Ethereum Blockchain price finally hit bottom. Now what?
Well, it finally happened. The crypto side of the “Bubble of Everything” looks to have hit a low and in my opinion, it’s going to be a big 2019. Could it again be one of the best investments of 2019? I’ll make some arguments that it might. But we’ll get back to that.
Ethereum price follows the well-established pattern dating back to 2010.
First of all, let’s talk about why it rose so high in 2017. From almost $10 to over $1400 which is a 140x return or 14,000%. Was this the Tulip bulb times 100 that people claimed? Was this the South Sea Bubble on Steroids? If you thought so, you weren’t alone. Those same claims have been made about crypto many times before but to different audiences each time.
In 2011 bitcoin rose from 30 cents January 1, 2011, to $4.72 on December 31 that year. In any other market making 15x or 1,500% return would be incredible. However, the rollercoaster of that year included a high of over $30 before sinking to $2.25 which measured top to bottom as a 93% drop. To many – that drop was their focus. It was the feeling of superiority.
The TULIP talk began:
2012 was a relatively quiet year where it merely tripled in price. 300% return? Yawn.
In 2013 We saw another TULIP year. The price rose from around $13 in January to end the year at $757 which represented a rise of 58x (5,800% return). But it had a year high of $1,120. So from peak to end of the year was a 33% drop. Guess which number the ‘experts’ chose to focus.
2013 had more than its fair share of ‘experts’ claiming bitcoin to be the biggest “Tulip Mania’ of all time, Even the former President Dutch Central Bank – who should be an expert on the matter of tulips chimed in:
In 2016. Ethereum burst onto the scene at about 80 cents on Jan1 of that year and ending 8x higher for an 800% return. Again, pretty good compared to just about any other asset of the year – but was under a cloud because it had dropped from $20 earlier in the year. Some people tended to look at the negative that it had lost 60% from its high. Surprising right?
History doesn’t repeat itself but it Rhymes – Mark Twain once quipped. The ‘experts’ of 2017 probably thought they were being original when they again called bitcoin the biggest Tulip bulb of all time: Its price from Jan 1, 2017, to Dec 31 of the same year rose – from $997 to $13,400 which was a 13.4 x gain or 1,300% ROI. Yet, it had reached over $19,000 briefly so it was a 30% drop from its peak.
Now people recognized the crypto revolution was more than bitcoin – so they decided to include the entire asset class of the blockchain.
In 2018, they got their ‘feel-good’ moment and pat themselves on the back for calling it right as the market retreated 85-90% from the highs. Just as the previous ‘experts’ did in 2011,2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 before being embarrassed again.
It seems that everybody who declares bitcoin crypto dead thinks they are the first to do so. Yet it’s been done almost 350 times and counting:
The crypto asset class has been the best performer in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 – or six of the last eight years. By a HUGE margin. Who ARE these experts to get it so wrong? Did the South Sea Bubble and the Tulip Bubble bounce back after their historic movement like crypto continues to do?
Mistaking Scientific Revolutions for Tulips.
The problem of scientific revolutions of a paradigm change is that the ‘experts’ of the old guard and power structures refuse to believe in the new thing that could take away their authority or respect they’ve become accustomed to. They still strain to be respected and relevant. Today, we see this again with people with old-school clout including Nouriel (Dr Doom) Roubini
Each revolution produces losers in the form of the previous power structures – especially when it represents freedom of communication of the people over monopoly-like power structures (See the Printing Press, Radio, Internet). How much respect will Dr. Doom command in a decade from now?
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair
So the pattern in cryptos seems to be – you never have two amazing performances for two years in a row. The bigger the rise, the harder they fall, before rising again – with more fury. The details, reasons, and whys differ each time. That’s how it works with revolutions. Sentiment eventually changes, capitulation happens, new people take a new look and discoveries are made that weren’t possible before as layers of technology build on previous layers. We couldn’t have Netflicks without fast routers, switches, packet routing, TCPIP, and DARPA to start it all. You could credit nuclear bombs and the cold war for the enjoyment of binge watching.
The old paradigm of “experts” including TV execs, cable TV operators and movie rental agencies are still grappling with the new paradigm of Hulu, Youtube, and Netflix and things never on their radar a decade ago like competing with Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp for audience attention. The old power structures are tumbling just as predicted in the book Thomas Kuhn wrote about 60 years ago.
So what’s this about Ethereum?
Ethereum is quite complex so let me make analagies.
It’s kind of like Radio waves were discovered and the power to send communications through them was afterward discovered. How much longer did it take for radio stations, then TV stations to find new ways to use the new invention? Then how much longer for Wifi- Bluetooth, and smartphones, it still continues after the new way of communication was realized.
