We’ve all heard plenty about Bitcoin over the last few years, and most of us have formed an opinion on it for better or worse. For most people, what they do know is based strongly on reputation. If you’re a skeptic, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are a shady underworld governed by few laws and prone to nefarious activity. If you’re a fan then they’re actually a shining example of transparency and decentralization; a welcome riposte to a global banking system that hasn’t covered itself in glory since the turn of the century.
One thing that few people, on either side of the argument, can disagree with is that Bitcoin has had a few bumpy years. It has, for sure, been prone to inflation and deflation (as has any currency, in fairness). However, think back through 2020 and, while it is obvious that we’ve had other things on our mind, you would have to admit that “Bitcoin valuation spikes and then tumbles” has not been on the news menu this year. This begs the question: has 2020 seen a maturation in the popular cryptocurrency?
The year exposed weaknesses in fiat currencies
If your issue with Bitcoin was that the currency was at the mercy of crosswinds, then the year to date shows that – if this narrative is at all true – then it’s not just Bitcoin that has that issue. National economies have taken a beating, and their currencies with them, thanks to the pandemic. Then there is the pound sterling, that has spent a fair chunk of December so far tanking thanks to very real fears that the UK will fail to achieve a trade deal with its closest trading partner, the European Union.
Bitcoin has quietly hit the highs
There is an argument to be had that a currency can only find its level when the extraneous noise is finally drowned out and the calmer heads prevail. There are signs that this is happening with BTC. For example, on November 30th, the currency hit an all-time high of $19,850. That it did this doesn’t mean that Bitcoin has matured, but the overall absence of lurid headlines that accompanied this landmark may indicate that the hangers-on have lost interest in crypto, or at least in its most stable currency. Bitcoin investors who got into it at the start of the year are currently sitting on 160%+ of profits, but you’d hardly know it.
2021 should show the advantages of BTC
One solid truth about Bitcoin is that it holds the same value wherever in the world you use it, and we are about to enter a year in which either the Covid vaccines suppress the virus – in which case the variable speed of rollout will see some countries recover faster – or the virus holds up, in which case economies will take another hammering. Trading on crypto exchanges is going to be a comparatively straightforward process by comparison this coming year, one way or another. National and regional responses to a global problem could be found wanting, and a global currency might well be seen in a more positive light going forward.
To sign off with a word of warning, BTC was hitting the heights, comparatively, at the end of 2017, but lost most of its value across 2018. Keep watching the charts for movement, but if Bitcoin keeps up this performance in ‘21, then we can likely say that it has found its place.