Is Bitcoin Dead?

If there are Bitcoin transactions, then Bitcoin isn’t dead. Bitcoin has been declared dead often, but so far that has never been the case.[1]

In other words, point in history (currently Dec 2018) and price (currently $3.3k) aside, if you go here and see network transactions, then no… Bitcoin is not dead.

If there is TXs in the Mempool and Blocks being confirmed, then Bitcoin is alive and well.

That said, when people ask “is Bitcoin dead,” they are often asking one or more different questions, including:

  • Is another crypto going to replace Bitcoin?
  • Is Bitcoin dead in terms of price?
  • Is Bitcoin dead in terms of miners?
  • Is Bitcoin dead in terms users?
  • Is Bitcoin dead in terms of transactions?
  • Are declines in prices, miners, users, transactions, etc going to lead to Bitcoin being dead in all respects?

So, the basic answer to all of those questions is generally, “no…. but.”

In other words, the simple answer is “no”… but there is a little more to discuss in each case (and furthermore some of these questions relate).

First off, the chances that all of crypto will completely die off in terms of miners, users, and transactions is extremely slim.

When Bitcoin was a penny, the system functioned, when Bitcoin was $20k the system functioned. And, nothing about it going back to a penny would necessarily kill it (see the mining death spiral myth).

Honestly, it is hard to see a world where everyone in the world abandons Bitcoin as long as crypto is a thing and as long as no other coin takes Bitcoin’s place as top dog.

All it takes for Bitcoin to exist is people running software on their computers anywhere in the world… hard to see literally no one running that software barring catastrophic events.

That said, do you consider Bitcoin dead if it goes to a penny and the number of miners, users, and transactions dwindle back down to 2010 levels? If yes, then Bitcoin and crypto could both die together in theory… but it is, in my opinion, hard to see the genie being shoved back in the bottle that hard.

Instead, a realistic version of “death” is more likely to look something like a return to 2012 – 2015 levels in terms of price, transactions, users, miners, etc.

That is a long way down from here in terms of all the metrics noted, but it isn’t actual “death” (also, where things end up can only be speculated on, no one can see the future).

So then, to the question, “does another coin take Bitcoin’s place?”

I would say, there has been zero evidence that this will be the case despite there being many contenders to the throne.

Even if Bitcoin isn’t the fastest of all networks, it is the most popular and has been adopted as a sort of “the crypto standard.”

Just because fancy-bells-and-whistles-network-token comes along, doesn’t mean it is best suited to take Bitcoin’s place.

Bitcoin is a simple coin, suited for secure transfers, with a limited supply, with no known founder, that has already been accepted as the defacto network and reserve currency of crypto. It ticks a lot of boxes, and it is hard to see that changing.

Updates to software and hardware can help solve speed issues, and thus anything another coin can do better, Bitcoin can do well enough (especially over time and with some tweaks like SegWit and the Lightening Network) to stay at the center of the crypto world… although the idea that a forked coin or another coin could take its place one day isn’t impossible (just unlikely barring catastrophic events).

Lastly, to the question, “is Bitcoin dead in terms of price?”

Actually this is the hardest question to answer with confidence.

I hope my chart above (which illustrate two possible paths for BTC of many, for educational purposes) shows why this is hard to predict.

Bitcoin’s price history has been a series of classic bubbles set against the backdrop of a new technology, and that makes predicting what will happen next rather hard.

Essentially, based on the price history so far, and where we are in a very bearish part of a market cycle, I could draw up a theories to show you why its going back to $10, $200, $1K, $20k, or up to $100k.

Theories are fun and nice, but the reality is that I can’t see the future, I am not the world’s best day trader, and even if I could see the future and was a great day trader… I still wouldn’t offer investment advice on a speculative asset like crypto on a free online site.

I can’t see the future, but that doesn’t mean I can’t help you to see what is going on.

We can both apply some basic TA and logic to a BTC chart and get a rough sense of possible worlds.

Looking at the chart we can see that from 2010 until today Bitcoin has been in an uptrend, and that in that uptrend 90%+ price corrections occurred.

From that we can see that if the pattern holds, then we could at some point see new highs, and thus Bitcoin would not be dead at this point in time.

If the pattern breaks however, or if it is a pattern that includes a long correction period the likes of which we have not yet seen (as illustrated in the chart at the top of the page), then it could be a long slog back to 2014 prices or lower.

The end result may be that we never see higher prices than the ones we see today.

I mean, I hope not… but to the point of this page, I wouldn’t say topping here at $3k and trading between $200 and $3k from now until forever is not “dead.” Nor would I say trading between $20 and $300 is “dead.”

Again, as long as there are transactions, and as long as the price isn’t zero, then Bitcoin isn’t dead.

Low prices might feel dead to some people, but the reality is calling that dead is hyperbolic.

The south sea bubble ended in a true death. That venture never made money and was shut down. The tulip bubble, the video game bubble of 82′, the NASDAQ bubble, etc… now those are simply waves and market cycles. Not every asset in those markets reached its highs again, but the internet, video games, and tulips… they are not dead.

In sum, there is no way to know whether we will see the parabolic happiness curve hold true, or we will see an ABC correction from hades.

However, in both cases (or even on some other case I didn’t muse on) it isn’t the true death for Bitcoin, it is only a phase in a larger Bitcoin market cycle.

Bottomline: Bitcoin almost certainly isn’t dead and it almost certainly isn’t dying… but that doesn’t mean you are crazy for being afraid. We are on the popped side of a harsh bubble and the media, trolls, and sellers are all being equally as cruel. The crypto community has had some healthy fear in them every step of the way, through the highs (fearing they won’t last), and through the lows (fearing that a 90% drop after all this FUD means zero must be on the table). Fear is rational and healthy, but the reality is Bitcoin very likely isn’t dead (just like the hundreds of other times it was declared dead and wasn’t).

Article Citations
  1. Is Bitcoin Dead?

Author: Thomas DeMichele

Thomas DeMichele has been working in the cryptocurrency information space since 2015 when was created. He has contributed to MakerDAO, Alpha Bot (the number one crypto bot on Discord),...