So, the bitcoin price’s upward trend this week may very well be the biggest story in cryptocurrency.
On Tuesday, April 2, 2019, alone, the bitcoin price shot up 15 percent and rose above $5,000 for the first time since late last year. The price is now up roughly 25 percent in 2019 and up 60 percent since last December.
This prompted a slew of headlines from the likes of CNBC and Fortune. Beyond simply reporting the upward trend, outlets are looking to dissect the specific reasons that bitcoin has reached the price that it has.
CNN, for instance, suggested that the surge could be due to pessimism about the traditional U.S. economy.
“David Spika, president of GuideStone Capital Management, said in an interview with CNN Business Tuesday that the rally in bitcoin is likely another example of ‘a rebound in risk,’” according to the news outlet. “Stocks surged in the first quarter — despite worries about the fact that earnings are expected to decline in the first quarter and that bond yields are falling on concerns about a slowdown in global economic growth.”
Meanwhile, Reuters traced the price surge to a more specific moment.
“Today’s gain was probably triggered by an order worth about $100 million spread across U.S.-based exchanges Coinbase and Kraken and Luxemberg’s Bitstamp, said Oliver von Landsberg-Sadie, chief executive of cryptocurrency firm BCB Group,” per the outlet. “Still, analysts could not point to any specific developments that could explain the mystery buyer’s big order.”
Cryptocurrency-specific news outlets tend to focus more on analyzing the price charts themselves, rather than speculating about what external factors are influencing them. This may be the result of a perspective that has seen prices fluctuate for years. Or it could be an appeal to readers who believe in bitcoin regardless of the price and simply want to track its behavior relative to the dollar.
So, answering the question posed in this headline depends on who you ask. To some, the price fluctuation is a big deal, because they see bitcoin as a financial asset that is really only worth what it can be cashed out for. Others may trace the significance of a price surge to one particular investor’s actions, decisions by legacy financial bodies to create bitcoin-related products or, as Barron’s noted, the expiration of a bitcoin futures product.
The bitcoiner tribe, those who fundamentally believe in the technology and claim that price is ancillary, might say that the latest price surge is vindicating to some degree but, ultimately, just a blip in what will be a decades-long journey to mass adoption.