2015 In Bitcoin

January 1st:

mod6: ;;ticker
gribble: Bitstamp BTCUSD ticker | Best bid: 313.9, Best ask: 314.0, Bid-ask spread: 0.10000, Last trade: 314.0, 24 hour volume: 6727.60237700, 24 hour low: 311.0, 24 hour high: 321.0, 24 hour vwap: 312.435104103

December 31st:

BingoBoingo: ;;ticker –market all
gribble: Bitstamp BTCUSD last: 422.28, vol: 6532.86020264 | BTC-E BTCUSD last: 422.245, vol: 7059.99027 | Bitfinex BTCUSD last: 421.08, vol: 23373.03992812 | CampBX BTCUSD last: 440.0, vol: 0.09 | BTCChina BTCUSD last: 425.25098, vol: 43890.20740000 | Kraken BTCUSD last: 419.36001, vol: 71.99322948 | Bitcoin-Central BTCUSD last: 432.669599989, vol: 33.15629168 | Volume-weighted last average: (1 more message)
BingoBoingo: ;;more
gribble: 423.54280074

This past year in Bitcoin has been characterized in large part by the changing relationship between fiat and Bitcoin. Prices reported on fiat/Bitcoin interfaces began the year in a depressed volatile downtrend and are ending the year in a state of generally upwards volatility. Underlying this transition has been a greater detachment between Bitcoin and the fiat system as Bitcoin growth continues. The year began with fiat attempts to assert control including the continued persecution of Ross Ulbrich and talk of hard forking reliable nodes off the Bitcoin network in the name of socialism. It ended with fiat having to build up replacement agents and reality repudiating social engineering efforts directed to hard forking Bitcoin in an absence of actual, hard, consensus.

No single story dominated 2015 in the way 2014 was dominated by the shadow of Mt Gox's collapse. Instead a trend dominated. Fiat interests pushed against Bitcoin, and Bitcoin abided. Fiat interests would then push differently, and Bitcoin continued abiding. Fiat interests even tried pushing by ignoring Bitcoin and selling blockchains without Bitcoin,1 which once repeated enough seemed to correspond with upward trends on fiat/Bitcoin interface reported prices.

One overwhelming truth behind much of the fiat regime ineffectiveness in asserting control over Bitcoin is that it is simply too late. Substantial disruption flows from Bitcoin into fiat to the substantial detriment of the fiat side.2 You don't need to look much further than ransomware to begin seeing a serious impact. Ransomware is just a tiny thing that exists on the periphery, and yet it has caused substantial and tangible damages to various fiat interests on a scope that has yet to be completely understood. Ransomware creators have been so successful that fiat "law enforcement" agents suggest surrender if you get hit with ransomware.

Parties large and small are discovering it is too late to choose their role in Bitcoin. Wall Street in spite of a valiant push this year, is still too late to be the "Wall Street" of Bitcoin. Assorted penny flippers are discovering it is too late and too expensive to be the BitInstant of now. The conditions which allowed BitInstant to survive until Charlie was hung from his bong are eroding because Bitcoin has value and uses now. Even established BitPay joined in on the pain as the available space for this niche gets squeezed out.

On the technological front the combined efforts of the Bitcoin Foundation and NoSuchlAbs has lead to a substantial clean up and improvement of the reference Bitcoin client and its build infrastructure. Further the Most Serene Republic celebrated its first birthday.

Expect many of these trends to continue into the new year as cracks in the fiat order continue to show. It isn't like the fiat order's mechanisms for coping with the Internet are getting stronger any time soon.

  1. This trend started in earnest last year, but intensified tremendously over the course of 2015.  

  2. The fiat side of the river is the bottom.  

4 thoughts on “2015 In Bitcoin

  1. Ransomware creators have been so successful that fiat "law enforcement" agents suggest surrender if you get hit with ransomware.

    Perhaps such success is due less to the ingenuity of script kiddies, and more to the practicality of fiat extortion enforcement's budding business model.

  2. If we're going to talk about BTC in fiat terms, it's worth recalling that Bitcoin's market cap started 2015 ~$4.3 mn and will end the year ~$6.5 mn, and increase of 41%. The ticker price doesn't tell the whole story, not when the inflation rate is >10% per annum.

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