EDITORIAL: Don't Count on Bitcoin for Safe Haven in Recessionary Economy
August 8, 2011 7:00 PM
The New York Stock Exchange has shed almost 1,500 points in the last month.
(Source: How Stuff Works)
Bitcoins, though, have suffered even deeper losses, and aren't a good investment to turn to.
(Source: Bitcoin Forum)
Treasury bonds are a far better investment that bitcoins in recessionary climates.
Cybercurrency is intriguing premise, but has seen a flurry of recent devaluation
I've recently heard a couple of advertisements on satellite radio suggesting, of all things, that customers
dive into bitcoins
as a "stable" investment in the midst of the troubled U.S. economy. In the midst of a seemingly impending recession, some might be tempted to try such a scheme. Let's be perfectly clear -- while bitcoins are a worthy pursuit to dabble in, considering them as a place to put your nest egg is a pretty poor decision.
I. Bitcoins are in a Recession Themselves
After a meteoric rise to prices of up to $30 USD/bitcoin at their peak, the crypto-currency has
to around $8 USD. This alone should be enough to convince any logical investor to stay away. But it's also important to consider the currency's strong current connection to the USD.
Over the last 30 days 82,099.28€ (Euros), $133,353.44 CAD (Canadian dollars), £119,336.29 (British pounds), and 607,234.53 PLN (Polish zloty) in Bitcoin have been traded on international exchanges. At current rates, that's approximately $659K USD in volume. By contrast, the top four USD-based exchanges managed $14.521M USD in trades, or roughly 22 times as much volume.
With approximately 95 percent of trades being in USD, the fortune of the USD intimately affects the fortune of the bitcoin.
When you combine the aspects that bitcoins are tied to the fate of the U.S. economy and that they've been on a downward plunge even sharper than the U.S. economy, the outlook is not pretty for bitcoins as a serious investment bid. Even amid the stock market's huge losses (with today's $300+ USD decline, the New York Stock Exchange is at its lowest level since December 2010), bitcoins are still not a solid alternative to guaranteed securities like treasury bonds, or a diverse portfolio.
II. Bitcoin Mining is in the Midst of a Correction
Another issue with bitcoin looms on the mining end. Bitcoin is trying to condense the natural creation of a non-commodity currency to just a couple decades, so it relies on initial seeding of wealth (similar to how people laid claim to natural resource stakes, which in turn gave rise to non-commodity wealth).
But the seeding is hitting a roadblock, as it's no longer advantageous to mine. With difficulty soaring, it's now
for most video cards to break even. The
fastest graphics cards
by Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (
) still stand a chance to break even, but they require more than a year of work.
Meanwhile, the difficulty continues to rise at an unforgiving pace.
For those who already have money sunk into bitcoin hardware, they may keep mining for a time, but it may be unsurprising if they start to sell off their stockpiled hardware.
In the long term the market will thus correct itself as, in theory, computation gains will outpace the rate of mining. However, now is simply not a great time to enter the market as a miner.
III. The Big Picture
Returning to the original point, given the current climate bitcoins are not a much safer investment than stocks, as some purport them to be. They're actually much worse, at present.
This picture may change, when and if:
Bitcoin trade in foreign currencies picks up, allowing a truly independent currency.
Bitcoin mining difficulties stabilize.
Bitcoin exchange prices stabilize.
Until these corrections fall into place, the currency is simply not a viable investment.
Fans of bitcoin may react negatively to this analysis, but it's hard to argue the hard facts. Bitcoin is a terrific concept, and one worth supporting. But when it comes to your money, an investment in bitcoins today, is essentially throwing away a chunk of your money, or perhaps breaking even in the case of mining (given hardware depreciation).
So as the U.S. faces a potential "double dip" recession, consider building a diverse portfolio of bonds, commodities, and stock from highly stable companies (
) as a way to guard your assets -- and avoid the bitcoins.
"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
AMD Claims to Have "World's Fastest Notebook GPU"
July 12, 2011, 10:10 AM
Cracking the Bitcoin: Digging Into a $131M USD Virtual Currency
June 12, 2011, 7:35 PM
Digital Black Friday: First Bitcoin "Depression" Hits
June 10, 2011, 7:05 PM
Google plans ultra-fast wireless Internet for Research Triangle Park, N.C.
August 12, 2016, 6:30 AM
Twitter Senior VP: "Diversity is Important, But We Can’t Lower the Bar"
November 9, 2015, 9:59 AM
CNN Resorts to Internet Censorship to Promote Clinton Over Senator Sanders
October 15, 2015, 2:47 PM
Breaking Bad: How to Crash Google's Chrome Browser With Just 8 Characters
September 23, 2015, 11:08 AM
Quick Note: Amazon UK Offers £10 Back on Any Order £50 or Over
August 3, 2015, 12:05 PM
Editorial: Reddit Allows Itself to be Hijacked as a Hate Platform For Racist Bigots
July 21, 2015, 6:32 PM
Most Popular Articles
Car Insurance - The Hidden Discriminatory Practise
October 18, 2016, 5:00 AM
Tesla Announces Level 5 Autonomous Driving
October 19, 2016, 8:30 PM
Apple iOS Contains Secret One-handed Keyboard Code
October 22, 2016, 5:00 AM
Thieves Love iPhones – More than $13,000 Stolen from Apple Store
October 21, 2016, 7:13 AM
Do you hate to do yard work?
October 20, 2016, 5:00 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Key EpiPen Competitor Out in 2017 At ' Very Low' Cost
Oct 27, 2016, 5:30 AM
Researchers use CRISPR to Accelerate Search for HIV Cure
Oct 26, 2016, 5:00 AM
Medical Council of India Makes Generic Medicines Mandatory
Oct 25, 2016, 5:00 AM
MacBoo Pro 2016: Release date Oct. 27
Oct 24, 2016, 7:16 AM
Mac Users, Try this if Your Mac is Infected?
Oct 23, 2016, 7:00 AM
Tips to Prevent Smartphones From Overheating:
Oct 22, 2016, 5:00 AM
Nasa Flies Drones at Nevada Airport
Oct 21, 2016, 8:21 AM
T-Mobile Data Problems
Oct 20, 2016, 10:17 AM
Annoying Apple Watch Problems and How to Fix Them
Oct 20, 2016, 5:00 AM
Your Mail May Soon Be Delivered By Robot
Oct 19, 2016, 9:34 AM
2018 Jeep Wrangler Prototype Sells At Junkyard
Oct 18, 2016, 5:00 AM
Samsung Shines with Gold Edition Tablet
Oct 17, 2016, 9:24 AM
Tesla Hints Mysterious Product Debut for October 17th
Oct 16, 2016, 10:14 AM
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Phones on US flights
Oct 15, 2016, 5:00 AM
Comcast Fined $2.3 Million For Unconfirmed Services Charged To Customers
Oct 14, 2016, 5:00 AM
“American singer / songwriter “Bob Dylan is awarded 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Oct 13, 2016, 10:33 AM
Battery Defect in Medical Device
Oct 12, 2016, 5:00 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information