Bitcoin had a rollercoaster ride towards the end of 2020, souring towards record highs, before taking a sudden dip in November – only to rally and smash it’s previous record high value of $20,000 by Christmas. The surge continued into January, hitting highs of over $40,000 by mid-month. The value of the virtual currency has now dipped almost as low as $30,000 as of January 27. That’s quite the drop, but when you consider the value last March was just a little over $5,000 dollars, you’d be pleased with your investment right now.
Hated, adored, but never ignored is the cliché that perhaps best describes the world’s first ever virtual currency as it continues to divide the opinions of financial investors globally. Retail investors and home traders love it, whereas banking heavyweights aren’t so sure. The Bank of America have labelled it as “the most crowded trade”, while JPMorgan has warned that people will abandon the cryptocurrency if it fails to return to its all time high of $40,000 that it reached earlier this month.
Barclays has perhaps been the most explicit bank in voicing its concerns about bitcoin, with the private bank’s chief market strategist claiming the coin was “almost uninvestable” on January 19. The coin has continued to fall since this claim, so maybe Barclays have a point? The banking world’s opinions on a decentralized currency will always have to be taken with a pitch of salt – it’s the natural enemy.
The one word that both sides of the bitcoin debate can agree on when discussing the virtual currency is “volatility”. The fact that bitcoin, and all other cryptos, are decentralized is a double edged sword – it’s why so many people love it, while others are scared. If 2017 has taught us anything, it’s that these massive up-surges, like those experiences in December until mid-January, are bubbles that can burst pretty quickly.
Although it used to be best associated with dark web-users, millennial day-traders and those who thought they’d spotted a get-rich-quick opportunity in 2017, Bitcoin’s performance in 2020 has turned the heads of many investors – with the currency now being taken more seriously by many in the financial world as a result.
Even billionaire hedge-fund manager Paul Tudor Jones admitted to having a “small single-digit investment” in bitcoin when speaking to CNBC back in October. Bill Miller, the heavyweight Wall Street Investor recently likened bitcoin to “digital gold”, while research conducted by ARK Investment Management LLC, a US based global asset manager, cited that “bitcoin’s market and investors appear to be maturing”. If nothing else is certain, the future of bitcoin promises to offer more excitement than other more stable investments.