Bitcoin Down 22% in Past Week

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The bitcoin crash has come, but will it go away? The digital currency lost 22% in value over the past week, falling to $15,180.

The case made for bitcoin value in the past year is that people can buy ever more things with the currency. In other words, it has come closer and closer to “mainstream” instead of what has been in the past, almost only a way for speculators to trade it and make money. Recently, however, an apartment in Dubai sold for 50 bitcoin, or about $240,000 based on how bitcoin was priced then. That sort of activity has become increasingly less of an isolated story.

Those who believe bitcoin is overvalued fall into two categories. The first takes the other side of whether bitcoin will become mainstream. They argue that bitcoin will never become widely used by major retailers or for real estate transactions. Its usefulness will fade because its spot in the real world of commerce, made via current major currencies like the dollar, will disappear.

The other major argument against the present value of bitcoin is that it is a bubble, and it will have to collapse to return to a valuation that matches its real usefulness for commerce. That value is up 1,587% in the past year, which is a bubble by almost any reasonable measurement of a relatively new basis of transactions. It exceeds the rise in any traditional currency, stock market or real estate market, at least in recent memory. This argument is based on the fact that sustaining such a sharp appreciation of value is not possible, particularly if the argument that it is not mainstream enough is true.

Bitcoin’s value has been attacked by a number of financial executives and many economists and currency traders. They argue that the sort of collapse going on now is only the start of one that will take it back to levels of a year ago or earlier. A 22% fall may just be a beginning.