Bitcoin’s (BTC) value has experienced a remarkable surge of nearly 170% since the European Central Bank (ECB) raised concerns about its impending “irrelevance” when it was priced at $16,400. The substantial rise in BTC price has contradicted economists’ predictions, leading to a reconsideration of the ECB’s assessments in terms of accuracy.
On November 30, 2022, the ECB published a blog post proclaiming the potential demise of Bitcoin. At that time, Bitcoin was trading at just $16,400. The post highlighted Bitcoin’s price volatility, referencing a peak of $69,000 in November 2021, followed by a decline to $17,000 by mid-June 2022. The ECB suggested that the apparent stabilization around $20,000 was more likely an artificially induced “last gasp” before Bitcoin’s road to irrelevance.
Interestingly, this “last gasp” initially seemed to play out as Bitcoin revisited the $16,400 level in mid-December. However, a swift recovery ensued, with Bitcoin gaining 70% in the first quarter of 2023 alone. One year after the ECB’s premature obituary, Bitcoin’s value stands at $43,800, representing a 166% increase from the level at which the ECB sounded the alarm.
Prominent figures in the crypto community, such as Eric Wall and Philip Swift, have expressed satisfaction and amusement at the ECB’s apparent miscalculation. Swift, the creator of the statistics platform Look Into Bitcoin, commented, “You love to see it,” while questioning the ECB’s accuracy. Alex Thorn, head of firmwide research at Galaxy, echoed these sentiments, raising doubts about the ECB’s overall competence.
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The ECB has a history of skepticism toward Bitcoin, with Christine Lagarde, the ECB Chief, expressing a low opinion of cryptocurrencies. Lagarde even mentioned her son’s financial losses due to ignoring her advice on crypto investments. The ECB’s stance aligns with its preparations for the potential rollout of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Lagarde acknowledged the CBDC’s utility for transaction “control.”
Moving beyond the realm of Bitcoin, discussions in the crypto space extend to the development of blockchain gaming in the context of Web3. Despite challenges posed by the crypto bear market, professionals in the gaming industry anticipate a more eventful year for blockchain gaming in 2024.
Henry Chang, CEO of Wemade, a South Korean game development company, foresees an increase in the release of blockchain-based games in 2024. Chang anticipates more complex applications of Web3 within games as developers gain experience and confidence. The inclusion of Web3 in gaming is seen as a way to provide new revenue streams, enhance community engagement through token-gated benefits, and return in-game asset ownership to gamers.
Bartosz Skwarczek, founder and CEO of G2A Capital Group, predicts increased collaboration between traditional gaming industry players and Web3 startups in 2024. This collaboration is expected to lead to more mainstream adoption of Web3 gaming, with improved accessibility and user-friendly interfaces attracting a broader audience.