The Rise And Fall Of Bitcoin
(And The New Kid On The Blockchain)

Bitcoin has a lot of parallels to Uber. Both were early disruptors, both have gotten a tremendous amount of negative PR, and both might wind up as cautionary tales.

The Good Old Days

Back in the MT-GOX days, I would find patterns when trading. When the Chinese would go for lunch, roughly 9-11 p.m. PST, you'd see massive buy-and-sell orders. That's when I would find arbitrage opportunities and trade bitcoin. Nowadays, you've got a better chance of finding a unicorn out in the woods than recognizing patterns for how bitcoin might perform. It's completely volatile, its tech not being maintained as it should, and it has some new competitors. Much like Uber.

Nobody is denying that bitcoin was disruptive. It was the first cryptocurrency of its time and has made a humongous splash – and that’s putting it lightly. Every super-government tried to shut it down and none of them could. J.P. Morgan tried to file patents for the exact technology of bitcoin and failed. Bitcoin is (or was) the cool kid at school that everyone wanted to be friends with but no one was sure how to ask for their number.

A Dark Past (And An Uncertain Future)

Today, bitcoin is trading around $1,000 per coin. When I was actively trading BTC, I remember it being less than $200. I had accounts with almost every exchange from BitPremier, to MT-GOX, to Coinbase and local wallets. After all the time I put into it, I can definitely -- if reluctantly -- say that bitcoin turned out to be a zero-sum game for me. And while it wasn't that way for everyone, I think the ethos around bitcoin will always have something of a dark mark.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor