If there is one investment trend that has left its mark on 2017, it is definitely the wild ride of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. What a decade ago would have seemed like a concept out of a sci-fi novel had become a reality in the most unequivocal way, as digital coins have been widely embraced in the real economy and scrutinized by finance professionals and regulatory authorities alike. Even though many analysts are adamant that they are just a bubble waiting to burst, cryptocurrencies keep rising and consolidating their place in the market. Bitcoin in particular seems to be leading the race – so is it worth investing in it?
What Have We Learned from the Great 2017 Bitcoin Ride?
Bitcoin is often portrayed as the flagship cryptocurrency, and rightly so. It was the first to burst out into mainstream investment portfolios and saw a meteoric rise in 2017 that put digital coins in headlines across the globe. Bitcoin’s value was priced at a little under $1,000 at the start of 2017, but ended the year at an impressive $14,500 on December 29, marking a rise of approximately 1,300%. As of April 2018, it boasted a $350 billion market cap and was traded by roughly 2,450 Bitcoin merchants in North America and a little over 2,000 across Europe. This run that has exceeded expectations across the investment world is one of the most contested points between Bitcoin proponents and those investors advising caution. On the one hand, it shows that Bitcoin has made a breakthrough into a more mainstream investment audience, but on the other hand, it is precisely evidence of the volatility attached to the cryptocurrency.
The wild fluctuation of the Bitcoin price seems to have ended on a high, which proves that Bitcoin has a tendency to stabilize itself – especially after the severe criticism it was subjected to after the dramatic spikes in its price. According to what type of investor you are, this fluctuation could serve as a point for or against investing in the cryptocurrency. If you like more stable investments that are profitable in the long run, then perhaps the crypto market is still too young to provide enough guarantees for a significant investment. But if you are the type that likes taking risks and profiting from sudden spikes, Bitcoin might be just the asset for you. Yet it might be worth observing the market for a bit to understand when would be the best time to step in and make an investment – it makes no sense to do so while Bitcoin is at its highest, but rather wait to profit from a sudden drop in price.
Is Bitcoin Stable Enough?
Despite some analysts being cautious of altcoins, if you are convinced that they are not just a fleeting trend, then Bitcoin stands out among the crowd as a potential investment. It is the most widely recognized cryptocurrency and generally considered the most reliable among the lot. It is also tried and tested, as it has responded well to sudden spikes in terms of its technical infrastructure – and it has shown the ability to scale. Clear evidence of Bitcoin’s mainstream appeal can be found in the fact that it is increasingly adopted by pioneering companies across the real economy: several industries that range from traditional online games, such as casino titles like slots, to major tech giants like Microsoft (that has been accepting Bitcoin as payment in its digital Xbox Store as far back as 2014) to well-known merchants like Expedia and even KFC Canada have embraced Bitcoin, due to the speed of transactions and associated anonymity. If anything, this wider acceptance is proof that despite early fluctuations, Bitcoin has established itself in the market – so analysts argue that we can expect to put the days of tremendous volatility behind us.