Bitcoin – 2017 a Year in Retrospective
2017 has been the year were we have seen the price of Bitcoin going up more than 900%. 2017 has definitely been a great year for blockchain technology and most notably for Bitcoin. While many governments started to take action against Bitcoin, others have welcomed it as a new payment method. The number of businesses accepting Bitcoin also continues on the rise and everyday more and more wallets are being created.
In January 2017, NHK reported the number of online stores accepting Bitcoin in Japan had increased 4.6 times over the past year. BitPay CEO Stephen Pair declared the company’s transaction rate grew 3× from January 2016 to February 2017, and explained usage of Bitcoin is growing in B2B supply chain payments. In January, Bitcoin price went around $750 — $920. The price suffered a decrease and fell 30% in a week, reaching a multi-month low of $750.
Bitcoin today – the Bitcoin price jumped past $970 today, a leap of around $50. Have you predicted the price for this Friday yet… you could be the winner of 0,5 Bitcoin! The National Bank of Abu Dhabi has introduced real-time cross-border payments on a blockchain by integrating technology from industry firm Ripple; Bitcoin adoption in Japan; Federal Reserve Employee Mines Bitcoin Using the Fed’s Server; People in economies suffering from market volatility are turning to Bitcoin applications to help them maintain their standard of living; What is an ICO; Bitcoin Rises as Trump’s Actions Increases Uncertainty; Indonesia’s Bank Central Asia (BCA), the country’s largest private bank, has steamrolled its way into the Fintech space with an investment of 200 billion rupiah (approx. $15 million) in financial technology startups and companies; Legislators in New Hampshire have filed a new bill that aims to clarify rules around digital currencies and money transmitters; Poland’s oldest exchange Bitcurex has mysteriously vanishes with users losing access to capital and locking 2,300 Bitcoins out of users’ hands.
In March 2017, the number of GitHub projects related to Bitcoin passed 10,000. For the 6-month period ending March 2017, Mexican exchange Bitso saw trading volume increase 1500%. Price broke above the November 2013 high of $1,242 to be traded above $1,290.
In April, Spotify acquires Blockchain Startup Mediachain; Blockchain innovation means greater financial inclusion in the Middle East and Australian Government Regulator sign a FinTech agreement with Indonesia.
In May 2017, the exchange trading volumes continue to increase. On May 12 a ransom ware attack called Wannacry affected innumerous agencies and infected thousands of computers across the globe. The perpetrators were asking a ransom to be paid in Bitcoin. On 20 May 2017, the price of one Bitcoin passed US$2,000 for the first time. Of course that this episode had a negative effect on Bitcoin as it served for many governments and companies to express their concerns about the difficulty to trace this sort of currencies and its direct correlation with cybercriminals.
Bitcoin reached a high of 5 million won in South Korea on May 25, the equivalent of about $4,500 and far higher than the US price of around $2,700 at the time. The price of Bitcoin in Japanese yen was been about $300 higher, on average, than the price in US dollars at the time.
Bitcoin gains more legitimacy among lawmakers and legacy financial companies; Japan passes a law to accept Bitcoin as a legal payment method, and Russia has announced that it will legalize the use of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. And Norway’s largest online bank, Skandiabanken, integrates Bitcoin accounts.
In June 2017, the Bitcoin symbol was encoded in Unicode version 10.0 at position U+20BF in the Currency Symbols block. Bitcoin price continues to consolidate around $2500. European Banks select IBM blockchain for small business trade Finance. Bitcoin Adoption Grows in World’s Leading Electronics District IBM, AEON to Build a Digital Currency-Friendly Blockchain Payments Rail for Asia. The Bank of China, announces it will trial the Blockchain technology in a new research effort. Poland’s largest food delivery with over 5000 Restaurants starts accepting Bitcoin.
