”

He added: “The utility phase will mean bitcoin and crypto becomes more widely accepted and understood.”

This solidifies bullish sentiment from the exchange which will be strengthened should it be successful in its bid to attract ‘big money’, not just from a core user base in the U.S. but also from thriving crypto markets in countries such as Japan.

Coinbase reports that, “In the past twelve months, hundreds of crypto-first hedge funds have launched around the world, and many hundreds more traditional institutions have begun [actively trading digital assets]. High-volume clients across Asia will now have access to Coinbase’s flagship trading platforms for institutions. As part of this rollout, we now support inbound and outbound international (SWIFT) wire transfers, allowing Coinbase clients in Asia to fund their accounts from non-US bank holdings.”

Coinbase predicts a bright future for digital currency in Asia, it says, and looks to enter into a market that could help it to cement a role as one of the global leaders in crypto trading. But there remains a big question mark over cryptocurrencies, prominently over how regulation is going to play a role.

Marcus Hughes opines that this year will see a “massive change” for global bitcoin regulation. He says that Europe will gradually lead the way out of a “crypto winter” into regulated digital currency markets with more potential for long-term stability. But, in the short term, irrational trading might paint an entirely different picture. 

As we see Coinbase invest in the long-term it bolsters confidence in a currently inhospitable climate for bitcoin. Should prices continue to fluctuate market sentiment may dip, but it is the notion of institutional money that may serve to give cryptocurrency markets much-needed price stability. 

Image: David McBee, Pexels

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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5 stars on average, based on 2 rated postsJustin O'Connell is the founder of financial technology focused CryptographicAsset.com. Justin organized the launch of the largest Bitcoin ATM hardware and software provider in the world at the historical Hotel del Coronado in southern California. His works appear in the U.S.'s third largest weekly, the San Diego Reader, VICE and elsewhere.




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Bitcoin

Bitcoin Price Sees Renewed Stability as Average Block Size Reaches All-Time High

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Bitcoin’s price drifted slightly higher on Friday, as the potential for further downside continued to erode following a week-long drop in volatility. In terms of fundamentals, bitcoin’s average block size has reached a new record high, reigniting a long-standing debate over full blocks and the so-called capacity cliff.

BTC/USD Update

The bitcoin price is currently trading at $3,684 on Bitfinex, a figure is much higher than comparable exchanges and well above the average price quoted by CoinMarketCap. In terms of averages, bitcoin is presently trading at $3,637.69, having gained 0.7%.

Trade volumes have declined steadily in the latter half of the week. On Friday, 24-hour volumes dropped below $6 billion for the first time since Sunday. Market activity tends to decline heading into the weekend, which is understandable given the continuous 24-hour cycle of cryptocurrency trading.

BitMEX continues to be the single-largest virtual exchange market for BTC trades, though its share of total volume has fallen below 8%. Spot trading accounts for the remaining 92%. As Hacked reported earlier this week, derivatives trading has witnessed a substantial boost over the past six months, with “private bilateral” contracts valued anywhere between $125 million and $500 million per month. Read more: Bitcoin and Derivatives: Why $4,200 is So Critical.

Bitcoin’s modest upside has resonated with the broader market. Most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies reported gains Friday, dragging the total market capitalization back above $121 billion.

Average Block Size Climbs

Bitcoin’s average block size has surged through the first half of February, reaching the highest level on record, according to data from blockchain.com. The average block size peaked at 1.305 MB on Feb. 11, up from 0.899 MB the week before. The following chart illustrates fluctuations in the average block size going back 60 days.

At the time of writing, the average block size was 1.08 MB. This figure is updated continuously every 10 minutes.

In any case, the recent surge in block size has exceeded the previous limit of 1 MB established by the Bitcoin network. It has also reignited the debate over full blocks and their impact on the network. For some, “full blocks” essentially mean a backlog of transactions waiting to be incorporated into future blocks. This not only clogs up the network if blocks are consistently full, it raises the risk of long transaction delays and even outright rejection. This is a painful tradeoff for a network that is promoting bitcoin for everyday use.

Some members of the bitcoin community still advocate for smaller block sizes. They argue that large block sizes could increase centralization because it would mean that full nodes could only be run in large data centers.The debate over how to alleviate these concerns is still ongoing.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 770 rated postsChief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi




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