Business World

Tuesday 18 September 2018

Crypto worse than dotcom bust

Cryptocurrency investors who betted big on a seemingly revolutionary technology are suffering a painful reality check. (stock picture)
Cryptocurrency investors who betted big on a seemingly revolutionary technology are suffering a painful reality check. (stock picture)

Michael Patterson

The Great Crypto Crash of 2018 looks more and more like one for the record books.

As so-called virtual currencies like Bitcoin plumbed new depths yesterday, the MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index extended its collapse since a January high to 80pc.

It surpasses the Nasdaq Composite Index's 78pc peak-to-trough decline after the dot-com bubble burst in 2000. Cryptocurrency investors who betted big on a seemingly revolutionary technology are suffering a painful reality check.

The virtual-currency mania of 2017 - fuelled by hopes that Bitcoin would become "digital gold" and that blockchain-powered tokens would reshape industries - has given way to concerns about excessive hype, security flaws, market manipulation, regulation and slower-than-anticipated adoption. Crypto bulls dismiss negative comparisons to the dotcom era by pointing to the Nasdaq Composite's recovery to fresh highs 15 years later, and to the internet's enormous impact on society. They also note that Bitcoin has rebounded from past crashes of similar magnitude.

Even if the optimists prove right in time, this year's sell-off has underscored that progress is unlikely to be smooth.

 

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