What do Bitcoin, zombies, and a mummy have in common? They’ve all died and come back to life.
You might be thinking to yourself, “Wait what? Is Bitcoin dead?” Well, not exactly. As people of all ages are putting on their most frightening outfits for 2020’s spooky season, there’s only one thing that terrifies Bitcoin enthusiasts more than anything: haters and doubters.
It’s no surprise that Bitcoin (BTC)—a unique kind of currency that provides more secure, cost-efficient, and quicker means of transactions—cultivates many haters and doubters out there. In fact, you could even say that it’s scaring the bejeezus out of them. Why, you ask? Well, it’s probably because the widespread adoption of Bitcoin could create a paradigm shift that wouldn’t be too beneficial for them…but that’s a topic for another time.
For Halloween 2020, let’s just sit around the campfire and listen to a few ghost stories about how our favorite virtual currency, Bitcoin, has come back to life many, many times. So, light the campfire and get your marshmallows ready because here are some of the tales about how Bitcoin lost its life and came back to haunt those that took it. Don’t be surprised if you hear some commentary from the narrator and campers!
The tale of the Underground Economist
Long ago, on the 10th of December 2010, Bitcoin lost its life to a website called the Underground Economist. This was the first time anyone ever dared to utter that Bitcoin is dead.
Bitcoin, which was just under two years old at the time, was murdered in cold blood by this website. As Bitcoin took its last breath, the now-defunct website whispered into its ear:
“In nature, positive feedback loops like [ones that] exist with Bitcoin are lethal; the only thing that’s even kept Bitcoin alive this long is its novelty. Either it will be a novelty forever or it will transition from novelty status to dead faster than you can blink.”
Camper: Uh, that prediction wasn’t right at all.
Narrator: Shhh…let me tell the story.
The Underground Economist is now nowhere to be found. If anyone dares to try to look for it, you’ll start receiving messages like “This site can’t be reached.”
Camper: Wait, so the webpage isn’t even available anymore?
Narrator: Yup, it looks like Bitcoin got the best of them. Now, onto the next tale!
The silence of the Forbes
On the 20th of June 2011, Bitcoin was just minding its own business when it was attacked.
“Who are you?” and “What are you?” were some of the anguishes heard by our beloved Bitcoin. As the coin slowly turned around, it heard heavy breathing from the darkness. The figure emerged from the shadows, saying:
“I AM FORBES.” Bitcoin gasped. “You are not a store of value, you are not liquid, and you will never be a great medium of exchange. It’s very difficult to see what you’ve got going for you,” Forbes continued.
From that point, Bitcoin was never seen again and Forbes remains a well-established publication website.
Camper: But all of Forbes’ predictions were wrong. Bitcoin is now a great medium of exchange and one of the most liquid assets on the market.
Narrator: Fine. You win.
At the end of December, in the year 2012, Bitcoin was living comfortably in the 13 USD range. Back then, that was a huge deal. However, there was a big shadow lurking over Bitcoin—WIRED.
As it was doing its own thing in 2012, Bitcoin heard a faint whisper. “Your peak has passed,” said the voice. Shocked and afraid, Bitcoin collapsed to its knees, shouting, “WHO ARE YOU?”
“Online payment services are the future, not you,” the whisper continued.
“At the height of its popularity, Bitcoin was trumpeted as a viable alternative currency for the Internet age, a monetary system engineered to prevent theft, gaming, and criminalization. Then came the malware, the black market, the legal ambiguities and The Man. Today, you can’t even use it to buy Facebook stock.” (Wired, Tired, Expired for 2012: From Stellar to Suck, 2012)
Bitcoin survived that day, only to be tormented by the whisper of WIRED throughout many years of its life. To this day, Bitcoin still hears the faint whispers. Next time you ask yourself the question: “is crypto dead?” you’d better check the corpse and make sure.
Camper: What’s so scary about whispers? And isn’t Bitcoin alive and well right now?
Narrator: What? Whispers coming from out of nowhere are plenty scary.
Bitcoin’s encounter with the Grim Reaper
Once upon a time, Kevin Roose, New York Times columnist and writer for New York Magazine, told the story of when Bitcoin saw the Grim Reaper—adding yet another entry to the long list of Bitcoin obituaries.
In June 2013, Roose said that the Bitcoin enthusiasts should be digging the grave because a visit from the Grim Reaper is coming soon.
“Bitcoin’s path to the grave has always been fairly clear to me.” (Roose, 2013)
Soon enough, the Reaper came and took Bitcoin’s life forever.
Camper: But didn’t Bitcoin hit its all-time high of almost 20,000 USD like four years later?
Narrator: You didn’t let me finish!
Yes, Bitcoin did precisely that. Soon after, Roose published a second article in the New York Times. Oh, it says here that he admitted that he was wrong..Okay nevermind, it turns out this story isn’t scary at all…
Oh, wait, here’s something scary about this! It turns out that Roose sold his BTC long before the all-time high.
“AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!,” the campers screamed in terror.
The Oracle of Omaha
The Oracle of Omaha, also known as Warren Buffett, is the seventh richest man on this planet (at the time of writing). He’s known to be a very successful investor with ties to over 50 different companies. However, there was one asset he couldn’t seem to get a handle on: Bitcoin.
The campers gasped.
Usually, when you kill a zombie, it stays dead. However, the Oracle of Omaha wasn’t so fortunate. Buffet killed Bitcoin for the first time in 2014, calling it a “mirage.” Unfortunately for him, Bitcoin came back, stronger than ever. Three years later, BTC hit its all-time high and came back to haunt Buffett.
“Stay away from it. It’s a mirage, basically.” (Buffett, 2014)
The Oracle was prepared. As the now nearly-20,000 USD BTC hit him with its best shot, he retaliated and called it a bubble.
As we all know by now, Bitcoin came back from this vicious blow and is now waiting for its opportunity to strike on the Oracle again.
The Oracle isn’t the only prominent figure to take its shots at Bitcoin. Taavet Hinrikus, the CEO of TransferWise, wrote an obituary for our beloved currency in 2016:
And this was the year before Bitcoin hit its peak. Little did we know, but it was actually Bitcoin lurking in the sewer, dressed in clown makeup, and waiting to strike back at Hinrikus.
Post-boom ghost stories
Campers: Aren’t all these stories from before the big Bitcoin boom in 2017? It’s 2020…aren’t there some more recent ghost stories you could tell us?
Narrator: Well, of course. There’s the 2019 story of Gizmodo writer Matt Novak, who claimed that no one learned their lesson from the first Bitcoin crash in 2018.
Or did you hear the one about investment guru Jim Rogers? Last June, he said that all cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, “will be in decline eventually and everything will go to zero.“
Even James Royal, a senior reporter for investing and wealth management at Bankrate, holds that later assets like cryptocurrencies have a higher tendency to be a bubble in an article last month in September.
The scariest part about the more recent stories is that they usually open-ended, so we don’t know for sure what’s going to happen.
It’s all fun and games
All jokes aside, the Bitcoin obituary has been a pastime for many economists and analysts. These are just a few among the 382 obituaries (according to 99bitcoins) that have been written, yet Bitcoin has shown no signs of stopping. As its price remains relatively stable, maybe we’ll see some of these go back to their words and be willing to admit that they were wrong.
We also have to understand that most of these obituaries are products of their analysis at the time. As Bitcoin continues to evolve, it’s probably going to change the minds of many along the way.
Bitcoin has shown that time and time again, it has the strength to prove its haters and doubters wrong and we think there’s something to learn from that.
So if you’re looking for an undead costume this Halloween, why not consider a Bitcoin costume?