In July, reports suggest the IRS spoke to Coinbase and plans on limiting its request. Steven Elis, Coinbase’s lawyer, stated that the company is going to file its own brief opposing the IRS’s request, presumably to further reduce its scope. The 32-year-old Mt Gox CEO Mark Karpeles recently went to trial in Japan at Tokyo’s District Court, and claimed that he was not guilty of embezzlement and data manipulation of customers’ Bitcoins.
Alexander Cazes is arrested in Thailand per the FBI’s request. Authorities seized three houses and three high-end vehicles, including a Lamborghini Aventador. Alexander was then found dead in his cell in Bangkok by a duty officer, after reportedly using a towel to hang himself.
July 18, an amended version of the South Korean Foreign Exchange Transactions Act will allow FinTech companies to legally provide international money transfer services for small funds as soon as they acquire a registration with the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS). FinTech companies will be able to transfer money using various methods, with Bitcoin being one of them, although the transferable amount for a one-off transfer is limited to $3,000 or less, with an annual limit of $20,000.
On 1 August 2017 Bitcoin split into two derivative digital currencies, the classic Bitcoin (BTC) and the Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The split has been called the Bitcoin Cash hard fork. After years of debating about how Bitcoin should scale the controversy turned into action. Segregated Witness (Segwit) is activated and a new timeframe is set for the activation of Segwit2x. The Bitcoin code split in two different directions. One direction supporting the optimization of Bitcoin blocks through the Segregated Witness (Segwit) proposal while the other direction supports bigger blocks of up to 8mb. From this last option Bitcoin Cash is born. On 12 August 2017, the price of one BTC passed $4,000 for the first time.
On 1 September 2017, Bitcoin broke US$5,000 for the first time, topping out at US$5,013.91. On 12 September price dips harshly following China’s Bitcoin ICO and exchange crackdown. JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dixon calls Bitcoin a Fraud and a Bubble making asset. Right after his comment the digital currency price plunges more than 20% in a few hours. Speaking to attendees at a banking conference in New York this week, Jamie Dixon stated that Bitcoin wasn’t going to work. Soon after his allegations, JP Morgan starts to buy in Bitcoin. China announces a ban on ICOs based in the country, calling the ICO scheme a “disruption” to financial order.
On 5th October fell to 4,150$, but only for an hour to hit the price 4,400$ for the next day. China banned an ICOs and Russia turned cold on cryptocurrencies. That hadn’t stop the price of BTC to hit another record of 5,735$ on 13th of October.
Segwit2x is set to be activated but the implementation is tapped out but the second split is activated on the 25 of October and Bitcoin Gold (BTG) is born. Bitcoin Gold Network only goes live in November. Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange BitFlyer has unveiled a Visa prepaid card that can be charged with Bitcoin in yen and used throughout Japan.
Bitcoin Gold Network goes live. In November 2017 the Bitcoin price goes pass the $10k mark. Price broke above the November 2013 high of $1,242 and then traded above $1,290. $5,519-6,295 decrease related to surge of price of Bitcoin Cash, topping at US$2477.65/BCH or approx 2.2-2.5x of value of Bitcoin Cash to one Bitcoin. The developments knocks out Ethereum as second most popular cryptocurrency into third over the total market cap of said cryptocurrency as per USD value at least temporary before Ethereum steals the spot back at second place.
In the last month of 2017 Bitcoin goes to the moon and it reaches a new all time high of $13500; there is a 5,600 price increase. NiceHash gets hacked and 4700 Bitcoins priced at about $70M get stolen. As the price slingshots back up in December, the world moves on past the incident following China’s crackdown. CME launches Bitcoin Futures on December 10.
Over and all, 2017 has been one of the most active years for cryptocurrencies in general and particularly for Bitcoin. While the Bubble dilemma is still on the table, the currency seems to have more and more followers by the day. 2017 as seen the biggest increase in the Bitcoin price since its inception, however many voices are now saying that 2018 might be the year where the bubble bursts. Let’s hope that this so called bubble doesn’t burst and that, next year can bring adoption to a whole new level.