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Don’t Blame China: Why BTC Still Can’t Compete With Fiat

In the wake of recent price movements, doubts are beginning to crop up more and more around BTC maximalist circles. As focus shifts from Satoshi’s founding vision of the coin as cash to a mere digital gold to be saved and “cashed out” later, valid questions are indeed raised. Financial news outlets, advocates of other cryptos, and even holders of BTC themselves are wondering whether blaming every single price event on China is really an honest assessment, or if a basic lack of utility and development may also be at fault.

Also Read: How Bitcoin Applies to The Sovereign Individual Thesis

From Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash to Superficial Hype

No level-headed crypto space inhabitant should be antithetical to any coin just to be a contrarian. Religious allegiance to any one crypto for its own sake is the flip side to that misguided approach. It seems that any voluntary association of market actors working on a project is a fair enough scenario, and any challenge to the violent, prevailing monetary-powers-that-be should be welcomed. Still, legions of zealous crypto denizens have forgotten what the bitcoin whitepaper says about bitcoin. Namely, that the “purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.”

Recent reports of a supposed Binance office being raided in Shanghai, and the ensuing backlash and threat of lawsuit from CEO CZ, have the space aflame with frantic speculation. This should come as no surprise given China has been pointed to for years as one of the central factors influencing price movements in BTC, for better or for worse. There is undoubtedly truth to these claims.

Chinese mining pools have been cited as controlling about 70% of Bitcoin’s collective hashrate. President Xi Jinping’s recent pro-blockchain rhetoric caused a surge in crypto interest as well as a reported rise in Chinese tech stocks. Ongoing trade tensions between the U.S. and China also come into play. All this said, for many, these factors are doing little more than feeding into the played out “number go up” meme, which says nothing about use cases as peer-to-peer cash or interesting developments on the network itself. These phenomena point to the corollary, “China affect number” meme, and little more.

Don’t Blame China: Why BTC Still Can’t Compete With Fiat

Mainstream Doubts and Hubris

In a recent Forbes piece entitled “From Bitcoin To No Coin, Crypto World Under Pressure As Governments React,” author Mike O’Sullivan states:

My own sense is that crypto currencies in general and bitcoin specifically are not safe havens. They have failed the purpose they were intended to fulfill in that they are not actively used as a means of exchange. Few retailers accept them, fewer consumers actively use them and transaction costs are still very high.

Regarding BTC, O’Sullivan’s sense seems accurate. Core maximalists have been known to go so far as mocking those who wish to spend the coin. A stark contrast to the whitepaper’s description of a new form of decentralized cash. While open-minded and progressive development is readily championed on other networks (for example, recent collaboration between BCH and ETH camps to implement Ethereum Name Service, large funding events to build ecosystems and constant development of market solutions), BTC is still largely stuck clinging to this store of value (SOV) narrative and waiting on the full implementation of a perpetually delayed Lightning Network layer two payments solution.

BTC network congestion and fees (a result of refusal to scale via a block size limit increase) have been presenting significant problems, causing many businesses to drop the coin as a payment option. Other networks attempting to scale and serve their participants with utility-based digital cryptos are summarily dismissed by the hubristic narrative.

Don’t Blame China: Why BTC Still Can’t Compete With Fiat

No, Bitcoin Is Not Dead

Pinning down the core reason BTC (or any other crypto) is yet unable to fully compete with government fiat is not a straightforward task. The answer often has as much to do with government restrictions as it does with the tech itself. Also, with cultural narratives pushed by the mainstream media. After all, bitcoin has already “died” at least 378 times. For all BTC’s imperfections, it’s probably not deceased this time, either. For all its imperfections, a non-violence-backed, permissionless and borderless money with opportunity to make big gains still has advantages over the fiat racket. O’Sullivan’s personal prescription for the current price sickness is easier onboarding and more government regulation.

“More thorough regulation, cleaner cross-border payment processes and more reliable identification mechanisms will be part of the workload of central banks and governments,” he writes. He further observes: “For many people the process of setting up a crypto wallet, and mentally translating crypto prices into everyday currencies is too demanding to bother with. This ‘ease of use’ is a cognitive barrier to entry and something that will take time for many to overcome, even Millennials.”

Don’t Blame China: Why BTC Still Can’t Compete With Fiat

Government certainly stands in the way of permissionless exchange and free market development, but it seems a stretch to imagine that using a simple wallet app or converting prices is too hard for most. What stands in the way of any sound fundamentals crypto is mostly violent political restrictions on free trade.

