Bitcoin hit its all-time high of $19,670 two years ago today, and here at BitStarz News we aren’t immune to a bit of misty-eyed reminiscence. Bitcoin’s epic run from $983 on January 1, 2017 to $19,670 on December 17 made headlines all over the world, made some people millionaires, and gave birth to predictions that this was just the start for Bitcoin, that it could see $30k by year’s end before pushing onto $100k.
As we now know, that didn’t happen, but who can resist a step back in time to those heady days when everything was green and crypto Twitter wasn’t full of childish bickering and gym workout videos? Was it as good as we remember? Kind of.
Bitcoin’s Epic 2017
2017 as a whole was an incredible experience for the crypto community, many of whom joined the rollercoaster that year with no idea what they were doing. Thousands of people worldwide made (and subsequently lost) life changing amounts of money almost by accident, spending the final three months of the year floating on a cloud of euphoria as Bitcoin crashed through walls and expectations on its way to headline-making record levels.
It’s hard to remember (or imagine, if you’re a late starter) a time when ICOs were hitting exchanges and making 10-20x at least, when the only reason alts didn’t go up was because Bitcoin was going up instead, and buying almost anything on the market felt risk-free. December 2017 was the culmination of a year of euphoria for Bitcoin holders, especially those who had held through the 2015 bear market.
Crypto Twitter was full of mammoth Bitcoin predictions, rocket emojis, low cap gems that would likely do 1,000x, and a general sense of bonhomie. Crypto groups were popping up left right and center on Discord and Telegram, with users helping to enrich one another as the markets continued to explode, rejoicing as Bitcoin experienced green candle after green candle, stretching the parabola further and further. Institutional money was also coming in via CME and Cboe, which would open the floodgates and push Bitcoin to even more unimaginable levels.
Breaching $10,000 in November had been a huge psychological achievement, something that many thought had not been possible, and the feeling that Bitcoin could ‘go up forever’ was testament to the type of investor who had got caught up in the euphoria – for the first time, the average person on the street was making bigger returns than Wall Street titans, and it felt great.
December 17 represented the height of this joy as Bitcoin scraped $20,000, and many people across the world rubbed their eyes at their newfound wealth.
The Dark Side of December 2017
It is easy to view the 2017 bull run with rose tinted glasses, but it also had its downsides. The Bitcoin network couldn’t cope with the demand suddenly put upon it, meaning that transactions were hugely expensive and took hours to arrive. Likewise, the Ethereum network was also clogged up thanks to a single dApp, Cryptokitties, illustrating the same point. ‘Gas wars’ were a common phenomenon in 2017, where ICO contributors would have to pay through the nose to get their ETH transactions through to the contribution address in time.
Scammers were also running riot back in 2017, much worse than now – every Twitter post by anyone remotely popular was followed by a litany of scam posts trying to convince naïve investors to send in their BTC for “guaranteed profit”. BitConnect was also hitting its peak at this point, with each token approaching $350, even as protests against the platform grew. Pump and dump groups were also a menace, enriching themselves on the back of investors’ inexperience by artificially shooting the price of a token up before dumping at the top.
An Age of Innocence
In many ways, December 17, 2017, represented the apex of a much more innocent time. Novice investors were high on the fact they were making money hand over fist without having to do anything, Ian Balina was almost guaranteeing to make you rich with his ICO spreadsheet, and regulations were almost non-existent, allowing much easier investment into ICOs and movement of crypto.
What happened after December 17, 2017, has been well documented, but it’s nice, not to mention important, to remember how it felt to be a part of that time, and to know that there is a great likelihood that it will happen again in some respect. Bitcoin will hit new all time highs in the future, even if we don’t know when, and the important thing is to be holding some when it does.