The “Mother of All Bubbles” or “Growing Pains”? The $Multi-Billion Question as Bitcoin Plunges

1 year ago
The “Mother of All Bubbles” or “Growing Pains”? The $Multi-Billion Question as Bitcoin Plunges
11:19
09 Feb

Is the ‘Bitcoin bubble’ about to burst or is it a bouncing ball which will keep coming back for more? That’s the question on everyone’s lips after the leading cryptocurrency suffered a massive drop in value, plunging by about $25billion in 24 hours.

“It is the mother of all bubbles. It is also the biggest bubble in human history,” is how prominent economist Nouriel Roubini described it, whereas Oliver von Landsberg-Sadie, the founder of cryptocurrency exchange BitcoinBro, told Bloomberg “I think we’re seeing growing pains”, with others in the industry also expecting the digital currency to recover.

Cryptocurrency has rarely been out of the news after Bitcoin surged from $1000 per coin at the start of 2017 to a peak of over $20,000 by the end of last year, but has recently dipped to ‘a two month low of $7,695.10 on Friday’, according to CoinDesk.com, prompting Roubini’s doom-laden forecast…


Poker and crypto

Pokerplayers, of course, have been at the forefront of the cryptocurrency boom – many making $millions last year as the price spiked, long-forgotten crypto winnings being cashed in – as well as the natural tendency of poker’s moneymen to enjoy what has been a rollercoaster ride of gambling in a new and exciting territory, Doug Polk in particular heavily invested and involved in the crypto-markets and not afraid to let people know…


Crypto-poker

Crypto-poker sites have sprung up on the back of the heavy investment and interest in the digital currencies, with the backbone of the infrastructure – Blockchain technology – perfectly suited to the online world of poker, affording much tighter privacy and anti-scamming technology as well as much faster and cheaper withdrawals, among other positives.

Sites such as CoinPoker, with its recent ICO selling out in record-quick time, have shown just how much interest and need there is in the poker world for something new and innovative which addresses players’ concerns.


What happens to crypto-poker if the bubble bursts?

Quite how any ‘bursting of the bubble’ would affect this aspect of the game is as yet unclear, but the majority of the doom-mongers hitting the headlines are focused only on the huge wins and losses which would be left in the wake of any major cryptocurrency crash – the 17th Century ‘Tulip Mania’ crash much in evidence among economists statements, Roubini stating the current crisis in confidence in Bitcoin is:

“Much worse, if you look at the peak in the Bitcoin it was higher than Tulip Mania”.

One of the main areas of contention in the crypto-world is whether there is any inherent value in the digital currencies, of which there are well over a thousand, or whether it is simply an ethereal promise based on whether people believe in it or not?

What is certain, however, is that the technology being driven by the investments and speculation is a very real thing; ‘Smart contracts’ on the Blockchain meaning no more double payments, the settlement of unwieldy insurance claims, cross-border payments and a host of other areas being investigated or actually utilising the tech right now.

Even if the crypto-bubble happens, it might just mean a return to the value of currencies as they were a few years ago – and when the infrastructure behind it proves its worth, the value will doubtless grow again. And after all, the price of Bitcoin hasn’t fallen for no reason, both South Korea and India sharing the ‘blame’ for price-drop…

…as well as an altogether more sinister, though as yet unsubstantiated ‘player’ in the background…

To conclude (for the time being, as this is not something which will be disappearing anytime soon) for those just speculating to make a few quick (million) bucks and for the general public whose knowledge is limited to what they read in a newspaper headline, the future of Bitcoin and its erstwhile companions in the digital world isn’t hugely important or visible.

For those involved in the day-to-day progress being made behind the headlines, it’s a game which is still in its infancy – just ‘growing pains’ after all?


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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more

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