Rumors of bitcoin’s demise were greatly exaggerated.
Only weeks after JPMorgan Chase head honcho Jamie Dimon called the cryptocurrency a “fraud,” helping to send it crashing to below $3,000, bitcoin is racing upwards once again — surging 9 percent in the last day to smash its previous all-time high of about $5,000.
By early Thursday morning, a single bitcoin was worth more than $5,250.
(For those still wondering what the hell bitcoin is: it’s a virtual currency that’s traded on a decentralized ledger known as the “blockchain,” which safeguards against government or institutional tinkering. All transactions are verified by bitcoin “miners” and added to the public ledger.)
There are a few factors that could have spurred bitcoin’s latest run: Former hedge fund manager Michael Novogratz told CNBC on Wednesday he could see it hitting $10,000 within the next year; China is likely softening its stance on trading virtual currencies (something that added to bitcoin’s swoon in September); and Wall Street has shown increasing interest in bitcoin as a store of value, with Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein tweeting last week he’s “thinking” about recommending it to investors.
It’s a stark contrast to where bitcoin found itself a month ago. Dimon lambasted the technology, saying “it will blow up,” and “someone is going to get killed” investing in it (sounds dramatic).
Coupled with China outlawing bitcoin exchanges, the price plunged in mid-September more than 25 percent. Bitcoin is notoriously volatile, however, shrugging off the dip to hit new highs.
Bitcoin has shrugged off Jamie Dimon’s “fraud” comment in the last month, darting up more than 25 percent
Another factor in bitcoin’s run has been President Trump’s quick trigger threats to foreign adversaries — leading to less confidence in traditional currencies like the U.S. dollar — according to investment manager Ross Gerber.
“There’s no basis for the value of bitcoin, other than uncertainty about our future,” Gerber told TheWrap. “That’s why bitcoin has gone up so much — because of Trump. The U.S. system has never been more at more risk to damage, and that’s why bitcoin has been successful so far.”
Moving forward, bitcoin could have another catalyst on the horizon. A potential “fork” at the end of October, breaking off an off-shoot cryptocurrency called “bitcoin gold,” could spur the original bitcoin even higher. This was already the case with a fork earlier this year.
6 Tech Giants Shaking Up News, From Jeff Bezos to Laurene Powell Jobs (Photos)
Tech leaders are increasingly intertwined with the news business. While some want to support old properties, one set out to destroy a new one. Here they are.
Jeff Bezos – Washington Post
The Amazon founder purchased the Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million in cash. President Trump has called the paper the “Amazon Washington Post.”
The Facebook co-founder purchased The New Republic in 2012, becoming executive chairman and publisher. However, he sold the venerable political magazine to Win McCormack in 2016, saying he "underestimated the difficulty of transitioning an old and traditional institution into a digital media company in today’s quickly evolving climate."
The eBay founder is a well-known philanthropist who created First Look Media, a journalism venture behind The Intercept. Inspired by Edward Snowden's leaks. Omidyar teamed up with journalists Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill and Laura Poitras to launch the website “dedicated to the kind of reporting those disclosures required: fearless, adversarial journalism.”
The PayPal co-founder doesn’t own a news organization, but he makes this list because he essentially ended one -- Gawker -- proving once again the power of an angry billionaire. Thiel secretly bankrolled Hulk Hogan’s sex-tape lawsuit against Gawker Media because he was upset that the website once outed him as gay. Hogan won the defamation lawsuit against the site that sent its parent company into bankruptcy, and Gawker.com is no longer operating.
OK, so Facebook isn’t technically a news organization… yet. However, the company is preparing to launch its much-anticipated lineup of original content later this summer, and there are also signs that it's on the verge of becoming an even bigger media platform.
Campbell Brown, Head of News Partnerships at Facebook, confirmed last week it’s developing a subscription service for publishers willing to post articles directly to Facebook Instant Articles, rather than their native websites.