If You Don't Own Any Bitcoin, Read This

Authored by Adam Taggart via PeakProsperity.com,

This week it hit $19,000. What's next?

Wow. Just....wow.

Bitcoin's price has gone 'beyond exponential' this week. Just yesterday, as I started working on this article, it shot up 22% -- from $14,000 to $17,000 (hitting an intraday high of over $19,000).

And that's after a mind-blowing upwards rocket ride over the past several months. 

I think it's safe to say that the vicious melt-up in price over such a short timeframe has surpassed the expectations of even the starriest-eyed Bitcoin fanboys.

The whole world, especially the 99.99% of us that own zero cryptocurrency, is asking: What happens next? And, What should I do?

Is this insane trajectory going to continue for a lot longer? Do I need to get in now to avoid missing this once-in-lifetime fortune-making opportunity?

Or is this a classic bubble blow-off top? Is this the deadliest time to enter, right before the price implodes?

An Expert's Take

I had the chance to ask these questions Wednesday to a long-time veteran in the digital currency space. We met at a gathering of online media 'mavens'; this guy has published news and analysis on cryptocurrencies since 2011, for both investors and developers. He knows the space exceedingly well.

Unsurprisingly, he holds a lot of Bitcoin. I didn't ask directly how much; but knowing that he was covering the space back when Bitcoin traded in the single-dollars range, my conservative mental math quickly concluded he's probably worth more than most people I've met in my life.

So here what I learned during my chat with him:

  • He thinks the current price action is "nuts": To his veteran eye, the current frenzy is a speculative mania and will end in a massive sell-off, resulting in huge losses for those buying in at these prices. He's watched Bitcoin long enough to have seen it experience several 70%+ corrections. In his mind, this will simply be the latest one. And there will be more in the future, he predicts.
  • But he's not worried in the long run: Like many longtime crypto investors, he sees a much higher price potential for Bitcoin. But to reach that level and sustain it will take years. The currency will need to be much more widely held among the general populace and used in a material percentage of transactions (i.e., not just being held by speculative investors). Until then, he expects lots of volatility (both up and down) of the sort we're seeing now.
  • He admits that Bitcoin could lose out to a superior successor: When asked if the capital currently flowing into Bitcoin could flee for a better crypto 'mousetrap' in the future, he says "sure". Which is why he has diversified holdings across a number of cryptocurrencies and watches new entrants into the the space closely. But one advantage Bitcoin increasingly has over the rest of the crypto field is scale. He gave a highly-technical argument for how the blockchain actually has limited value without a platform to offer it sufficiently critical scale. "Does Bitcoin offer that critical scale yet?" I asked. "Probably not yet" he answered, "But it's much closer to it than any other competitor at this time. And it's growing faster than the rest." Translation: Bitcoin is the odds-on winner at this point.
  • He expects the world's central banks to criminalize the cryptocurrencies: We talked about the central banking cartel's longstanding monopoly of the money supply and its historic ruthlessness for squashing all competition. He agreed that the central banks would like nothing more than to replace the current cryptos as well as all paper fiat currencies with digital sovereign versions. And he predicts they will likely try to do exactly this. How successful will they be? Uncertain. He can certainly foresee a time when they ban ownership of Bitcoin and its brethren, criminalize transacting with them, and shut down the exchanges. Though while the cartel may be able to seriously curtail Bitcoin et al, he doesn't see it succeeding in driving them to extinction for several reasons. One he offered that I hadn't heard before (but have since verified) is that private investors have put a network of satellites up in space dedicated to making it possible to transact in Bitcoin anywhere on Earth even if the terrestrial networks are taken down by the authorities or natural disaster.

His overall takeaway? Don't buy at today's prices; wait for a correction (it could be a really big one). But once it happens, buy in and hold, as he sees the price going much, much higher over the next decade.

