if Bitcoin is a bubble then it is a very persistent bubble

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29/05/2020

Bubbles are the posterchild of ephemerality: they exist for a brief moment in time; with not'n but a thin skin; not'n but thin air; and after not'n but a heartbeat they 'pop' out of existence.

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Well, this bitcoin bubble has lasted for over a decade now. The last time it allegedly went 'pop' was in December 2017, when a wave of retail (regular folk) mania pushed the price up to us$20k.

You remember it, because everyone on the planet earth got to hear about it (just think about that for a minute..). December 2017 is when Bitcoin hit what sales people call the "awareness phase". But it created a cognitive dissonance in you: you were curious but it seemed too complex.. it was easier to follow the crowd and act skeptical: problem solved, no more need to actually learn about something new.

It's a little bit like when the I.T guy walks into your office, and you ask him to fix your phone, but then he starts explaining what he's doing, and you think to yourself "please don't teach me anything. Please oh no god he's explaining how the office network works again. Oh dear god no get me out of here. Oh shit no.. act interested.. act interested.. nod... eye contact.. he won't notice. Oh good he's going away.".

The pop was quite spectacular: Bitcoin crashed from us$20K to us$3500 over the course of a year.

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But then something strange happened. It re-inflated. This re-inflation was equally impressive, sending the price from $us3500 to $us14000 in a few short exhilerating months of spring.

Then once again, the price crashed; this time from $us14k to $us7k. Then once again the price rose to $us11k, and this time, helped by COVID19, it crashed very briefly back down to $us4k.

And then something incredible happened. You guessed it. It rose again, back to $us10k. This came as a shock to many people, because initially during the whole coronavirus shambles, Bitcoin acted as a "Risk On" asset; i.e a speculative asset that ought to be dumped during a financial crisis. But it then turned into the best performing asset of 2020.

The 'pop' looks more like a wedge to me

Now you could accuse me of seeing things, but this 'crash', or 'popping of the bubble' has been taking an awefully long time: over two years now, and is drawing what looks a lot like a perfect wedge. And oh look, Raoul Pal, a rather well known macro analyst (look him up) sees a wedge too, in what he calls "Bitcoin Porn":

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Do things really go "pop" in a perfect wedge? Simple answer: no they do not. Oh no.. absolutely not.

Let's compare with an actual 'pop'

A very easy way of deciding whether Bitcoin is a classical bubble is to compare with a classical bubble that took place in the same sector: tech. As you can see, the bubble inflated, then popped. It then took 17 years to re-inflate to half of its peak.

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This is what a real bubble looks like: investors lose all their money. You could say the Dot-com crash still performed better than having a child: within 17 years you would have at least made half of that money back. But getting back to my point: there simply are no comparisons. Wedge. Crash. Not the same thing.

Bitcoin has been failing upwards since the beginning

Bitcoin is like your boss at work: the guy has been working at the same company for 10 years. You swear to god he should have been fired hundreds of times, yet, beyond reason, he gets promoted again rolls eyes. Next thing you know, the guy gets promoted to CTO, and everyone gasps at his complete and utter incompetence. Anyway i'm getting sidetracked. As i was saying..

Just look at this chart. It's the chart of Bitcoin, since its inception, on a log scale. The vertical lines are the supply getting cut in half. Bitcoin is not a bubble; it's a series of bubbles that are driven by:

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Just look at this chart. Isn't it a thing of beauty? The waves of investors coming in make this chart look like the pulse of a living being; blood flows in.. blood flows out.. blood flows in.. blood flows out.. when it hits the bottom of the channel, people buy.. blood flows in.. when it hits the top of the channel, people sell.. blood flows out.. and the whole while, we're feeding the beast.

Just look at this chart. The beast is not following our tune, we are following its tune. We are dancing to its beat.