What Bitcoin Has in Common With Mark Twain

In May 1897, while great American novelist Samuel Clemens, known as Mark Twain, was on a round-the-world speaking tour, he stopped in London. While there, someone, perhaps misunderstanding a report about Twain’s cousin’s recent illness in London, started a rumor that Twain was the one who was gravely ill. This was allegedly followed by a report in an American newspaper that Mark Twain had died. When asked about this by a reporter, what Twain said was “the report of my death was an exaggeration.”

Over the years, this famous quote has evolved and changed many times in the telling, and most people quote this variation, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” However you want to say it, the bottom line is that Twain not only wasn’t dead, he wasn’t gravely ill either, and his sense of humor was alive and well.

Bitcoin is Still Alive, in Spite of the Obituaries

In the 10 years since the inception of Bitcoin, there have been many pronouncements of its death. The value of a single bitcoin has fluctuated wildly at times and with each drop came another gloomy obituary. But as with Twain, the reports of Bitcoin’s death are an exaggeration.

Bitcoin Infographic

Although doom and gloom has been announced hundreds of times, this Bitcoin Infographic from BitcoinCasinoKings.com illustrates 52 times that Bitcoin was declared dead. (Click on the preview image to view the whole infographic.)

Here are a few of the notable death notices:

Forbes, June 20, 2011: The Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox was hacked and within minutes of the announcement, the price of Bitcoin dropped from over $17 to just pennies.

Wired, December 24, 2012: Bitcoin is expired. Citing malware, the black market, and legal ambiguities, Wired was certain Bitcoin was dead. Trading at $13.38.

New York Magazine, June 20, 2013: “Bitcoin’s path to the grave has always been fairly clear to me.” Bitcoin trades at more than $111.00

LA Times, December 7, 2013: The price of “the attention-grabbing cryptocurrency got crushed, falling from $1,200 per coin to less than $600.

Business Insider, December 17, 2013: Bitcoin will crash to $10 by mid-2014 from nearly $700.

Bloomberg, February 25, 2014: Governments will regulate Bitcoin out of existence.

The Motley Fool, October 11, 2014: Three Reasons Bitcoin is Doomed to Fail

Washington Post, June 8, 2015: Bitcoin Isn’t the Future

Business Insider, March 3, 2016: Bitcoin is Collapsing

Gizmodo, February 24, 2017: Bitcoin trades at over $1,100 as Gizmodo says “Bitcoin, somehow, continues to persist, despite mounting evidence that it’s not the best use of your money.”

Investing.com, January 22, 2018: Five Reasons Bitcoin Won’t Survive

CNBC, May 6, 2018: Warren Buffet says Bitcoin is “probably rat poison squared”.

Moving Forward

From its beginning, when Bitcoin was valued at a tiny fraction of a penny, until today, ten years later, where Bitcoin has been holding ground at the mid $3,000 level, the critics, naysayers, and negative nabobs have been predicting doom. It appears that the reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated. Want to read about some of Bitcoin’s supporters and cheerleaders? Check out our blog post on Bitcoin Predictions for 2019.

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