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The 2020 Bitcoin Surge – What made it happen?

We were witness to a piece of Bitcoin history being made on December 1st, as BTC soared to a new all-time high of $19,832.27. It felt like fate to have such a momentous occasion occur just as we had everyone at ZebPay on one video call as we held our monthly town hall.

Watching the price of Bitcoin surge these past few weeks has been great. Making headlines with good news is a great way to drive mainstream adoption. 

How is 2020 different from the surge in 2017?

The price of a good rises when the demand for that good rises. Basic economics, right? The more people want something, the more money they’re willing to pay for it.

Bitcoin’s price is rising because its demand is increasing at a time when there’s relatively few coins available for purchase. The total supply of BTC grows every day, but the actual amount available for sale is less now than in 2017.

More people believe in Bitcoin, and want to hold it for the future.

There’s also a difference in who’s buying Bitcoin in 2020.

  • September 14, 2020: MicroStrategy acquired a total of 38,250 bitcoins valued at $425 million.
  • October 8, 2020: Square purchased 4,709 bitcoins: a $50 million investment, or 1% of their total assets.
  • October 14, 2020: Fidelity issued a report on how the Bitcoin market could eclipse $1 trillion.
  • October 21, 2020: PayPal allowed customers to buy, sell, and hold bitcoin using their online wallets.
  • December 9, 2020: MicroStrategy announced its intent to raise $537.2 million to buy even more bitcoin

Corporate bodies now hold roughly 4.5% of today’s Bitcoin supply, which is around 18.5 million BTC. As the price of BTC continues to grow, there is every indication that this number will increase.

This may not sound like much, but keep in mind that BTC’s total supply is fixed at 21 million.

The Impact of Corporate Investment in Bitcoin

The Bitcoin community grew to 100 million users over the last twelve years. 

PayPal has 300 million active users today. 

Now, we could argue that these are overlapping sets of people. The point still stands – 300 million people now have instant access to crypto. Yay!

However, as /r/CryptoCurrency is fond of reminding us – not your keys, not your crypto. 

PayPal users can trade in crypto, but they cannot withdraw it – the total supply remains locked within the PayPal ecosystem. With no plans to allow crypto withdrawals in the future, all the leverage stays with the company. Less than a month ago, a user had his account suspended for exceeding their $10,000 trading limit, a claim which the user denies.

PayPal and Square alone are already buying more than 100% of all newly-issued bitcoins. As larger institutions enter the market, the competition for an already limited supply will become even tougher. The only point at which supply and demand meet will be at a higher price.

If you’re holding Bitcoin today, this is wonderful news! But spare a thought for the individual investor to come. If mining fresh BTC is not feasible – where will they buy it from?

Where do you think?


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