By the way, I'd share this guy's name with you but he asked me not to. Given how stratospheric Bitcoin has risen over the past year, he says his biggest priority right now is to fly under the radar and have as few people as possible be aware of his crypto holdings. Apparently this has recently become a real concern for Bitcoin investors who have suddenly become overnight multi-millionaires (Or hundred-millionaires. Or in the case of the Winklevoss twins, even billionaires). A vast windfall like this makes you an alluring target to criminals.

Just one more unexpected consequence of this crypto mania we're watching play out in real time.

The Peak Prosperity View

The above expert's views match well with those of our team's outlook here at PeakProsperity.com.

Charles Hugh Smith, who has been writing about Bitcoin for us since it traded below $600 has long had a price target of $17,000 -- which seemed unattainably high even just one short week ago. That underscores how insane the price moves of the past few days have been.

With the $17,000 milestone hit so quickly, does he think a large correction could ensue? Very possibly. (I should make clear though, he remains quite bullish about Bitcoin's long-term future potential).

Davefairtex, our resident charting expert, notes that his model now shows Bitcoin's level of overvaluation at "nosebleed" levels with a daily RSI of over 98 and the forecaster clearly predicting a reversal:

And reader mrees999, our community's most-respected educator on the cryptocurrency space -- and one of the biggest advocates earlier in the year for buying Bitcoin -- offered the following words of caution yesterday:

I probably wouldn't get in now. It's gotten irrational with FOMO. I'm selling into this rally and waiting for a massive correction once the bit shorts come in with the futures trading about to begin.

(Again, I should point out that mrees999 remains robustly optimistic about Bitcoin's longer-term future price potential.)

To the above, I'll simply add two additional pieces of data to show how quickly Bitcoin has outstripped any sort of rational justification for its recent price explosion.

The first is this chart below, which shows how Bitcoin's price has blown above the maximum Fibonacci extension between its previous swing low and yesterday's swing high (note: this chart was created before the price continued higher to $19,000):


And lastly, here's a table showing the accelerating compression of time it has been taking for Bitcoin to hit each new $1,000 price milestone:


That right there, folks, is the madness of crowds. It's a FOMO-driven mania to make the South Sea Bubble blush.

Advice For Those Who Missed The Rocket Ride

So, if you've been feeling like the loser who missed the Bitcoin party bus, you've likely done yourself a favor by not buying in over the past few weeks. It is highly, highly likely for the reasons mentioned above that a painful downwards price correction is imminent. One that will end in tears for all the recent FOMO-driven panic buyers.

To that point: as I'm finishing up this article, Bitcoin has retraced back to $15,100. That's a 21% loss in less than 24 hours for those who bought at yesterday's $19,000 high. If yesterday indeed proves to have been the blow-off top, that loss could get a lot uglier quickly.

But even if it doesn't, what can those of us who don't currently hold any cryptocurrency do as we wait for the dust to settle here?

Here's our current guidance:

