In March, Bitcoin fans also had to realize that cryptocurrencies cannot completely decouple themselves from developments on the financial markets. In the middle of the Corona crash in March, the price of the flagship crypto currency also collapsed: At the low point, a Bitcoin was only worth just under $ 4,000, after it was still above the $ 10,000 mark in February.
But since then, Bitcoin has celebrated a spectacular comeback – again for the first time in its history. It’s now worth a little less than $ 16,000, but had briefly passed that mark. The cryptocurrency has more than tripled in eight months.
The planning of the US payment service provider PayPal was particularly decisive for this. In October, the group announced that customers in the USA will in future be able to buy, sell and store bitcoins via the platform. At the beginning of next year, it should also be possible to pay with cryptocurrencies at retailers using PayPal. “PayPal’s entry into the crypto sector was the main reason for the increased interest in Bitcoin,” said analyst Timo Emden in an interview with Business Insider. “When such a big name becomes active in the sector, acceptance also increases,” he adds.
For Bitcoin, acceptance is an important factor for the future
Discussions about digital currencies are also part of this acceptance of cryptocurrencies. The European Central Bank (ECB) is currently conducting a survey of the population on how they would feel about a digital euro as part of an official currency. “Discussions about the possible introduction of digital national currencies such as an e-euro also help that crypto currencies such as Bitcoin can shed their supposedly dubious image,” said Emden.
In fact, cryptocurrencies have long been associated with strong fluctuations and the associated rapid gains or high losses as pure objects of speculation. With more and more areas of application in everyday life and the discussion about using the technology in the background for official currencies, the discussion is getting out of this niche. A survey by the management and technology consultancy BearingPoint shows that Bitcoin is still a niche product. Of more than 2,000 respondents in Germany, only four percent said that they use crypto currencies. One in four, however, knows how the payment method works.
Bitcoin is also considered the new gold among fans
On the other hand, there are numerous Bitcoin fans on the stock exchange. Since the number of Bitcoins is limited, some investors are already comparing the cryptocurrency with gold. Some investment professionals therefore see Bitcoin as a safe haven on the stock exchange. In uncertain times – such as in the current corona pandemic – investors rely on corresponding asset classes. After the crash in March, the price of Bitcoin quickly stabilized again.
When it became known on Monday that Biontech and Pfizer were making great strides in their corona vaccine search, stocks jumped for joy around the world – and gold came under severe pressure. “Bitcoin also came back that day, but not as strong as the gold price. This shows that it is not just the uncertainty due to the corona pandemic that is driving the price, ”explains Timo Emden.
In fact, Bitcoin was anything but under pressure over the course of the week. Rather, it was quoted above the $ 16,000 mark for the first time since the beginning of 2018. “The current price increase is indeed rapid again, but cannot be compared with what happened in 2017,” said Emden. Back then, Bitcoin rose to its record high of around $ 20,000. “While investors today are waiting for a setback to enter, three years ago they wanted to buy at any price for fear of missing out on the rally. The result was the dramatic crash, ”says Timo Emden.
Bitcoin will continue to fluctuate widely
This dramatic crash spanned about a year, during which the value slumped from $ 20,000 to about $ 3,300. Numerous investors lost money and are now concerned about burning their fingers on Bitcoin again. “It is also true that cryptocurrencies – and thus also Bitcoin – suffer from strong fluctuations. Investors who sometimes cannot sit out heavy losses should stay away from the asset class, ”warns Emden.
But one thing is also clear to him: The blockchain technology behind cryptocurrencies is an important factor for the future. “Digitization and Industry 4.0 are clear signs that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology will no longer disappear from the market.” He therefore also expects that the increase is not over yet. “If the current data situation continues, I expect further price gains for Bitcoin in the long term. The record high of around 20,000 US dollars is definitely a realistic goal in the coming months, ”says Emden, but advises interested investors to wait for a setback of at least 14,000 US dollars to get started.
A Bitcoin ETF would be “the accolade”
Anyone who is interested in investing in Bitcoins or crypto currencies in general has to buy them directly, because corresponding financial products are still hardly available on the market. It is true that the fund company Fidelity, one of the largest asset managers in the world, introduced a corresponding fund in August with the “Wise Origin Bitcoin Index Fund I”. However, it is not aimed at the masses with a minimum investment of $ 100,000. “There is still no approved fund or ETF for private investors, because so far the US Securities and Exchange Commission has rejected any attempt or postponed a decision. Only after this step will such a product be approved in Europe, ”Timo Emden expects.
Private investors could then use an ETF to track the performance of Bitcoin and would not be dependent on crypto exchanges, Bitcoin marketplaces or speculative financial products such as CFDs. For Timo Emden, a Bitcoin ETF would be beneficial for private investors, but not only for savers. “If an ETF is approved for the masses, that would be the accolade for Bitcoin. It would be another big step on the way of growing up for cryptocurrencies. “