After a dismal 2018 Bitcoin is up 200% since the start of 2019. I began tracking this in early May after forgetting about Bitcoin like everyone else after the huge drop in 2018. According to Bloomberg, 40% of the growth occurred during the weekend activity during May:
Then, in true Bitcoin fashion, the price has tumbled more than 11% since this last Friday, shown in red above. So what is going on with this anyway? Is Bitcoin going to make a comeback and rest 20K+? I don’t see that realistically happening. What is more interesting to me is the effect that Facebook’s Libra may be having on Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies in general.
I’ve maintained since I started following them, that Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies are going to have a lasting legacy not because of their coins, which are unique to their blockchains, but because of what they conceptually reveal about the way that money travels around the world. Libra, unlike Bitcoin and the rest, has the potential to pry open the open the world of cryptos to the masses. What cryptos have lacked is an accessibility by the common person.
Facebook has now been training the average consumer for over a decade on how to use their platform, which includes purchasing products through their site. The recent addition of FB marketplace was perhaps a foreshadowing, whether planned or unplanned, to make FB a global marketplace with its own unit of currency, the Libra. I wouldn’t argue that the trading platforms used by cryptos are overly complex, but I would argue that Facebook’s familiarity and ease-of-use case for their products towers of that of crypto exchanges. I have long been anticipating that a large market player would utilize all the advantages of crypto to open that market up, and if Facebook can pull this off, it will be a truly different international marketplace. That is a big if.
Until then, it remains to be seen whether Libra will bring the golden light of world markets to cast its promising aura on traditional cryptos. It could also be the case that someone develops a more user friendly interface for Bitcoin, where users can directly exchange coins for good and services on the platform, rather than having to exchange the coins for fiat currency first, which is still the most common use of the coins to my knowledge. Will Libra change that? Will Amazon come up with their own, if they haven’t started that process yet? It will be an interesting few years in this space.
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