  • Open an account with a crypto exchange: While we maintain Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies are in a bubble right now, we reiterate our position that they are worth having exposure to in your portfolio -- albeit not at today's prices. So, while waiting for (possibly much) lower prices after the inevitable blow-off top, you should open an account with a leading crypto exchange (like Coinbase, Kraken, Bitfinex or Bitstamp), so that you'll be positioned to buy when the insanity is over. These exchanges require a fair amount of personal information that they use in account verification, and some of them take a surprising amount of time and effort to set up before your account is approved and/or funded to transact. So get all of that out of the way now, while your waiting on the sidelines.
  • Build cash: We've been beating this drum for a while because it's not just Bitcoin that's in a bubble. As laid out in previous reports, nearly all financial assets are dangerously over-valued in today's financial markets. Keep building your cash reserves as "dry powder" to deploy when the next big market correction hits. Chances are likely that at some point in the next 0-2 years, you'll have the opportunity to buy cryptos, stocks, bonds and real estate at generous fractions of the prices seen today.
  • Hold on to your precious metals: Holders of gold and silver have watched Bitcoin's moon-shot with a lot of understandable envy. This is the kind of massive re-pricing boom they expected the precious metals to experience as world fiat currencies inflate away their purchasing power. Were PM investors wrong? Did they pick the wrong horse in this race? Should they have piled into the cryptocurrencies instead? While it has been a painful five years, we expect precious metals holders will be rewarded in the end. Separate from the current emotion-driven FOMO blitzkreig, the reasons informed investors are buying Bitcoin have heavy overlap with the rationale for owning gold and silver. Capital will return to the PM market as soon as the current nested set of financial bubbles begins bursting. And if you think the jump in Bitcoin has been tremendous as a money tsunami has flooded into this small market, remember that Bitcoin's market capitalization is now substantially larger than that for all the world's above-ground silver. How high could we see silver go when that metal become en vogue again?
  • Practice emotional resilience: Hey, Bitcoin could still rally higher from here -- much higher. It's still a small market with a lot of hot money fighting to enter it. How long the mania will last is unknowable -- we could be seeing the end of it right here (Bitcoin's price dropped below $15,000 as I wrote the last paragraph), or it could still go on for a lot longer than we can imagine. If it does, don't let the twin devils of fear and greed compel you to be one of the "last fools" to jump in before a correction takes hold (remember: that's how Isaac Newton lost his fortune in the South Sea bubble). And don't beat yourself up for not being one of the very few people to make millions from this craze. It's like being jealous of lottery winners. Instead, focus on the real wealth in your life (hint: it's much more than the money in your bank account), take time to appreciate what you have, and plan on sustainable ways -- instead of speculative ones -- to increase it. Those looking for some guidance on how to best do this can find our thoughts here.

Don't Ignore The Revolution

While we've made the case that Bitcoin's current run-up has been "too far, too fast" and a painful correction is highly likely, the new cryptocurrency era is a bona fide revolution. The underlying technology of the blockchain will transform industry and commerce on a similar scale as the Internet has.

While we urge prudence and caution regarding the conditions under which you invest in the cryptos, we don't recommend you ignore their significance.

Charles Hugh Smith has written several reports for us designed to demystify the digital currency space and help you understand the future value that the blockchain promises to unlock for society.

If you feel you don't yet have a good grasp on all this, make his report Understanding The Cryptocurrency Boom your mandatory reading over the next few days.

Written just a few short months ago, when Bitcoin was a mere $2,600(!), this publication and its excellent companion report, The Value Drivers Of Cryptocurrency, explain in layman's terms the real utility value of digital currencies and why a long-term view can justify prices that may ultimately be much higher than where they are today.

Don't let ignorance or a sour-grapes frustration from missing out on the first big run make you blind to the revolution underway. Whether you participate in it or not, and at what price, is up to you. Just make sure your decisions are well-informed ones.

Click here to read Understanding The Cryptocurrency Boom (free to all readers).



Pinto Currency Spaced Out Sat, 12/09/2017 - 14:06 Permalink

BTC will lose out to a crypto that represents units of intrinsic value.My bet is that it will be something like www.goldmoney.com with extreme security features.BTC will go to zero in the end (no big prediction) but IMO it will do so very rapidly once it starts - but it may well go to $1M first.And it has all happened before:When a Tulip was Worth More Than a Househttp://www.veritablehokum.com/comic/tulip-mania/ 

In reply to by Spaced Out

in4mayshun Pinto Currency Sat, 12/09/2017 - 14:59 Permalink

My company hosted their annual year-end dinner last night and a hot topic was BC. While opinions differed overall, there was one consistent belief: everyone agreed that bitcoin has sealed its fate as a ridiculous ponzi. If it had level off somewhere between $100-250, the main stream might have jumped on board but at $20k, no average person will touch it nor can they afford to. Bitcoin will be a gambling circle-jerk until it gets tethered to something real.

In reply to by Pinto Currency

no ice in4mayshun Sat, 12/09/2017 - 15:42 Permalink

You don't have to buy a whole Bitcoin.  You can buy $50 or $100 worth or whatever amount you choose.  Then, sit back and watch it grow as we shift from a debt/slavery hugely manipulated system into a fair and honest system.  Anyone not buying Bitcoin-any amount of Bitcoin- at this point is making a huge mistake that they will one day regret.

