There is no getting away from the fact that the price of Bitcoin is what first matters in the original adoption drive. Bitcoin really came to light in the mainstream towards the end of 2016 and all through 2017 where it started to build towards $20,000. Early miners and buyers flaunted their huge gains and people just learning of Bitcoin clamoured to buy it.
The price has been what dominates the news and interest of people still. There are ongoing advances in use cases for crypto and blockchain, news of mining and development upgrades and all other manner of things, but price is still pride of place.
But, what if price was not so important, and what if that focus is starting to blur ever so slightly on the edges? When Bitcoin suffered in 2018 through an 18 month bear market, price was less important, but enterprise blockchain usage skyrocketed as a result.
And now, Bitcoin is sitting at more than 50 percent price loss since December 2017, yet the institutional investor interest is up by more than 50 percent. The fact that Bitcoin has a market, and a lively and volatile one at that, is important for these institutional investors, but if it was $20 or $20,000 it shouldn’t really matter any more.
Bitcoin is trying to become a more dependable and mature asset, and in doing so it is trying to appeal to a broader range of people. An asset that climbs in value, but is hugley volatile, will only tick the boxes for new and wild traders (usually of a crypto-minded intention) but an asset that acts more like gold, or even stocks, will bring in more institutional money.
More than that, Bitcoin is one part of a bigger ecosystem that incorporates a technology arguably the same size, or bigger, than AI and IoT. Focusing in on the price too much and ignoring the potential is a fools game and damaging to the advancement of what Bitcoin can do.
Should Bitcoin chase the Institutional money?
There will be some who believe that even though Bitcoin’s price from its high is down 53 percent and institutional investor interest is up 56 percent, the coin is on the wrong path. But, there has been a strong drive to get Bitcoin on Wall Street, metaphorically speaking — and it looks to be working.
There are a few factors helping push Bitcoin in this direction; maturation of the ecosystem, concerns about the current traditional financial space, better financial fundamentals and growing adoption and normalisation. All of these factors have Bitcoin being pushed towards being more like gold, or a stock.
This could be a good thing, and it will certainly help with adoption, but it will also probably strip back what Bitcoin was, and wanted to be, when it first broke out. The predictions of Bitcoin being worth $1 million per coin and above, and its anti-correlated safe haven nature will probably fall away, as well as a focus on what the price is and more on how the price is moving.
If Bitcoin does become more like another asset, and behave like gold or a stock, then there will be a bit of melancholy about it, but there might also be enough of a push towards digital finance that Bitcoin’s ‘sacrifice’ will be worth it.
Bitcoin has already spawned a blockchain ecosystem that goes beyond finance, it has created stablecoins and the interest has spread to CBDC, and now even DeFi is exploding thanks to Bitcoin’s original creation.