Now the world is getting ready for the 2nd layer of inventions that have been in the creation phase for two years to start hitting the world. Hundreds of businesses, banks, governments, and Universities have been waiting for a development in Ethereum that will allow them to run on a second layer on top that can handle billions of transactions per second. These will run on new inventions created after Ethereum for new networks with the name of ‘Plasma, Loom, Radian” and many more.
The price bottomed recently at around $82 before almost doubling in the last 10 days. The rise has been attributed the changes in the network protocol that includes updates to allow for these to the new layers to exist and tie their existence and capability to the ethereum base foundational layer. The products, companies, processes, and assets cannot live on other blockchains and still be part of the ethereum enterprise alliance and its dominance in the new crypto digital asset world. A flood of new kinds of digital assets is lined up to follow this year and next and none of them were even conceivable three years ago.
I wonder what comes three years from now that I can’t imagine today. Many of them are now on the whiteboards of the companies in the next link. The power structures of the old guard currently calling the shots in the banking and finance world will also tumble, but so many more in almost every industry I can think of. This is just the beginning of the change. It shifts into gear in about a week. Hold on tight because you aint seen nothing yet.
Regarding your thesis on Etherium’s potential in 2019, I don’t disagree with the demonstrated underlying pattern of boom- crash-sideways- repeat. The operative question is at what point does this fractal fracture?
Is the history of blockchain/manias a primarily a derivative function of the post 2009 liquidity flows of central bank printing era? Given the macro environment of what appears to be the phase change in the status quo, ie the bursting of the everything bubble the operative question seems to be will Crypto benefit from a flight to safety? How will it perfom under harsh disinflationary phase? or rapid inflationary conditions or currency crisis? Initial indicators for disinflationary phase seem to favor gold and treasuries as a safe haven asset and this is before the ultimate deneouement of the pending tether fraud debacle and before we have the truly massive dislocation that is likely in store.
I don’t disagree with the revolutionary potential of blockchain technology, I too am tempted to bet the technology/paradigm shift, I just wonder about the performance potential in this emerging new economic reality and if history will repeat here. My sense is that we might get one more blow off crypto cycle IF the Fed is able to truly revive animal spirits, by truly reversing course, not just jawboning a dead cat bounce in the stock Market. That seems like a pretty big IF.
What are your thoughts regarding Etherium in the in the context of the everything bubble bursting?
Of course, I am biased so I am going to say ‘full speed ahead’ or something similar – but I’ll give my reasoning and see if it makes sense to you.
1. Momentum from financial markets. The trend from TRow Price, Goldman (via Circle Poloniex) and creating the alternative to tether now taking hold, and countless others of the big players are preparing trading, futures contracts, ETFs, and other financial products and services in preparation for a big future for crypto.
The trend is pro-crypto rather than Anti-crypto. They realize the need for noncorrelated assets. Now I realize that during the last few drops in the stock market crypto dropped in parallel, but I suspect that was people meeting margin calls and needing cash quickly. I suspect given a prolonged emergency that a flight to safety would include ‘digital gold’. I would include ETH with BTC.
In case you haven’t been following – Tether, the supposed dollar backed crypto has acted as a ‘stable coin’ and has historically been priced near enough one dollar for traders to get in and out of crypto trades. Tether was founded and supposedly managed by shady characters and replacement stable coins have been created. They are getting very popular and trusted so the market is moving away from tether in a way that if tether exploded, the market would shift more quickly to the replacement of stable coins. Here are a few:
USD Coin – Created by Circle, which is backed by Goldman. There are about $330 million dollars worth. Probably chump change for Goldman. This is also available and Coinbase and other major exchanges
Another is Dai – which is on the etherum platform and backed by a basket of cryptocurrencies including ethereum – it is also pegged value-wise to the USD but it included smart contract interest rates to counteract the speculation volatility of underlying assets. (Automated Central Bank – As Milton Friedman wanted)
Another is TrueUSD. And there are many more are taking over for what Tether provided.
So we go back to the age-old question of OLD GOLD versus NEW GOLD. I don’t think it’s eitheror there is room for both and I recommend holding them both personally rather than taking a third party’s word for it. Crypto just has many more benefits for it as the foundation of the new paradigm of technology in addition to its use as a store of wealth. Some people still cling to the idea that it has no intrinsic value because it can’t be used as anything other than money. But see the list of companies that are using and building smart contracts with it and you’ll quickly see they’ve got hundreds if not thousands of uses that is not money. (Too much of a technical discussion for a blog post).
So it’s a complex problem that is derived from geopolitical forces. When war is in the air and countries don’t trust each other, trust itself become currency. With everybody playing fast and loose with their own books we could see central banks for several smaller nations in peril. Likely 150 out of nearly 200 currencies might find trouble to survive. Will they want to switch to USD as many have before as a life preserver? Do you really think there will be a scramble for gold with the transportation, insurance, safety, reliance on third parties, counterfeit problems?