In reply to by in4mayshun

OpenThePodBayDoorHAL in4mayshun Sat, 12/09/2017 - 16:57 Permalink

Been a crypto investor since 2013 and ran financial tech for one of the largest software companies in the world. So listen up:In 2011-15 there was a list of reasons why Bitcoin was "the great new internet money":1. Controlled supply, so the price would go up2. Faster than other methods like credit cards3. Great "rails" that fiat money can ride on for remittances4. Decentralized5. Going to be accepted as a payment type by major merchants6. Anonymous7. Low transaction fees.8. "Colored coins" can represent other stuff, real estate, etcFast forward to today, where the only reason still standing is #1. #2. It's slower than other methods, nobody's going to wait 20 minutes to pay for a coffee. #3. "Remittances rails" is a fail (just ask BitSpark), too volatile and too slow. #4. It's no longer decentralized, 6 anonymous mining companies control the network, they should never have allowed merged mining. #5. Morgan Stanley surveyed the number of the top 500 e-commerce companies that accept it as payment, 2 years ago it was 5, today it's 3 (look up Steem if you want to learn why). #6. It's not anonymous. #7. One transfer costs a minimum of $20 (if you only want to wait 72 hours). #8. Almost nobody is doing this any more, that's all being done on Ethereum (which is a giant computer sciences clusterfuck, but that will be in Lesson #2.)So the answer? The only remaining investment thesis is "it's going up because it's going up". That may be entirely valid. But don't tell me "it's going up because it's being adopted". No. It's being owned as a speculative asset mostly by people using the Bitcoin bank called Coinbase, almost nobody is "using" or "adopting" it or making real-world transactions with it. After 8 years there are just 300,000 Bitcoin address with > 1 BTC, one of those is Coinbase, their 15 million customers trust them to own an actual Bitcoin address on the network on their behalf.You're welcome.

In reply to by in4mayshun

ZH Snob in4mayshun Sat, 12/09/2017 - 17:50 Permalink

at these prices (and future higher prices) BTC is used almost strictly as a store of value and as a wealth donkey.  Let's say you are a very well connected Chinese national who doesn't want to press his luck sticking around with his 20 Million in Beijing.  he could try many risky ways to get it out of China or he could simply buy 2 or 3 thousand BTC, throw it on a paper wallet and copy that wallet to an SD card.  Hell, he could keep the sd card in his phone, his camera or sew it into his suit and go a more BTC-friendly place like S Korea and proceed to transfer to gold, dollars, euros, etc.  and so BTC becomes a useful wealth donkey.

In reply to by in4mayshun

83_vf_1100_c Spaced Out Sat, 12/09/2017 - 14:49 Permalink

  What he means is when the herd quits buying, quits hodling, starts panic selling. Coinbase can "sell" you bitcoin in seconds.  Presumably your fiat goes in an acct. With the meteoric rise in the past week, what happens if enough lower price buyers from a week, month, years ago decide the top is in? Or decide to take profits and buy that new house, Lambo, pay off their student debts? If enough folks start cashing in other parts of the herd will start milling around to the rumors and once panic sets in you get the stampede for the exits. Do the exchanges have the cash to handle the rush of guys who bought in early cashing in ar $17k? Assume that is a rhetorical question and the answer is they do not. A few will get out the door early and do well. The price will start dropping quickly and a few more will get out at a varying loss. They will close the exchange due to technical probs which will put off complete collapse for a short time hoping the sellers reverse course so they can reopen. If the panic continues the exchange will remain shut, the owners will activate their exit plan (beachfront property in Belize) and  muppets will bleed out. No one has the answers, it is a speculative instrument. Sure, there are some whales who can push prices. I in fact finally buckled and opened a coinbase acct and threw $20 at it this past weekend. Next up is open a wallet. And add $400 to it. Buy some AG from JM Bullion with those magic bits. If that works as advertised I may throw $2k at it and see where it goes. I am neither wealthy nor greedy and $2k lost will be a minor blip. otoh if it does well, siphoning off the profits into phyzz regularly would make me happy.Things that rocket up in value tend to crash back to earth when the mania fades. I expect getting in this late I will lose $2k. I will be bummed, could of got a hooker and blow for an evening.

