Remember this very well: everything may fail, but never the people/companies/media saying with pompous certainty that “Bitcoin is dead”. No matter the year or the month. They’re always there, even now, waiting patiently for the big fall of the “failed” digital currency…
Respectable media like The New York Times, Wired, Business Insider, Gizmodo, Reuters, Seeking Alpha, Vice, Financial Times, CNN, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Yahoo Finance, Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Fortune, Irish Times, Huffington Post, South China Morning Post, Tribune, Forbes and (oh gosh, this is a really long list) Bloomberg have bet, in a way or another, for Bitcoin definitive death. Since 2010.
A funny thing about it is, to date (2020), they haven’t stopped talking about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. And not always being negative, but with good news and All-Time Highs (ATH) as well. Forbes and Bloomberg even have wholes categories and specialized writers about it. Ironies of life.
According to the data gathered by 99Bitcoins, Bitcoin has around 382 obituaries by numerous media and important people, like two of the favorite haters, Jamie Dimon and Warren Buffet. Curiously enough, the year with more obituaries (124 Bitcoin death predictions) is 2017. The same year of the biggest ATH for Bitcoin and the ICOs madness.
So… do you remember characters like Krilin (DBZ), Kenny (South Park), Dean (Supernatural), and Loki (Marvel)? They all have in common one thing with Bitcoin: they keep dying multiple times and returning good as new. Very handy.
Let’s check then the most remarkable Bitcoin temporal deaths. Just for fun (and some perspective).
Foreshadowing by Mt. Gox
This one is the oldest and the bigger. Bitcoin had a dramatic crash of -93% in its price, falling from 29 USD to just two between June and November 2011. Headlines like “So, that’s the end of Bitcoin, then” (Forbes), “The Bitcoin is dying, Whatever” (Gizmodo), and “The rise and fall of Bitcoin” (Wired) flooded the Internet like a broken dam.
The reason for the big fall? Mt. Gox, one the firsts BTC exchanges and, in its time, the most popular. They reported on June a gloomy hack to its platform, in which 25.000 BTC were stolen from 478 user accounts. Besides, some user’s personal data were robbed as well and put for sale, and some fraudulent trades caused a false crash to 0.01 USD for BTC price. Yikes.
It was a huge blow, but Bitcoin (and Mt. Gox) was able to recover by 2012. And why “foreshadowing”? Oh, we’ll see.
The fall of Bitcoin Savings & Trust
Probably you’ve already seen somewhere those kind of platforms that ask you for an “insignificant” investment in crypto to multiply it by two, three, five, twenty, eighty, one hundred, one thousand, and so on. The main and “easy” task these sites assign to you in order to reach the greedy goal use to be to bring as many referrals as possible to join their little “business”. Well, this is a popular scam called Pyramid Scheme, where the new investors pay to the old ones and there’s no real product anywhere.
The supposed hedge fund Bitcoin Savings & Trust was proofed to be nothing else than a pyramid scheme when it closed its operations in August 2012. At least 500.000 BTC were stolen from investors, and the price crashed -56.7% as a result. However, it seems the people were already tired from Bitcoin deaths because just Wired reported one in December.
Almost there, Mt. Gox
This exchange had a 2013 full of emotions. It became the world’s leading Bitcoin exchange since it was handling over 70% of total transactions by April. And precisely because it wasn’t too capable to manage this large volume, the same month halted the operations for several days after a crash of -52% in 6 hours. Which dropped the price even more, especially when they suffered a DDoS attack and the website went down.
As a result, the total fall in the price of Bitcoin was -87%. Afterward, Mt. Gox faced a $75 million lawsuit by the firm CoinLab because of the breach of a partnership contract where this company would handle the US transactions of the exchange. This lawsuit would last till 2019, but that’s another story.
Despite everything, Bitcoin succeeded not only in recovering from this crash but to reach news ATHs by the end of that year, surpassing the 1.000 USD mark for the first time. Meanwhile, it accumulated at least 17 obituaries from media like Bloomberg, The New York Times, and Business Insider.
The big Mt. Gox fiasco
This is obligatory knowledge for every crypto-user in the world because it taught us important lessons in a harsh way. As we said before, Mt. Gox was the world’s leading Bitcoin exchange at the time, and that’s exactly why the 2014 episode was so tragic.
On 7 February 2014, Mt. Gox halted all bitcoin withdrawals and started to make systematic excuses for it. Its CEO, Mark Karpelès, resigned from the board of the Bitcoin Foundation and deleted all his tweets. The rest of the trading operations was suspended, and, finally, the site went offline at the end of the month.
The concerned users would soon discover the awful truth. The company was insolvent in the wake of a hack that robbed 744.408 BTC (around $473 million at the time and +$8 billion today). Mt. Gox signed for bankruptcy in Tokyo by the end of February, and right there started its old customers’ odyssey to recover their funds (and it goes on to date).
The year started for Bitcoin in some nice $956 and ended in barely $315 (-67%). At least 29 obituaries were written by Reuters, Seeking Alpha, Bloomberg, Fortune, Vice, Financial Times, CNN, and others.
The 2017-2018 crazy rally
After the big Mt. Gox fiasco, 2015 and 2016 were kind of calm years for Bitcoin. Some obituaries were pulled off, as usual, but nothing like the things that would come in 2017. The price started in $973 and finished the year at $20.089, an awesome increase of 1.964,6%, and its last ATH to date.
Despite it, or probably because of it, 124 obituaries by everyone were announced through the year. Headlines like “The Death of Bitcoin” (Daily Reckoning), “Stay away from Bitcoin – it’s complete garbage” (MarketWatch), “All this Bitcoin stuff is fake” (Splinter), and “Bitcoin will die on Grand Theft” (La Tribune) were scattered all around the Internet.
When the crash finally happened in early 2018, this time caused not by some hacked exchange but by a long speculative bubble, the media undertakers were there as well, ready to bury Bitcoin one more time. Or 93 times more through the year, since the price started in $17.500 and finished in only $3.900 (-77.7%).
Conclusion? Bitcoin has suffered several harsh crashes but always rises from its ashes. To date, we’re at $10.900 and there are very good predictions for the future. But hey, if BTC goes up or goes down, the same applies: isn’t the first time, and probably it won’t be the last either.