Saturday, 11 June 2011

Is the bitcoin "Black Friday" really a crash?

I have been following the development of the internet currency bitcoin for the last few days. I heard a lot of people talking about it, so I thought it might be an interesting option for an online currency. The value of a bitcoin has been steadily increasing over the last few weeks up to a record high of over 30$. Yesterday saw a development in the value of a bitcoin that made the media speak of a "Black Friday". I won't go into the discussion about the morality of this online currency as there have been reports that the drug trade is turning to bitcoins as a payment. But here I want to ask the question: Was the "Black Friday" really a crash?

From the data I got from the API, I plotted the graph above. Naturally, we should plot any kind of exponential growth on a semi-logarithmic scale. The origin is some arbitrary point in the past, roughly 1000 hours before the time of writing this post. Older data is averaged over larger intervals, because it is not available any more as real-time data. One can see that, on average, the value of the currency has doubled every 7 days. I have also plotted an upper resistance and a lower support that both grow at this constant average growth rate.

You can see that the value of a bitcoin has kept to this channel between its resistance and its support for almost 1000 hours. And even today it only made a very short excursion below the support curve. Note that it could have made this kind of excursion 200 hours ago as well. The averaged nature of the data for that time period makes it impossible to judge exactly what happened then.

To be speaking of a "Black Friday" is therefore very premature. All that happened was that the over-exponential growth of the last few days has been compensated for. Of course it has to be seen wether the support will hold. But even if it doesn't, there is a good chance of a sideways trend to follow the rapid growth of the currency.

My conscience dictates that I write a warning and disclaimer at the end of this post. I am not endorsing the bitcoin currency and I am not encouraging to invest or to trade in bitcoins. Please be very careful as to where you invest your money and don't take any online article as the ultimate truth about the matter.

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