Bitcoin is still alive and well — but even after 13 years, there are plenty of people who want you to think otherwise.
Since Satoshi Nakamoto mined the Genesis block on January 3, 2009, Bitcoin has endured attacks both big and small — and always come out stronger for it.
As of October 2022, Bitcoin’s core network fundamentals are stronger than at any time in history, with hash rate and mining difficulty at all-time highs. Bitcoin is bigger than ever.
Is Bitcoin actually dead?
Take a look at the largest cryptocurrency’s naysayers, however, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that Bitcoin today is an imposter, and that the ‘real’ Bitcoin really did go extinct long ago.
The most vocal sources of the Bitcoin-is-dead narrative include the mainstream media and legacy financial figures and institutions — as well as those who are simply badly informed or lacking in understanding.
Despite Bitcoin still being alive and kicking, however, there’s no shortage of claims that it is anything but.
Price declines, including those which come as part of macroeconomic cycles which also see traditional assets lose value, often spark an increase in Bitcoin death claims. Notable instances are the March 2020 COVID-19 cross-market crash and the recent U.S. stock market dip in June 2022.
In each case, however, the integrity of the Bitcoin network remained — the reactions were based on changes in the BTC price measured against fiat currencies.
Also noteworthy is how Bitcoin’s correlation to TradFi changes over time — after reaching all-time highs in 2022, as of October, BTC/USD is once again diverging from equities.
How many Bitcoin funerals have there been?
According to the Bitcoin Obituaries compendium from data resource 99bitcoins, as of October 2022, Bitcoin has succeeded in dying no fewer than 463 times.
Let that sink in. 463 sources have claimed that the BTC phenomenon is over. Their conviction has remained steadfast, regardless of whether it was 2009 or 2019 or if they were burying $1 Bitcoin or $50,000 Bitcoin.
Each time, the awkward reality of Bitcoin still being here is conveniently ignored. Take a look at some of the most recent Bitcoin funeral rites, courtesy of JPMorgan Chase CEO, Jamie Dimon, who described it as a “decentralized ponzi scheme” during congressional testimony in September 2022.
Safe to say that Dimon won’t be investing in BTC, despite Bitcoin offering macro returns unlike any asset ever seen since its launch.
“Bitcoin is dead” thus perhaps reads more like “Bitcoin is definitely dead this time”.
When did Bitcoin die the first time?
For reference, Bitcoin as a network managed to stay live for more than a year before encountering its first unofficial death, according to 99bitcoins.
Ironically enough, this came from a publication which is no longer online.
“Either it will remain a novelty forever or it will transition from novelty status to dead faster than you can blink”, The Underground Economist wrote in 2010.
Is Bitcoin down?
Ultimately, however, Bitcoin is inescapably real — and has weathered every storm ever thrown at it for longer than any other cryptocurrency.
Network downtime, while almost unheard of, is notionally ‘a thing’ — BTC has gone offline a grand total of twice, according to on-chain data. The most recent incident was in 2013.
Thanks to exponential growth — and security now being on a different magnitude — for Bitcoin hodlers, the idea of the Bitcoin network suddenly not working or not being there remains firmly in the realm of fantasy.
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