I’d much more predict nations buying equipment to mine bitcoin or other currencies and join the “trust machine” and perhaps decide on a new world reserve currency from the blockchain invention. Perhaps use bitcoin itself as part of that new paradigm shift. If you ask a lot of ‘what if’ questions the path eventually leads this direction in my mind.
If the everything bubble really does pop, then people will focus a lot more on keeping what they have (i.e. making house & car payments) rather than shooting for the moon on the new-new thing. That’s just how humans work – from observation anyway. Its not about the currency being some grand sturdy edifice, its about the desire to keep roof overhead, food arriving every week, and car in the garage, and that requires a steady stream of currency because that’s what rent (and car, and food) payments are denominated in.
And if you have a family, that enthusiasm for stability gets multiplied by 10. Unless you are a sociopath, you will end up feeling pretty crummy if the baby doesn’t eat because you chose bitcoin as your safe haven, and the price dropped.
Cash in the bank, or under the mattress – if the pop is large enough, that’s what will become the new-new thing. Not gold, not bitcoin, just boring old cash.
Now then, bitcoin might become a safe haven if the central bankers start to print again in response to a pop. So would gold for the same reasons.
But in the initial deflationary phase of the pop, I do not think bitcoin will do very well. If there are bank failures, then physical gold in hand might act like cash. Otherwise, gold probably gets hit too, for the same reasons: you can’t pay your rent in gold, and that price bounces around way too much to make people feel secure during tough times.
I think the creation of a stable coin is a much-needed event. It will mitigate the effects of the failure of Tether, which presumably will at some point blow up. Glad to hear the above-reproach Goldman Sachs is on the case. I’m sure Goldman didn’t do this to get a trading advantage or anything…but it probably beats Tether. Of course Tether is a low bar, but I’m sure Goldman will exceed it. At least initially anyway. Until they get greedy. I’m sure that will take about ten seconds.
Glad to hear ethereum is finally moving forward on its promise. Did they fix that “proof of work” thing yet? And does every node still have to store every transaction?? Or did they fix that too?
I know, I could google it and do my own research. But – who knows – maybe other people here have the same question.
Ethereum’s hard fork happens next week. This will pave the way for “Proof of Stake” – a new network called “Beacon” will be created and new “validators” will be able to stake 32 ethereum in a process that allows them to be the replacement of miners. Groups will be quasi-randomized and selected in picked constantly mixed evolving groups or pools.
They will earn interest on their stake and presumably with large amounts of eth locked up and off the market, the available supply will go down. Also, the change will eliminate 1/3 of new eth being rewarded each block – so new supply will be lowered 33%. This mathematically supports the price rise in ETH to be up 33% as a result. (the reward drops from 3 per block to 2).
Finally, with the Beacon network, sharding will also be coming on board that will break the validating process for transactions so that the sharded process will be handled only by those subgroups of validators assigned to follow the layer2 side chain that handles those types of transaction. These will be on state-channels similar to the lighting network of bitcoin. Those are said to be able to handle billions of transactions per second with only periodic writes to the main chain to keep a cadence and allow atomic swaps between contracts shards to transpire.
So I imagine Ethereum as the blood circulatory system in a body – and subcontracts as body organs that perform their own function and run on their own metabolism. Signals from those organs are sent to the Ethereum Virtual Machine – or Brain and the tokens or ‘blood cells’ are released from the organ into the main body and new cells now oxygenated from the heart will mix other cells (tokens) from other organs. Smart contracts will pass information their unique information in and out of the circulatory system to the others. In our body example we see chemical signals such as hormones, pain signals, adrenalin, Dopamine) The cells (tokens) carry other kinds of data with time/stamps/wallet account numbers, contracts completed) in the same way.
The ethereum heart only beats about 70 times a minute but the brainsub conscious can processes estimated to be about 10 gigs of information per second. The nervous system sends signals much faster and other processes of the body check in with the heart and lungs to get new fuel of oxygen which is repaid in carbon dioxide. In ethereum, this is “gas”. Etheruems’s heart beats about 15 times a second – and currently, all the body parts have to record that. But with the second layers beginning this year- they will be shielded just as your lungs do their own function but don’t need to know the details of your digestive system.
of course, upgrading from the old body to a new body is done very carefully. The patient will require a complete blood transfusion (In the form of the hard work happening next week) the old tokens we have today will be replaced by whole new tokens (Cells) which will be smarter and can be programmed to know which organ they are destined. The reassembled with their shard needs to send them on their way.
Now all of these organs are still being developed and the entire body is prenatal. The blood is still developing but there will be a limited supply. The organs will eventually have to work harder for that supply as they grown. The cost of the blood cells will be increasingly important and as a result, the demand will go up for the limited supply. The blood bank (open markets) have most of the supply waiting for the time it is requested by the organs as they grow.
