The Comeback of the Bitcoin?

Laura Bauckmann
November 12, 2020

Bitcoin has often been written off. Recently, however, the oldest and largest crypto currency in the world has regained its old strength: After weeks of soaring, it is at its three-year high. But will the bubble that is building up burst again?

Yesterday, only Wednesday, the Bitcoin exchange rate rose again by more than four percent or 625 dollars at its peak. On Thursday, this upward trend will continue: on a 24-hour view, the digital reserve currency is quoted around 3.5 per cent higher and in the morning reached 15,921 dollars, another high since early 2018.

This means that the round mark of 16,000 dollars is now within reach again. From a technical point of view, this is regarded as the last major hurdle on the way to the previous all-time high of mid-December 2017 above 20,000 dollars.

One reason for the strong gains in Bitcoin is likely to be PayPal's announcement on October 21 that it will enable customers in the US to buy, sell and hold Bitcoin and other crypto currencies via the PayPal platform. Initially, this would be possible with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin. From the beginning of next year, it should also be possible to pay merchants with crypto-currencies via PayPal. The payment service provider plans to expand its offer to other countries next year.

Another reason could be the current elections in the USA. Due to the recent uncertain outcome of the elections, some investors turned to crypto currencies in search of alternative investment opportunities. They wanted to protect themselves from stock market turbulences.

However, the driving force behind this development was probably not so much the US presidential election as the hope for a strong increase in demand, writes Sören Hettler, an expert at DZ-Bank, in a current analysis.

Several Bitcoin investment funds, such as the one of asset manager Graysca, have recorded substantial inflows in recent months and in some cases record values at the end of October. In addition, Fidelity, a global heavyweight, also launched a fund in the summer.

While the Bitcoin share price has long since returned to new highs, interest in the crypto-currency is still comparatively low - at least when measured by Google's worldwide search queries for the term "Bitcoin". According to data from Google Trends, the interest is currently only about half as high as two years ago, when the Bitcoin rally at the time really took off.

Moreover, scepticism about the fluctuating value of the currency is apparently still high. According to a survey by the management and technology consultancy BearingPoint with more than 2,000 respondents, only four percent of German crypto-currencies are used. And this despite the fact that according to the survey, every fourth person knows how the means of payment works.

For comparison: In 2017, eleven percent at times said they were users. Moreover, according to BearingPoint, one in three respondents trusted digital currencies at that time - now only one in six. So is the current rise in share prices once again only a short-lived hype?

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