“It’s too late for Bitcoin”…. Or so people keep telling me


Chatting heads

I’ve been to a number of social gatherings recently and almost inevitably the subject of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency comes up. On more than one occasion I’ve heard the same phase rattled out:

It’s too late for Bitcoin

I’ve heard it enough times that I know immediately what the reference is to. It’s a feeling that it’s too late to invest in Bitcoin because the price has already hit astronomically levels. Thus the “It’s too late for Bitcoin” rhetoric is often followed by other sound bites like:

You had to have got into Bitcoin early, there is no point getting involved now.

Some go further…

It’s a ponzi scheme… what generated out of thin air? It’s created out of nothing how can it have value?

Part-time Experts

At this point I do not bother arguing. On the contrary. I’ve been involved in cryptocurrency for four years now however I’m still open to being wrong about Cryptocurrency. Maybe the people I’m meeting have an insight into the space that I have missed. So I ask;

You sound knowledgeable; you must have done a fair bit of research into Bitcoin?

To which without fail they become squirmish. It turns out they only have limited exposure to Cryptocurrency. Then I suggest:

Maybe your view of Bitcoin is more down to a lack of understanding of what it is than anything else?

The conversation usually dies off at that point.

Cannot convince the un-convincible

I’ve given up explaining that bitcoin and blockchain technology is potentially a disruptive technology etc… and as such no-one can accurately determine it’s true valuation. The fact is I have no real interest in convincing people that they should buy Bitcoin.

If you’re are not using Bitcoin or don’t see it’s investment potential, you shouldn’t buy it, simple.

However if you haven’t bothered to look into Bitcoin and cryptocurrency beyond mainstream headlines and news-bites; by all means have an opinion however don’t expect people who have taken the time to understand it to take you seriously.

No-one has ever been knowingly ‘early’

It is easy to disengage with trying to understand Bitcoin when the valuation appears uncomfortably high. However the fact is however there has never been a comfortable time to buy bitcoin. There has never been a time that was universally seen as “early” to buy bitcoin.

I remember when Bitcoin first came to my attention in late 2013. The price had hit $1000. It then dropped substantially from that high. After the Mt Gox collapse in February 2014, the price fell to around $200 at one point. With hindsight everyone should have ploughed into Bitcoin. However the sentiment at the time was the opposite. It felt as if it was too late for Bitcoin. It felt like the biggest risk in the world. I know of many ‘real’ early investors that left the scene after the Mt Gox collapsed; at the time they thought they got out too late and at the time such a view was completely understandable. It genuinely felt like Bitcoin might end up a failed experiment due to the failure of it’s biggest (by far) Exchange.

Divergence makes Markets

Right now the Bitcoin experiment is as alive and vibrant as it has ever been. The wider Cryptocurrency experiment even more so. However it there isn’t a Cryptocurrency where you’d get uniform agreement that ‘now’ is the right time. It is the nature of the free market that there is a divergence of opinion. Else you wouldn’t have sellers, only buyers (or vice versa).

Just tell should I invest dammit!

So is it too late to buy Bitcoin?

I believe the answer is more nuanced. For some there was never the right time to buy Bitcoin. It was (and is) way too speculative for them to put money into. They will only understand Bitcoin if or when it has already disrupted the status quo. At that point it will likely be less about ‘investing’ and more about using Bitcoin (or some other Cryptocurrency) in their day-to-day life. In much the same way as most people that use Google or Amazon haven’t invested a penny in it. That is absolutely fine. Not everyone needs to be an investor; even if the opportunity is open to all.

For others, there is never a wrong time to buy Bitcoin. They see the potential of Bitcoin now and will not stop investing until either the potential is realised or the experiment fails.

Then you have people that fit in the shade of grey between those two extremes, with there being a myriad of reason why people in the middle invest in (or speculate on) Bitcoin.

Wherever you sit and whatever you think the outcome may be; know that one this is true. This is just the beginning of the journey. I for one will be enjoying the journey; probably as much if not more than reaching the final destination.


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