Bitcoin has been on a bull run this year, with prices increasing more than 80% since the end of 2022. Over the past 30 days, bitcoin has increased by more than 45% against the US dollar. However, despite its strong performance, bitcoin’s skeptics have not been swayed. The Bitcoin Obituaries list, hosted on 99bitcoins.com, shows that opponents of bitcoin have declared the leading cryptocurrency dead 473 times since 2010. In 2022, bitcoin was declared dead 27 times, which is lower than in several other years. However, it pales in comparison to the 124 death announcements recorded in 2017 or the 93 listed the following year in 2018.
These death notices are not memorials or tributes, but rather are written by opponents of bitcoin who are unconvinced and believe that the cryptocurrency’s days of glory are numbered. The latest bitcoin obituary was written by Robin Brooks, the chief economist at the Institute of International Finance. On March 14, he wrote: “So it turns out that bitcoin is just another bubble asset that blows up when the Fed gets serious about hiking interest rates. Zero store of value function. Zero diversification benefit. Zero yield. Sayonara bitcoin…” In addition to Brooks, there are five more obituaries regarding bitcoin’s so-called deaths in 2023.
Prior to Brooks’ statement, Harvey Jones, the personal finance editor of the Daily Express, called bitcoin a Ponzi scheme. Among the skeptics who have written bitcoin obituaries this year are Robert Park of the Cincinnati Enquirer, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, geopolitical expert Peter Zeihan, CNBC anchor Jim Cramer, and former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission official John Reed Stark. Both Park and Dimon compare bitcoin to a Ponzi scheme, as have dozens of other skeptics before them. Like gold advocate Peter Schiff, Zeihan believes that BTC’s value will drop to zero and even negative price territories. “Crypto is now in the process of going to zero except for bitcoin which will probably go negative because if we’re moving into a world with carbon taxes you have to take into account the energy to produce it in the first place,” Zeihan said.
The Bitcoin Obituaries list hosted on 99bitcoins.com is, of course, a joke played on the writers of these eulogies, with the purpose of enshrining their bad takes on the internet forever. Since the first death announcement in 2010, bitcoin’s value and network effect have grown immensely. It is currently the world’s 11th most valuable asset in terms of market capitalization, ranking just below Tesla’s net worth and above Meta’s market valuation. Despite being a decentralized cryptocurrency that is not backed by a government or corporation and has been attacked by all of these entities over the last 14 years, people still believe that the leading digital currency is doomed, simply because they say so.
The truth is, nobody knows for sure what will happen to bitcoin. Some believe it is a Ponzi scheme or a bubble waiting to burst, while others see it as the future of currency and a hedge against inflation. There are certainly risks involved in investing in bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, but there are also opportunities for those who are willing to take the risk. As with any investment, it is important to do your due diligence and make informed decisions based on your own risk tolerance and investment goals. Whether bitcoin will continue to rise or eventually fall remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, the debate over its future will continue for years to come.