For the purposes of keeping this guide as easy to follow as possible, here we’ll focus on the key factors which affect the price and value of Bitcoin. Bear in mind that the same factors influence all Crypto Currencies so it’s an important list of indicators to keep in mind.
Bitcoin is the first most popular digital crypto-currency whose price is influenced by a wide range of factors. Ideally, the bitcoin price is normally expressed as the exchange rate of the bitcoin in relation to other currencies. With an upsurge in the adoption and usage of this digital currency, the demand for bitcoins has significantly increased in the recent past. Note that because of the decentralized nature of this currency, the bitcoin price is not normally controlled by any company, organization or government. This means that before you try to predict the rise or fall in the price of bitcoins, it is important to understand what causes the same. Below are some of the main factors that can influence the bitcoin price:
Each time a government releases official statements about the regulation of digital currencies, the price of bitcoin is normally affected. Even if the actions of that government are not related to the virtual currencies directly, the impact will still be felt. A good example of this can be derived from the Cyprus banking crisis, where the government seized funds. This prompted discussions on whether Cyprus should adopt Bitcoins as their new currency.
Anytime there are restrictions on the use of bitcoins, their price changes drastically. However, because of the anonymous nature of the bitcoin transactions, most governments are proposing certain rules to eliminate this anonymity. For instance, there have been proposals to create a third party supervision mechanism for bitcoin exchanges. This is bound to significantly affect the bitcoin price.
The media can also influence the bitcoin price significantly. Media hype can easily lead to an increase in the price, while negative news can lead to a decline in the price. For instance, news about bankruptcy or hacks on bitcoin-related websites and services can cause panic and disruption among bitcoin users, leading to price dips. Negative news about government involvement and regulations as well as news on the use of bitcoins in illegal dealings such as drug transactions and money laundering tends to have the same impact on the bitcoin price.
Stability of the Bitcoin Network
Stability of the bitcoin network is a major factor that most bitcoin enthusiasts are concerned about. Most people want a secure network where they will not lose their money. Unlike the conventional currencies like euros and dollars, bitcoins are largely perceived as economic bubbles as they are only valuable when exchanged with other currencies, but do not have any inherent value on their own. If most people and business organizations stopped accepting bitcoins, the “bubble” would burst, leading to a fall in the bitcoin price.
The Bitcoin Demand and Supply
The price of bitcoins is largely depended on the demand and supply. This means that high demand and low supply often leads to an increase in the price. Note that bitcoins have a controlled supply whereby the total number of bitcoins in circulation must never be more than 21 million. Due to the limited supply, there are speculations that the bitcoin price will continue to rise with time.
Wider Mainstream Acceptance
This is another major factor that influences the price of this crypto-currency significantly. Even if it has faced a number of challenges and detractors, many well-known companies and businesses have started accepting bitcoins as a means of transaction. For instance, sites such as Reddit and WordPress are currently accepting bitcoins as a means of payment. A number of Brick and Mortar enterprises in the US have also started accepting bitcoins as payment for their services. An increase in the number of venders accepting this type of currency will definitely lead to an increase in the price of bitcoins.
Large Businesses Dumping to Fiat Currency
Given that bitcoins are not widely accepted as a means of transactions or payment, not many people and institutions can accept them. Because most things still have to be paid for in fiat currencies, many businesses often sell large portions of bitcoins so as to pay for their business expenses. This is normally referred to as “dumping” and it can keep the value and price of bitcoins in a depressed state. Based on the amount of bitcoins and the number of companies selling them at any given time, this can cause a “panic sell,” which may send the bitcoin price crashing.
Technological Changes and Innovations
Technological advancement and innovations also have the ability to influence the bitcoin price. For instance, the integration of bitcoins in PayPal’s payment system has raised awareness and stimulated a lot of interest in digital currencies among most people. Moreover, many startups have also started utilizing crowdfunding platforms which accept crypto-currencies, with Ethereum being the best example. Blockstream is another innovation that could provide added functionalities to bitcoins, which will in turn boost their overall value and price. The platform was started so as to develop new ways of accelerating innovations in these types of currencies and smart contracts.
This is another major factor that can influence the bitcoin price. For instance, traders can sometimes purchase huge chunks of bitcoins from the market so as to make the price to appear like it is rising before dumping them back to the market, hence making unheard-of profits from the same. Extreme cases such as a 51 percent mining attack or the release of bitcoin codes due to hacking can also dramatically affect the bitcoin price as most people will be compelled to sell their bitcoins in fear of making loses.
The factors that influence the price of bitcoins are quite diverse. Some of them are slow but quite steady, such as the gradually rising supply and demand curve. Others are sentimental and violent, like the speculative trade, which influences the trading of bitcoins each day. In spite of the opposing forces, which often exert their influence on the bitcoin market, the long-term average price seems to be on the rise. Note that learning about these factors will not necessarily make the bitcoin price more predictable. However, understanding them can help you to be more comfortable with the price fluctuations and make informed decisions at the right time.