i'm really disappointed with bitcoin's trading range over the past 48 hours. i thought we would have seen both $3,000 and $30,000 by now
— Walter White (@heisenbergrpt) December 2, 2017
So that tweet was posted a little over a day ago and while it hasn’t hit $30,000 yet, allow us to officially say we’re no longer “really disappointed” with everyone’s favorite crypto craze. Because on Sunday, the (relative) calm was shattered when Bitcoin decided to explode higher by some $700.
Coindesk is super excited. “Beginning at 11:00 UTC, bitcoin saw a sudden surge, rising from $11,115 to set a new high of $11,655 by the end of the hour.” Here’s what that absurdity looks like:
That takes the market cap to within spitting distance of $200 billion:
So let’s just annotate a 1-month chart on this for fun. Have a look at what all has taken place in the last 30 days alone:
That is one helluva ride over such a short window and as we documented earlier this week, that last bit of volatility seems to have caused Lloyd Blankfein to rethink Goldman’s plans to get involved in this.
Meanwhile, this latest leg higher comes as Bitcoin futures got the green light from the CFTC and as Cantor is set to offer binary options. The move to a fresh all-time high also comes just days after Jack Bogle warned investors to “avoid Bitcoin like the plague.” Clearly, some folks aren’t listening.
You’re also reminded that the Wall Street Journal was out this week with a truly unnerving story that detailed just how rampant the speculation has become. Not only are actual retired grandmothers trading Bitcoin while simultaneously playing poker in Vegas (and I mean every bit of that literally), 78-year-olds like Tony Horsely of Atlanta have now sunk 5% of their portfolio into the digital currency. “I’m late to the game, but I’m enjoying it,” Tony told the Journal. Horsely now writes his own Bitcoin letter that he sends to friends.
WSJ also brought you the following chart which illustrates just how dramatic this is compared to historical bubbles:
And don’t forget that more people are now searching Google for “Bitcoin” than for “Donald Trump”:
All of this even as Coinbase has now been ordered to turn over information on more than 14,000 users to the IRS, potentially shattering the myth that this is largely untraceable.
But in what is perhaps the most poignant example yet of how off the rails this has gotten, there is now a literal Bitcoin plunge protection app called Bitcoin Bubble Burst. Here’s how it works according to the official website:
[The app] Analyzes the trades with deep learning and social media & news with cognitive computing like sentiment analytics to know rapid changes before they take place.
So AI is going to alert you when a digital currency is about to plunge. Or at least that’s the pitch.
“Although there are plenty of apps and services that warn you when bitcoin trading volume or price changes greatly, none give you adequate warning when something is going to happen, so we created a machine learning system and trained it on data linked to bitcoin price changes,” the app’s creators told TechCrunch.
“Patterns in trading and key news items — for example, a country bans bitcoin, or taxes are proposed on cryptocurrency income somewhere — are detected by the system and if they reach a certain threshold of importance, you will receive an email,” the creators went on to explain to TC’s Devin Coldewey.
There you go. You can rest easy. All you have to do is download an app, which will use machine learning to warn you when the end is nigh for a bubble in digital money.