Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have become a key talking point over the last few years, acquiring investors from around the world, and infiltrating many areas of society. As a result, it’s become increasingly easy to go online and find a bitcoin casino or a crypto betting website. Even some retailers accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment.
However, it hasn’t been smooth sailing for Bitcoin and its cousins, and the crypto winter that currently holds the market in its icy grip has prompted widespread debate about the viability of cryptocurrency going forward. As a result, analysts and investors are scrambling to formulate plans for the future and attempt to predict where things will go from here.
As the flagship cryptocurrency, all eyes are on Bitcoin as it navigates the ongoing ups and downs of a market plagued by both internal and external issues, ranging from concerns over its environmental impact to the ever-present threat caused by rising inflation.
Despite the fact that there are now hundreds of cryptocurrencies available, Bitcoin remains the most popular and the most widely used – so much so that it has even been made legal tender in El Salvador. Subsequently, there are some who believe that casting a keen glance over Bitcoin’s eventful past could offer insights into what the future may hold.
A volatile history
Anyone who is just dipping their toe in the crypto waters may be shocked and alarmed by the crypto winter that is continuing to cause sharp drops in value for even the biggest digital currencies. However, looking back over the history of crypto – and Bitcoin in particular – reveals that there has been more than one winter since Bitcoin was first unveiled in 2008, with the first major crash occurring in 2018.
Following this first winter, it took a while for the cryptocurrency to recover – aided, unexpectedly, by Facebook, when it announced plans to create its own cryptocurrency. This never happened in the end, but the mere intimation that it might take place helped Bitcoin’s case.
The outbreak of Covid-19 followed, and once again Bitcoin’s fortunes began to improve, particularly after PayPal got involved, allowing the use of cryptocurrencies. Investors began to get excited and Bitcoin’s value climbed, albeit with a few wobbles here and there, eventually reaching a peak in November 2021.
But then 2022 dawned, and a new and much harsher winter set in – triggered by increases in interest rates and inflation, as well as other factors, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Bitcoin’s worth has declined dramatically, and it still has not managed to revive to anywhere near its former levels.
What does the future hold for Bitcoin?
Writing for the Financial Times, David Hindley explained that “Bitcoin’s booms have all been powered by small investors rushing into the market, hoping to turn a remarkable profit in a short time. Its subsequent crashes have come as regulators, the broader market, or worries about the risks of the sector spooked bitcoin holders into cashing out.
Those trends seem likely to continue.”
While some believe that Bitcoin’s trajectory is pointing only one way: collapse, it remains impossible to predict what will happen to it and crypto in general.
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