In reply to by Spaced Out

TheReplacement auricle Sat, 12/09/2017 - 14:34 Permalink

If you want to be prepared to get into bitcoin and have a decent exit too, try www.vaultoro.com/?a=105149Yes, that is a referral link - I will get a piece of the action - thanks in advance if you do choose to sign up.  It is fairly simple.  You buy Bitcoin, fund your account, and trade for gold just like any other exchange.  If you have 100 or more grams of gold you can take physical delivery or you can hodl on until Bitcoin has a bad day and sell the gold back for a profit (in Bitcoin).  Rinse and repeat as much as you deem appropriate.  Otherwise, you can pull out your Bitcoin and use it to buy gold or silver from various online dealers that accept cryptos as payment for real metals.TheReplacement

In reply to by auricle

OpenThePodBayDoorHAL TheReplacement Sat, 12/09/2017 - 17:18 Permalink

LOL Vaultoro LOLStep 1: send them BitcoinStep 2: they "color" a Bitcoin so it now supposedly represents some of the gold they own. But as the cop said in the movie No Country For Old Men, "Problem, problem".The legal claim you now have on gold could best be described as "because some guy said I do". There is no court of law that has ruled that this guy writing down a Bitcoin number now somehow means you have constructive receipt of anything at all. Look up the legal concept "indorsement". Fail.

In reply to by TheReplacement

bruno_the Spaced Out Sat, 12/09/2017 - 14:25 Permalink

19,000 = (X)M(X)   Break the number (decompose it) into place value subgroups:19,000 = 10,000 + 9,000;Convert each subgroup:10,000 = (X); 9,000 = 10,000 - 1,000 = (X) - M = M(X);Wrap up the Roman numeral:19,000 = 10,000 + 9,000 = (X) + M(X) = (X)M(X);

In reply to by Spaced Out

RAT005 a Smudge by an… Sat, 12/09/2017 - 12:00 Permalink

Reason for my asking is some time ago i bought a little BTC and didn't pay enough attention to the details.  Thought I lost the whole thing but then with some tips from ZHers I was able to track down where the wallet is and I retrieved my Wallet Code and the username password to the exchange holding the wallet.  Through the search I never saw a BTC key so wonder if maybe some exchanges don't use it, or maybe the Wallet Code is enough.  I've never tried to move more BTC in or out of that Wallet so I don't know if I have all of the security information.

In reply to by a Smudge by an…

Dsyno RAT005 Sat, 12/09/2017 - 12:04 Permalink

If you don't have the Private key then you'll never be able to access that wallet.If the wallet is at Coinbase, or some other exchange, etc (wherever you left it), then they're guarding your Private key and will give you access to the wallet when you login in to their website.

In reply to by RAT005

TheReplacement RAT005 Sat, 12/09/2017 - 14:37 Permalink

You really should get your own wallet.  Then you will have YOUR private key to YOUR wallet that contains YOUR bitcoin.  Think like it is gold or silver.Storing it at an exchange means you really don't own it. You can always send the bitcoin from your wallet to an exchange if you want to trade or sell and then back again. 

In reply to by RAT005

Spaced Out RAT005 Sat, 12/09/2017 - 13:05 Permalink

"bitcoin key"There is no such thing as a "bitcoin key"Bitcoin has two keys: a 'public key' and a 'private key'. The public key is the address people share with others in order to receive btc. The private key is something you keep secret at all costs (unless you are TMosely, who gives his private keys to exchanges to look after for him).What the fuck is a wallet code?These are not "real questions" sonny, they are questions asked by someone who has done NO FUCKING RESEARCH AT ALL! 

