It’s been a busy period for the crypto economy. Details about Facebook’s long-awaited cryptocurrency brought significant attention to the industry as a whole and created anticipation that markets could move higher.

Bitcoin price surged above €11,000, its highest value in over one year. Investors are scrambling back into crypto assets such as bitcoin and other alternate tokens, over optimism that they are becoming widely accepted and adopted mainstream entities.

The price surge is due to many factors. Some say that the rise is due to bitcoin being increasingly seen as a safe-haven asset, rather than a speculative investment. There’s a broader understanding of crypto as an asset class, anticipation that next generation of blockchains, including what we’ve heard of Libra Association, really indicates what is ultimately going to be a massive mainstream phenomenon touching billions of people.

Obviously, the two billion Facebook users took note of it. But we must note that Facebook’s involvement could easily be seen as a negative, given that Facebook is currently under an enormous amount of scrutiny from regulators in both the US and Europe over its privacy practices and issues with its user data.

If you had a stake in cryptocurrencies, probably the last thing you’d want is to get involved and muddy-up the crypto-waters. Unlike its run in 2017, which came largely from media hype stoking retail investors’ interest in cryptocurrencies, bitcoin’s tripling in value this year could have been the result of increased demand from professional investors such as fund managers and hedge funds. But this upwards momentum is certainly emblematic of bull markets seen in years past, and it appears to be highly probable that further gains are in store for the cryptocurrency, with some analysts setting targets of €93k for bitcoin.

Rising tensions in the Middle East and mounting fears about the world economy have also stoked renewed interest among investors in bitcoin, which is sometimes viewed as a safe-haven asset similar to gold. The digital currency does not typically mirror the movements in wider financial markets during periods of turmoil.

As global instability rises, bitcoin’s potential improves as investors consider the digital currency to be a hedge against negative market forces in other areas. While bitcoin remains an excellent store of value, bitcoin, as well as most other cryptocurrencies used on public blockchains – are not ideal to be used as a medium of exchange.

But they will be an ever-important asset class that hundreds of millions of people will hold. The bounce-back of bitcoin has been fairly extraordinary – you could say that money didn’t leave the asset behind, it just sat on the sidelines waiting to get back in.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us