Blog

Bitcoin & Crypto: A Brief Run-Through

By: Adrian Ray Del Campo

Bitcoin has existed for years yet ever since its value reached over $10,000, it’s been headlining. Only a handful of people were into Bitcoin before 2017. Since the dawn of its popularity, a myriad of other cryptocurrencies has also risen. Currencies such as Etherium and Litecoin easily rose to the top of the ranks, and currencies derived from Bitcoin such as Bitcoin Cash soon followed. Soon enough, there had been a whole market for cryptocurrencies, and as of today, there are more than 1500 of them. But when did it all start?

 
Bitcoin was the first ever cryptocurrency created. It’s creator/creators while unknown goes by the name Satoshi Nakamoto. Up to this date, Bitcoin’s creator’s real identity remains a mystery. In 2008, a paper called ‘Bitcoin – A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System’ was posted by Satoshi on a cryptocurrency discussion group. A year later, a public software was released allowing everyone to mine Bitcoin. At this point, Bitcoin was worth cents, much like penny stocks or less.

 
Years pass by and communities emerged around Bitcoin and more and more people started mining the currency. Bitcoin had no explicit monetary value then until a folklore about a guy who traded two pizzas for 10,000 Bitcoin surfaced. The first Bitcoin trade was undocumented but during 2010, trading the currency begun and slowly, a market quickly followed to cater to it. The concept of cryptocurrencies came with the success of Bitcoin and alternative currencies such as Litecoin and Namecoin were established in 2011.

 
With technological advancements to ease mining and trading made possible, Bitcoin’s value rose to $1000 for the first time in 2013. In the same year however, Bitcoin plummeted to $300. It would take more than two years for it to go back to $1000.
After a few years, Bitcoin’s (along with other cryptocurrencies) growth became more and more evident. With it’s rise, problems also arose. In 2014, one of the biggest scams in crypto occurred. $450,000 million dollars (at that time) disappeared along with a Bitcoin exchange known as Mt. Gox.

 
The blockchain technology used for cryptocurrencies may be good in a way that it cannot be cheated, and every transaction is anonymous, but the anonymity may also be used for malevolent purposes. Pyramid and ponzi schemes also took advantage of people’s interest and benefitted from the growing amount of people willing to invest in crypto. More organized and planned ways of scamming involved pumping and dumping, and ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings).

 
Bitcoin continued to grow through the years along with other cryptocurrencies, the Ether platform, and ICOs. It reached a milestone at $5000 and only grew more and more through the coming months. Investors and bigtime holders quickly took notice. During the early months of 2017, Bitcoin was at around $9000. In November 2017, Bitcoin hit big and reached a whopping $10,000 per unit. Its popularity caused quite a stir and made way for the paving of a new era of cryptocurrencies and the birth of communities willing to support it. Within just weeks, Bitcoin grew steeper and steeper.
On December 17, 2017, Bitcoin hit its all time high of $19,783.06 but was unable to hold on or progress even further. Bitcoin fell back to $11,000 in just days. Since all other cryptocurrencies partly depend on Bitcoin’s success, with the plunge, it took many other cryptocurrencies down with it. As of now, Bitcoin holds at around $8,000. This may seem like the beginning of the end for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but the cryptocurrency market is very volatile. Every day, currencies battle up and down the market leaderboards.

 

Sources:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2017/12/06/a-short-history-of-bitcoin-and-crypto-currency-everyone-should-read/3/#739db26f61c7
Bitcoin just hit $10,000 for the first time
http://fortune.com/2017/12/17/bitcoin-record-high-short-of-20000/
https://www.wired.com/story/cryptocurrency-scams-ico-trolling/
https://coinmarketcap.com/

Stock Market: Behind The Scenes

By: Andrea Rodenas

Stocks trading and investment should be “as easy as it gets.” You have the means and resources to buy some stocks, invest it on a profitable company or corporation, wait for it to increase its value and in the end make much more money than you initially invested on. That’s the perception of most people about how the stock market works but in reality, it’s just a market that revolves around market principles, unpredictability and superstitions.

Superstitions, believe it or not, have been ruling the stock market for decades. They have them wrapped around their fingers. Why? There’s actually no particular answer to this. The stock traders and investors, at least some of them, just follow it. Neither a concrete statistical data can explain why the stock market can turn into a cemetery because of an event, a day or even a month that has nothing but myths and legends about the stock market. Other than the basic percentages of stock fall or increase, there is no more formula to superstitions. Here are some examples of superstitions that mostly affects the stock market that I find quite interesting and mind-blowing:

  1. September is the worst time to trade: According to Turney Duff of CNBC, “September is the worst month of the trading year: The average percent change from 1928 to 2015 is down 1 percent.”
  2. Black Monday: Some of the worst decline in Sensex (the benchmark index of the Bombay Stock Exchange in India) are recorded on a Monday. The Dow Jones 23 per cent drop in 1987 and the other seven out of the twenty biggest declines in Sensex happened on a Monday.
  3. China’s lucky 8 and unlucky 4: Most Chinese investors trade based on this fact especially when it comes to their stock’s numerical codes.
  4. Full Moon: Full moon is a bad sign for the stock market. Studies show that on a full moon, the returns in stocks are much lower.
  5. Super Bowl: Even football can affect the stock market! It was believed that if a National Football Conference team wins then it’s a good sign for the stock market but when an American Football Conference team wins then it will be a bad sign. Duff said that from 1967 to 2003 it was correct 68 percent of the time.

Recently the super blue blood moon appeared after more than 150 years and the stock market was not safe from this moon’s appearance. According to Wilson Sy, the effect of this rare appearance resulted to a 666 points drop in Dow followed by a 1,096 points drop the week after. In addition, Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq plunged by 4.1 percent, 3.9 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively and the PSEi dropped 148 points the day before the full moon and another 146 points on the day of the super blue blood moon, resulting in a 3.2 percent decline over two days.

Whether or not there is really a correlation between the above-mentioned events and the performance of the stock market is still unknown. What we’ve grasped from this is that the stock market isn’t just ruled by the knowledgeable, the radicals, the business-minded and the elite. The superstitious ones also dominate and compete in this arena. Moreover, stock market is not safe from superstitions, as what some people would’ve thought.  Superstitions became part of the index of the stock market. Well it won’t hurt to follow right? Or will it?

 

References:

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/31/8-market-superstitions-should-you-be-afraid-commentary.html

https://beta.philstar.com/business/2018/02/05/1784581/super-blue-blood-moon-triggers-bloodbath-stocks

https://www.irishtimes.com/business/personal-finance/friday-the-13th-and-lunar-lunacy-superstition-and-the-stock-market-1.3246968

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/todays-paper/tp-investmentworld/Of-stock-markets-and-superstitions/article20013765.ece

http://www.businessinsider.com/super-bowl-indicator-patriots-win-could-mean-tough-year-for-stocks-superstition-says-2018-2