Bitcoin has been declared dead or dying approximately 390 times since 2010. However, this year it dies much less often.
In 2020, Bitcoin was reported dead or dying only 11 times, according to a list of these false obituaries kept by a Singapore-based website called 99 Bitcoins.
Bitcoin’s annual number of obituaries hasn’t been that low since 2012, three years after Bitcoin’s launch. The team behind the website confirmed to CoinDesk that the list is actively maintained to this day.
The sharp drop in obituaries correlates with Bitcoin’s record-breaking price move this year, after surpassing the all-time high of 2017 in November with a total profit of over 270% year-to-date.
In the past, it has been “fashionable to publicly dismiss or even shame those who believed in Bitcoin’s value proposition,” said Kevin Kelly, head of global macro strategy at Delphi Digital and former equity analyst at Bloomberg, in a direct message CoinDesk.
But now the game has changed.
“Retail mass speculation and viral memes have been exchanged for family offices and top-tier macro investors,” said Kelly.
Bitcoin’s rapidly growing roster of institutional buyers includes giants such as MassMutual and Guggenheim. And their sizeable investments – combined with signs of rekindled retail interest – are making it increasingly difficult to announce the death of the cryptocurrency.
In a December Bitcoin report, Kelly’s research team wrote, “Not only have institutional investors had net sales since September, but the extent of their net exposure as measured in BTC has increased compared to previous periods.”
Oddly enough, writers of insincere bitcoin obituaries overlooked the network both times when the network actually “died,” according to Pierre Rochard, Kraken’s leading bitcoin strategist.
In 2010, an inflation bug briefly allowed anyone using the network to create an infinite amount of bitcoins, which in many ways led to the network’s death, Rochard said. In 2013, Bitcoin “died” a second time when a faulty version of its source code unexpectedly increased the block size limit.
“In both cases, Bitcoin was immediately resurrected by the collective will of its users,” Rochard said. To save the network, Bitcoin nodes were rolled back to an older version of the software in 2013 and the blockchain was rewound to a point before the inflation bug in 2010.
“Few critics understand what happened when Bitcoin actually died twice,” Rochard told CoinDesk in an email.
Following these incidents, Bitcoin’s “robust” fundamentals and “rapid adoption” created market conditions with multiple “parabolic re-evaluations,” Rochard said, with both adoption and attention to technical strength increasing and leaving little room for skeptics Continuation of the obituaries.
While Bitcoin lives on, “the career risk is no longer in accepting Bitcoin,” Kelly said. “It’s because of not giving [bitcoin] the time and respect it deserves. “