Bitcoin: The Cryptocurrency That Refuses to Die... 330 ‘Deaths’ and Counting

Francisco Memoria

Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, has been “killed” over 90 times by mainstream media outlets so far this year, and over 330 times throughout its short existence.  While this year bitcoin turned 10 and saw its price plummet, last year it was declared ‘dead’ more times.

According to the ‘Bitcoin Obituaries’ page on 99Bitcoins, the cryptocurrency has been dying since 2010. Since then, mainstream media outlets have been focusing on bitcoin and declaring it dead for a number of reasons, ranging from its proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm to its distinct characteristic, including the semi-anonymity.

Although bitcoin has been ‘dying’ for eight years now, over 200 of its 3335 ‘deaths’ occurred in the last two years, as the cryptocurrency ecosystem gained more attention when BTC surged from little over $1,000 in January of 2017 to a near $20,000 in December. In 2017 alone, it ‘died 125 times.

Notably, bitcoin’s over 1,800% surge saw mainstream news outlets declare it ‘dead’ more times than this year’s over 80% decline. As CryptoGlobe has been covering, among those who criticize the flagship cryptocurrency and claim it’ll fail are various prominent financial industry personalities.

These include JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, who has bashed bitcoin on various occasions, and ended up concluding investors should “just beware” of BTC, and billionaire investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett.

Buffett has notably claimed buying bitcoin is “not investing,” and along with Berkshire’s vice chairman Charlie Munger compared it to “turds” and “dementia.” This year, we’ve also seen Nouriel Roubini, a prominent economist known as Dr. Doom, claim bitcoin is the “mother of all scams.” At the time, he said:

Until now, Bitcoin’s only real use has been to facilitate illegal activities such as drug transactions, tax evasion, avoidance of capital controls, or money laundering.

Roubini has since become a well-known cryptocurrency critic, who among other things has claimed blockchain technology is no more than a “glorified spreadsheet,” that bitcoin isn’t truly decentralized,  and that central bank digital currencies will destroy BTC and other “worthless cryptocurrencies.”

Bitcoin’s critics also include financial journalists and CEOs in other areas. Bitcoin’s latest ‘death’ came in the form of an Engadget article published by Daniel Cooper, that claim “Bitcoin was never more than a vehicle for tax evaders and grifters to burn carbon in the hope of scoring a hot new Lambo.” It also adds it represents “all of our worst excesses.”

Its first one, written in 2010 when it was trading at $0.23, was published by the Underground Economist. It read:

Negative feedback loops like this are basically homeostasis. In nature, positive feedback loops like exist with Bitcoin are lethal; the only thing that’s even kept Bitcoin alive this long is its novelty. Either it will remain a novelty forever or it will transition from novelty status to dead faster than you can blink.

Since then, bitcoin has kept on growing and is currently trading at $3,900 after rising 6.7% in the last 24-hour period.

ErisX Tells Regulator's Why Ethereum Futures Would Create Better Markets

  • Nasdaq and Fidelity Investments-backed ErisX exchange sends explanation letter to CFTC.
  • Letter explains that regulated Ether-based futures contract would create more efficient crypto markets.

ErisX, a US-based digital asset exchange, has filed a comment letter with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) - after the federal regulator requested more information regarding Ethereum (ETH)’s current market.

Submitted on Friday, February 15, ErisX’s letter asserted:

The introduction of a regulated futures contract on Ether would have a positive impact on the growth and maturation of the market.

As covered, ErisX is a newly launched cryptoasset exchange that received $27.5 million in starting capital from multi-trillion dollar investment manager, Fidelity and Nasdaq Ventures, which is Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) VC investment division.

Consistent With CFTC's Efforts

In December 2018, ErisX’s management revealed its plans to offer bitcoin (BTC), litecoin (LTC), and ether (ETH) spot trading and it also noted that it was seeking regulatory approval - in order to list cryptocurrency futures at a later point this year. Explaining why such futures contracts would help investors, ErisX’s letter noted that “listing and trading Ether futures compliantly on CFTC regulated markets is consistent” with the financial regulator’s efforts to create “open, transparent, competitive, and financially sound derivative trading markets.”

The letter from ErisX further mentioned that regulated crypto-based futures would “prohibit fraud, manipulation, and abusive practices in connection with derivatives and other products subject to the (Commodity Exchange Act) CEA.” According to the CFTC, bitcoin can be considered a commodity as it has been designed to potentially replace existing fiat currencies (as a medium-of-exchange). Because of bitcoin and ethereum’s decentralized nature, they are arguably not securities, the CFTC has clarified on several occasions.

Explaining the differences between the Ethereum and Bitcoin protocol, ErisX’s letter has stated: 

Ethereum built upon some of the architectural principles of Bitcoin to extend [its] functionality of [a] distributed, (cryptographically) secured, (blockchain-enabled) record-keeping system to include new computational capabilities for the execution of arbitrary code.

"Unregulated Exchanges And Brokers" Trying To "Fill The Gap"

Per ErisX’s analysis of current trends in the global Ethereum (and larger digital asset) market, there is still not a proper regulatory framework in place. This, according to ErisX, has discouraged several large enterprises from entering the fragile crypto ecosystem. At present, ErisX believes there’s a trend emerging in which “unregulated or lightly regulated ‘exchanges’ [and] ‘brokers’ [are trying] to fill the gap, many of them off-shore.” However, ErisX cautioned there may be certain risks associated with this type of market such as increased volatility and liquidity fluctuations.

As noted in ErisX’s letter:

Not unique to Ether, but [current crypto markets could suffer due to] the current fragmented global market structure of trading platforms and ‘exchanges’ with significantly varying degrees of regulatory oversight and operational transparency and integrity.

By introducing standardized, CFTC-regulated Ether-based financial products, ErisX argues the crypto space might receive a more positive response from institutional investors - which could potentially lead to “more robust, liquid, and resilient markets.”