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Bitcoin - Hash Rate Declining; Surviving Crypto Winter; Assessing the Next Threat

When did crypto winter start? For those who jumped in late December or early January, it must have been the entirety of 2018.

Let’s focus just on Bitcoin (BTC/USD) for now. It peaked in January when it essentially came up to $20,000 in many exchanges. It then slid down to $6000 where it found support. Bitcoin consolidated above $6000 until November before falling further.

BTC/USD Daily Chart

Price Winter Began in November:

When price came down from $20,000 to $6,000, it was simply a correction. Then subsequent consolidation above $6,000 was also simply sideways action more or less. So based on price action, Bitcoin’s winter really began in November when it fell clearly below $6000.

Hash Rate Winter Also Began in November:

Now let’s take a look at the hashrate, which reflects how many mining computations are involved (the more the safer the network).

As we can see, Bitcoin’s hashrate was actually increasing throughout the year while price was bearish and then bearish-neutral. However, it looks like that hashrate peaked in October, and started to decline in November.

This means, the initial price dip from $20,000 to $6000 was mostly involved with speculators from outside of the space. However, the current dip has more to do with internal parties giving up.

Survive and Become Stronger or Wither:

We saw so many altcoins fall victim 51% attacks this year, but Bitcoin’s network has been resilient. Further decline in hashrate will make the network more vulnerable to a 51% attack. If such an attack does manage to reorganize the blocks on Bitcoin’s blockchain, then this experiment would have has essentially failed.

Bitcoin has gone through many bubbles. The latest one finally touched the mainstream markets, and got large corporations to take notice, although institutional money is still on the sideline. Over the next few years, if Bitcoin survives, it will still probably go through some volatile swings because its survival will being more hype. Eventually, the larger the market cap, the more stable Bitcoin will become.

However, there will be one final, most important battle.

Get Ready for the Next Boss - Governments:

Bitcoin will be a threat to nations that derives their power from having a sovereign currency. In other words, countries used to capital control. This is even more the case for the U.S, because the USD is considered a world reserve. It enjoys that status and therefore can impose sanctions, and other economic policies on other countries. Bitcoin will take that power away. So if Bitcoin threatens sovereign nations.

So far, Bitcoin has evolved with technical issues and more recently market dynamics i.e. lightning network is being created. However, at one point it will have to deal with a non-market force - a geo-political and military force.

I think it is naive to think Bitcoin will simply be adopted because there is a great economic and financial case for it. Don’t forget the political implications as well.

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