Meanwhile, Radiologist (HODLERS) are watching the gestation of this new body grow while the Doctors (Developers) assist in the assembly of the heart, lungs, liver, kidney, nervous system and more and test and validate the viruses and bugs don’t kill the various systems before it can be born.
Interesting enough, there has been some early excrement from this body called “EOS”, TEzos, Cardano, Eth Classic to name a few. Some might become fertilizer of some new creature but others will just flush down the toilet.
Meanwhile, the blood banks and blood donors (investors) eagerly await the reports from the radiologist (publications, redditors) that development if this new body is looking promising and might even be a star-athlete with movie-star good looks. Many Investors put great heed into the prophecy of fortune tellers and the “Angel Vitalk” that inspires some to believe that the creation still inside this womb will be “The Choson One”
This is inspiring many watchers to spend the necessary funds to obtain 32 ethereum for $4,800 to become white blood cells to validate that no virus or bacteria can taint the blood and can create scabs to protect blood from leaking. Which allows them to be paid for their service in the form of new fresh blood that allows them to continue to perform their duty.
Quotes from 8th January…
“Ethereum Blockchain price finally hit bottom”
What guarantee do you have that this is the “bottom”, indeed why do you BELIEVE that it is the bottom?
“This is just the beginning of the change. It shifts into gear in about a week. Hold on tight because you aint seen nothing yet.”
2 weeks later the price has dropped 20% since you made that claim?
What do you explain is the reason behind this?
ps For any new folks, we’ve heard similar on here back in April 2018 when Mark advised to watch OMG very carefully, it’s since dropped in price by over 90%, Mark offering an evidence based credible explanation for that dramatic drop may gain some kudos…
I wonder if we will get any reasonable explaination for the reversal?
Is it going back to a double digit sh1tcoin?
Bits don’t seem to be doing well, but PMs seem to have printed a solid cup bottom, and look like they’re accelerating in standard Elliott-stepped fashion. Doesn’t mean they are, but the graph LOOKS like that.
Maybe bit investors are heavy on bubbles, and have stepped over for the time being.
Dow certainly doesn’t look like it’s crashing short term, though the medium term still looks horrid; so that doesn’t explain the rise in PMs.
ALSO… New Life, let’s not be too hard on Mark. When he said watch OMG carefully, he probably meant just that; and all of his viewpoint is based on his position of someone who throws seed into fifty “most-likely” plots, and sees what sprouts and yields 1000-fold. That was stated from the beginning, so it’s not like any of his advice was a sure thing.
It WAS a sure thing that you should watch OMG carefully. If you have done so, you won’t have yet spotted a best-time-to-enter. Keeping doing so. Mark, what do you think about what is going on with that one, right now, anyhow? Is that one dead of fungal rot? Or is it still putting along and worth watching, do you think?
You seem to suggest I’m being harsh, fair enough. I don’t intend to try and change your opinion
I am merely requesting reasonable solid evidence, especially important when I see someone making (time bound) claims that often appear to be grandiose unsubstantiated beliefs.
And yes, Gold has shined since Oct, will it remain in vogue? It’ll need to beat a standard RSI bearish divergence on the 2 day to keep above $1300. If it does consolidate a base here, that’ll be impressive and I’m sure welcome news for many PP readers.
Perhaps I’ve become used to Mark sometimes speaking in an Ex Cathedra sort of style – although that was more in the tone being sure that the “bottom is in” vs the rest of the post, which was informative.
If we just helpfully add some weasel words around his prognostications, I think all would be well. Let’s see if I can translate into what he really wanted to say:
“There’s a potential catalyst for ETH starting this month – proof of stake will encourage people to buy and hold, because they’ll get cash flows from posting it…link that to some changes being made that (rumor has it) will enable some real utility to be provided to real businesses, and there is the potential for some pretty exciting moves.”
“Of course, it could all blow up, markets are a funny thing, the overhead selling pressure from all those ICOs needing to regularly liquidate their holdings in order to pay staff – the move from 80 to 160 may well bring out some sellers who really have to turn ETH into cash to pay rent and who will see this recent rally as “found money” that bails them out of bankruptcy…but I think ultimately the low is probably in here at 80 because of the bid underlying the market from those true believers who want to play the proof-of-stake game.”
Forgive me if I got the details wrong – sadly I don’t track the details – that’s probably an indicator in and of itself that we’re near a low. My crypto data retriever broke and I didn’t bother to fix it. If my lack of caring isn’t a sign of the bottom, I don’t know what is. “Nobody cares.” Crypto was so 2017. I don’t care enough to even pat myself on the back for not buying at 75, riding it up to 1400 HODLing all the way, and then riding it right back down again. My feeling about the whole thing reminds me of how I felt at bitcoin’s low at 200-300 back in…2014? So I’m on his side, overall, based on my past experience and the read on my own “peak crypto apathy” sentiment.