This week on Planet Bitcoin - 18 December 2015

Friday 18 December 2015

TL;DR: Upward-sloping lines are broadly the order of the day.

The rally continues. These things never happen as a single movement from A to B, and there have been a couple of significant falls along the way. But overall, things right now are looking good.

At the end of last week bitcoin had risen back to around $420. There was then a sharp movement upwards, followed by an even sharper fall back to where it started. The fall took place in a single hour and brought the price back down to almost $400 from a top of over $460 - something that looks suspiciously like market manipulation. After that, it was back to the steady march upwards, with just one more significant (albeit much smaller) fall a couple of days ago.


Zooming back out to the monthly chart, the situation is far clearer. When the dust settled after the mini-bubble to $500 burst, a new level around $320 was established. Since November 25th, it’s been a pretty straightforward climb up to $460 - a 44% rise. Despite the occasional ups and downs, the market has more or less followed that line up. If this continues (and as ever, it’s an ‘if’, not a when), then Christmas should see us back to a point well above $500, and the highest bitcoin price we’ve seen since September 2014.

Around the bitworld

The news about Satoshi being discovered in Australia has all but disappeared from the headlines; it quickly became clear that Craig Wright was not and could not be bitcoin’s creator.

The big story from the traditional financial world was the Federal Reserve raising interest rates by 0.25% on Wednesday. Whilst the US economy now appears strong enough to support this, the effects across the rest of the world and particularly in emerging economies is unclear. The Chinese, meanwhile, have suggested they will de facto be devaluing their currency further, by tying it to a basket of 13 trade-weighted currencies. With the USD now stronger as a result of the interest rate lift - and more in the pipeline - there’s renewed pressure for Chinese investors to find ways of moving their money out of the country. And yes, bitcoin is one of the means they are using.

The Bitcoin Foundation, meanwhile, continues to implode. One of its members was pushed out this week. Olivier Janssens explained on Reddit

  • There was a discussion on our future, because the Foundation only has a couple of Bitcoins left. They've been running on a skeleton crew for the last half year, but even that money has ran out.
  • Someone (not me) started a vote on shutting down the Foundation. During the vote, I said that I'm not comfortable continuing the Foundation without a plan and direction. Jim and me have been asking for a plan and direction for many months. The voting result was 2 for (Jim and myself), 3 against. We were one vote short to shut it down.
  • Jim resigned after this vote
  • We then had a discussion about the future of the Foundation. They wanted everyone to start raising money, so they could come up with a plan. I said I'm not comfortable to raise money UNTIL we have a plan.
  • They then proceeded to vote me off the board, because they did not like that (I guess it's bad intent on my behalf to ask to come up with a business plan before you decide to raise money).

The reality, of course, is that the Bitcoin Foundation has not had a great deal to do with bitcoin use, users or adoption for a long time.

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