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I've been observing the huge increase in the price of Bitcoin over the last month (November 2013) and I can't help but think, is someone with an ulterior motive pulling the strings here?

It seems to me that Bitcoin represents a huge threat to some very powerful people who would like to see the financial status quo maintained. If Bitcoin posed a significant threat to them, how would they combat it?

I don't think trying to govern or control Bitcoin in any way would work. If I was in that position, I would probably pour a lot of resources into artificially raising the value of Bitcoin, create a mania of publicity around it and get as many people invested into the bubble as possible. Then when it reached a tipping point, I would burst that bubble hard, make sure all those people who invested got their fingers badly burned. Killing Bitcoin by destroying everyone's faith in it...

That's why the sudden increase in value concerns me.

Is it feasibly possible for someone to artificially raise the value of Bitcoin in this way? Given that those who might want to do so would have almost unlimited financial resources, and a whole lot of influence over the media/public opinion. Could they be setting up Bitcoin for a very overt fall?

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    I could answer this question, but then I'd have to kill you... – Nate Eldredge Dec 2 '13 at 18:22
  • @NateEldredge I'm willing to take that risk, please continue! – MattDavey Dec 2 '13 at 18:38
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Possible, yes.

Probable, no.

If such a scheme were tried it would cost the perpetrator a significant amount to execute (Billions of $) and if successful would almost certainly result in a loss of a significant fraction of the initial investment in the "destroy bitcoin" venture.

There is also no guarantee of success, as the bitcoin price could just re-stabilise at a lower value like we saw in 2011.

There are many explanations behind the recent price increase that are far more likely, including the US Senate hearings, China, and the Network Effect.

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    "there are many explanations behind the recent price increase that are far more likely" - The simplest explanation is probably the correct one! "including... China""* - Especially as we've seen today that news in China can have a huge effect on the price of bitcoin, up or down.. – MattDavey Dec 5 '13 at 15:31
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There are really only two things driving the increase in price you are talking about.

  1. Supply and Demand
  2. Greed and Fear

Supply and demand is simple, there is a virtuous cycle at work here:

  • Increasing demand drives price increase due to limited supply
  • Increasing price drives increasing demand as knowledge spreads in the media
  • Repeat

Greed and Fear are basic human emotions, but the interesting thing is that the Greed and Fear is a community measure not an individuals, this can be considered as the "wisdom" of the crowd.

  • Large price increases increases greed
  • Increasing greed increases prices
  • Decreasing prices increases fear
  • Increasing fear decreases prices

When you boil it down to just these things and nothing else (such as cost of mining) you have something like a measure of the psychology involved in these simple concepts applied to the crowd rather than the individual.

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Possible, yes.

Probable, no.

12+ million Bitcoins, Bitcoins value 1077. Multiply these and you get 13 000 million dollars. This is a lot of money... Even if they had the money and they would be too late. They probably didn't know about this Bitcoin thing from the start. Even if they would try this this would skyrocket the value of Bitcoin. Because the miners will keep these coins as an investment. Because they would be so rich they don't even care about the still invested money.

Also know the value of the Bitcoin is related to the cost of mining one. If there is a large investor the value of the Bitcoins will rise and the miners will have more money to mine more coins. They will get richer thanks to the evil investor...

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I think you're all not seeing the elephant in the room. There will only be finite amount of these things and that's very bad for the future. Why? Simple: a few people will control them and artificially control the value, this in turn will fuel other crypto-currencies to high levels due to most not being able to obtain Bitcoin and thus collapsing Bitcoin in the next two years or so. This will occur over and over as the rats swarm to the next crypto-currency after each pump and dump. Most of you have no real concept of money or finance and what really makes it all work hence the short term gains you're enjoying. At present there's about 150 different types of cyrptocurrency most barely worth a penny one worth over 67k per coin.

Of course there's also the criminal element, when you assign value to something bad people smarter than you will take it from you quite easily. Example the 2011 and current Mt.Gox foolishness and several other exchanges getting hacked and shuttering like the first offical bitcoin bank it lost 750,00 worth and pretty much told it's depositer's your s.o.l.

Any of you read the new Mt.Gox statement on their site? They are in deep and now Bitcoin is in real danger of being federally regulated by the government of Japan, wanna bet all other goverments will follow suit real quick?

Fun while it lasted.

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