So it wasn’t the panic-sell we all feared after all. Yet. After crashing more than $200 about a day and a half ago, the bitcoin price has rebounded almost back to where it dived off. For the moment, we can’t even call yesterday’s slump a “correction”.
At press time, 1 BTC was trading just above $1,800 USD (according to CoinCap.io). That’s not quite up to the $1,860 highs of before the weekend, but it’s a lot healthier than $1669. Additionally, every single altcoin on CoinCap’s Top 20 was up as well — with ripple, dash and litecoin making gains of between 7.5 and 11.5 percent.
We should note that Ripple’s XRP continued to climb yesterday as others fell.
Did WannaCry Attack Hurt, or Help Bitcoin?
Some, including this site, feared the reputation damage large-scale malware events like this week’s “WannaCry” could inflict on Bitcoin. The effects could be long-lasting — especially if millions of people around the world heard the word “bitcoin” only in relation to the attack.
But what if the opposite were true? What if criminal activity actually helps its reputation, rather than harming?
That’s an unorthodox view, and one that once got this writer’s comments deleted from a certain popular BTC discussion forum. However there are a couple of ways Bitcoin can benefit from “bad” news.
One is that a large-scale malware attack that requires victims pay in bitcoin boosts both awareness and demand. That’s unfortunate for the victims for sure, but not because bitcoin is malicious. Call it a beneficial side-effect.
It’s a risky move and certainly no-one should do it with the intention of boosting bitcoin. However it’s highly doubtful that’s the motive.
Crime Also Shows that Bitcoin Works
The second is that criminals’ use of bitcoin, from ransomware attackers to illicit goods sellers on the dark web, is a valuable demonstration of its security and utility.
Silk Road #1 showed BTC worked as a currency and could hold value enough to use to purchase goods. And so far, the postal service and real physical addresses were the weak links in the chain that got most users arrested — not blockchain forensics.
That could change as techniques improve. But for now, it shows the network is secure after eight years and is an easy and trustworthy ways to move large volumes of money around the world outside the banking system.
As we also mentioned yesterday, though, that may also bring extra attention from regulators — and that could limit future bitcoin growth. Note also that any kind of success will bring that same attention, though — whether legitimate or not.
Bitcoin is a technological tool, and any intelligent person can see it’s neutral. Thus, all it needs to do is work. And it’s doing that perfectly, hence the current value.
Do you agree that any publicity is good publicity for cryptocurrency? Let’s year your thoughts.
Images via Pixabay