In reply to by RAT005

RAT005 Spaced Out Sat, 12/09/2017 - 13:15 Permalink

The exchange where my BTC is located calls it a Wallet Code and I can generate as many new ones as I like, probably the same as your Public Key.  The Private Key must be in the exchange, I have never seen it nor is it shown when I sell.  My exchange might be a simplified one not as versatile as you mention.  But maybe I would have lost my BTC if it had been more complicated.  Or maybe the reason I wasn't more careful with information when I started the account was because no additional info was given to me.  Then when I heard other people talking about other keys, I wondered why I didn't know mine.My BTC account is small, left over from a useful transaction some time ago.  I never imagined it would be worth much so another reason I was a little sloppy keeping track of the security details.  My brief problem was matching typical security language to my situation, lack of matching made me think I didn't know something......actually some things just don't match.

In reply to by Spaced Out

Spaced Out RAT005 Sat, 12/09/2017 - 13:48 Permalink

Please accept my apologies. There are so many idiots posting FUD on this site nowadays.......Anyway, you seem genuine, so...What they call a 'wallet code' sounds like a public address. Each wallet can generate many public addresses, which allow you to receive btc from other people.The private key is what gives you control over the btc. It is important that you withdraw your btc to your own wallet. Do not leave it on an exchange because this means that they control your private keys and hence your btc. If they get hacked you will lose everything. The whole ethos of cryptocurrency is personal sovereignty over your wealth (as opposed to having a bank account/exchange look after it), so take control of it yourself and establish a desktop or mobile wallet on your own device and move your btc into it.Good options for small amounts include: blockchain, jaxx, exodus, mycelium (perhaps other commenters can suggest others). When your value grows, consider hard-wallets like Trezor (not ledger, which has closed-source code).Bear in mind, a small amount now will be worth considerably more in future.This is a new paradigm, so don't beat yourself up about misunderstandings. There is a lot to learn.Good luck.   

In reply to by RAT005

RAT005 Spaced Out Sat, 12/09/2017 - 15:57 Permalink

I'm sure your info will be helpful to other people, thanks.  I wonder how many bitcoins have been lost to the ether???  I have had so many hardware problems in my life, the idea of me being able to keep this amount safer than some other more established outfit makes me comfortable with my current situation.  I understand the exchange could be hacked and looted.  I figure there is about equal chance of that to me loosing it because I am 100% responsible.  It's just a very low priority to me.  I have already gone through 1 round of thinking it was lost because I lost all record of it.  Only because of one email I sent still in my history to a buddy explaining what a pain in the ass it was to get BTC on a moments notice when I needed it, was I able to find it.  And then only because my computer remembered my login to the exchange, and apparently because my BTC key was in the exchange once I logged into my account and the wallet code was quickly presented.Different strokes for different folks and for sure this is because my Bitcoin doesn't have too much value.....P.S.  There is a story about Bulgaria confiscating criminal bitcoin.  People wonder how the gov. got the keys, if the crooks used my amateur approach, the gov. just needs to turn on the computer and point it to the correct exchange then they will have immediate access to the wallet.

In reply to by Spaced Out

Coreadrin RAT005 Sat, 12/09/2017 - 16:57 Permalink

Get Exodus.io on your PC, do a backup (it generates 12 random words you can write down and stash away, if your hardware ever crashes that is the password to the prive key to regenerate your wallet).  Click on the "wallet" button, go to BTC, click "receive".  It will generate you a receiving address.  Go to your exchange, withdraw the BTC to that address, then just let them sit.If you exchange ever goes down you will lose your BTC most likely, but if you have a "paper wallet" backup of your Exodus wallet, doesn't matter if your hardware crashes, you basically now have your private key.I would seriously do this even if you only have a tiny bit of BTC because who knows what the future brings...  After the crash, I mean, since this shit is insanity!

In reply to by RAT005

tmosley BaBaBouy Sat, 12/09/2017 - 11:58 Permalink

BTC doesn't go to $1000. The bear case is the network collapses leaving coins frozen and worthless.Some other coin will take over eventually, but NONE of them are ready for prime time, so far as I can tell. BTC might prevail if they can get Lightning going, fully adopted, and it actually works as promised.

In reply to by BaBaBouy