Overcoming State Imposition

Ever-constricting KYC and AML requirements attack basic human privacy. This, combined with draconian threats of policy enforcement attempts to make crypto a kind of high-tech “fiat lite” and not the permissionless money it was designed to be. The most efficient way to truly achieve bitcoinization is encouraging mass adoption by making it easy, lucrative and convenient, and then allowing people to comply with state mandates or not, as they please.

Don’t Blame China: Why BTC Still Can’t Compete With Fiat

BTC’s glaring issues of a cult-like community, economically misinformed adherence to SOV narratives, and problems with congestion and fees, are in a sense preliminary to any gripes about government. In another sense, however, these false narratives serve as a way to conveniently acquiesce to popular monetary culture and restrictive policy, without giving up the cocksure rhetoric and insecure posturing so common to maximalist conversation. If crypto is ever going to defeat — or even compete with — the behemoth that is fiat, these issues will have to be addressed before any real change can take place.

What are your thoughts on BTC’s recent slump? Let us know in the comments section below.

Op-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.


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Graham Smith

Graham Smith is an American expat living in Japan, and the founder of Voluntary Japan—an initiative dedicated to spreading the philosophies of unschooling, individual self-ownership, and economic freedom in the land of the rising sun.

Graham Smith , 2019-11-26 10:15:57 ,

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NewsBlock © 2019 - 2020. All rights reserved.


While Bitcoin’s price seemingly moves without rhyme or reason — collapsing by dozens of percent and embarking on face-melting rallies on a whim — the cryptocurrency market is filled to the brim with fractals.

Related Reading: Analyst: Bitcoin Price Likely to Fall to Low-$8,000s as Chart Remains Weak

A brief aside: A fractal, in the context of technical analysis and financial markets anyway, is when an asset’s price action is seen during a different time. This form of analysis isn’t that popular, but it has proven to be somewhat valuable in analyzing Bitcoin.

One recent fractal popularized by a well-known cryptocurrency trader is implying that BTC is going to return to the low-$7,000s in the coming days.

Bitcoin Fractal Implies Retracement to Low-$7,000s

A well-known crypto trader going by “Tyler Durden” on Twitter recently posted the chart below, which shows that a Bitcoin price fractal may be playing out. The fractal has four phases: horizontal consolidation marked by one fakeout, a surge above the consolidation phase, a distribution, then a strong drop to fresh lows.

If the fractal plays out in full, BTC could reach the low-$7,000s again, potentially as low as $7,100. This would represent a 20-odd percent collapse from the current price point of $8,800.

It isn’t only a fractal that is hinting Bitcoin has the potential to visit its lows. As we reported on Saturday, Bloomberg believes that if the GTI Vera Convergence Divergence Indicator flips red, a downtrend could push the cryptocurrency back to $7,300.

Related Reading: Stephen Colbert Pokes Fun at Bitcoin in Monologue: Mainstream Gone Wrong?

Can Bulls Step In?

But again, many believe it is irrational to have such bearish interpretations of the cryptocurrency’s chart at the moment. As reported by NewsBTC earlier, Popular crypto trader Mayne recently noted that the “people waiting for $6,000” are irrational. He quipped that Bitcoin retracing and consolidating after its fourth-biggest bull move in history ($7,300 to $10,500, a 42% gain) is perfectly par for the course, but noted that it’s totally possible we can go lower from $8,800.

The medium-term technicals support this.

Trader and CoinTelegraph contributor FilbFilb found that by the end of November or start of December, the 50-week and 100-week moving averages will see a “golden cross,” which he claims is far more significant” for the Bitcoin market that other technical crosses.

Also, a Bitcoin price model created using Facebook Prophet machine learning found that the leading cryptocurrency is likely to end the year at just over $12,000. What’s notable about this model is that it called the price drop to $8,000 months in advance, and forecasted a ~$7,500 price bottom for BTC.

To put a cherry on the cryptocurrency cake, Crypto Thies observed that when Bitcoin bottomed at $7,300, it bounced decisively off the 0.618 Fibonacci Retracement of the move from $3,000 to $14,000, which correlates with the two-week volume-weighted moving average. He added that summer 2019’s consolidation was marked by Bitcoin flipping major resistances into support levels, implying that a bullish reversal and subsequent continuation is likely possible in the coming weeks.

Featured Image from Shutterstock


Nick Chong , 2019-11-10 12:00:38

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