Bitcoin Bounces Back Despite Chinese Gloom
Bitcoin is back up some 30% after a tumultuous week that saw it fall to the $500 range with fears that Bitcoin may even fall below $500. Sitting at a fair $658 on some exchanges this pre-Christmas weekend, it is obvious that the digital currency is far more resilient than critics have given it credit. Volatile yes, but also resilient. It has also shown that Bitcoin’s recent value is not all due to Chinese users and speculators.
Undoubtedly this will be a week to stick in the minds of Bitcoiners. The digital currency has plummeted to half its value within days of the announcement by Chinese authorities that third party payment providers cannot do business with Bitcoin exchanges. It was not entirely unexpected given China’s recent attitude towards Bitcoin and financial services providers.
Festive Season Slowdown
What many people forget to mention is that the festive cheer is in full swing in the West. Trading has died down a bit, as with any non-yuletide commodity. There is more thought about family, friends, gifts and feasts than digital currency. No doubt though that there will be much more dinner chatter about Bitcoin this festive season than any other. Possibly leading to some aggressive buying in the new year.
While Bitcoin has barely managed to cross the $600 mark on some exchanges, it has momentarily seen $700 on others. It shows the skeptics out there that Bitcoin has mettle. What would have been even more interesting to see is just how high it would have climbed after the Chinese shocker on 16 December 2013, had it not been the festive season.
Some of the optimism despite recent adverse events and the Christmas shutdown in the West is Overstock.com. Not only has it confirmed that it will accept Bitcoin payments after mid 2014, but Overstock’s CEO Patrick Byrne took the time to give more details to CoinDesk at the end of the last full pre-Christmas working week.
Byrne has affirmed the company’s commitment to open up Bitcoin payment options for its customers and will even announce a payment processor in the next 2 weeks. Just how much Overstock has contributed to Bitcoin’s recovery in the past 48 hours cannot be stated with any certainty. But it has undoubtedly played a role.
The significance of the Overstock.com announcement is that companies are taking Bitcoin seriously and willing to wade through the regulatory uncertainty to yield the benefits of accepting digital currency. It may be one of the big players who will create the footpath for other large corporations to follow suit.
A Promising 2014
If the events of the past 48 hours are anything to go by, Bitcoin may be set to boom once the festivities die down in the West. It will be exciting to see the recovery in the first week of January 2014 and possibly a new precedent by mid January. Bitcoin has shown that its Chinese user base is not the sole group to define its prices. The digital currency is truly global and immune to the issues of just one nation.
For many Bitcoiners, 2014 is set to be the definitive year for authorities to decide where they stand on the Bitcoin issue. Some nations have rallied to the call for broader acceptance of digital currencies, others have been seen as fence sitters at best. No nation is taking any definitive stance against digital currencies at large. The stage is set to see how Bitcoin will be tackled and the price is undoubtedly going to reflect the ups and downs that 2014 debate is bound to bring.