Is This the End of Bitcoin (Again)?

Even as Bitcoin rebounds in value and usage, many see its demise

One of the most amusing aspects of observing bitcoin throughout its history is how it seems to resemble those zombies from “The Walking Dead.”  It’s been a concept, a currency, a revolutionary financial tool, call it whatever you want, that has been written off for dead so many times that even a head shot doesn’t seem to kill it.

I remember telling people that I was exploring an opportunity to invest in bitcoin for my retirement account and their response back in 2013 was that they thought it was dead.

After all, there was that scandal with Mt. Gox and everyone lost their bitcoins so it’s not around any more, they said.

If that didn’t kill it, surely the Silk Road scandal did, the bitcoin naysayers later responded.  After all, most people viewed bitcoin as something that was simply being used to buy drugs and for money laundering.

Although these events had negative impacts on the reputation and price of bitcoin, the virtual currency continued to exist and continued to do everything that its developers and caretakers intended it to do.

In early 2015, the alarms began to be loudly sounded about bitcoin again.  Readers were reminded that in 2014, bitcoin was the worst performing currency of the year.  Heck, I even wrote of how my retirement account investment had lost half of its value.  Along with this was the declaration that the end of bitcoin was coming because of the mining crisis. 

One writer viewed mining as the "Achilles heel" of bitcoin and saw potential ramifications in that area as a reason to signal the end of bitcoin.

It was a fair point as the bitcoin world began to fear the consolidation of mining operations to a few miners as well as the reality that new low price of bitcoin was now forcing a number of mining operators out of business. 

Clearly 2015 was going to be tough year for the battered currency and many doubted it would survive.

The price of bitcoin dropped below $200 in January of 2015 and all those bitcoin bears prepared their “told you so” speeches.

So what did 2015 bring? 

Sure there were consolidations and failures, but we watched the grow of venture funds pour into bitcoin and blockchain related startups.  One of these largest ventures released a computer that allowed for mining and building bitcoin related e-commerce sites for the average person. 

Oh, and at the end of the year, it was announced that bitcoin had gone from worst to first and was the best performing currency of 2015.  I enjoyed writing my article of how my retirement account investment had doubled (albeit back to where I started) because of its performance over the year.

Even with all of this good news, 2016 began with some dire predictions about bitcoin and proclamations that the end of bitcoin is near.  A battle between two vital elements of the bitcoin eco-structure were slinging shots at each other and many bears relished the in-fighting that was going on in the bitcoin community.

Will this be the end of bitcoin?  Although it may make many bears and bitcoin skeptics happy, my money (literally) is on bitcoin and although this storm will be a tough one, bitcoin has weathered past ones and like the zombies we know and love, it keeps us entertained and somehow they keep coming back stronger than ever.

I’ll explore this battle in more depth in an upcoming article.