Right on the Money: Bitcoin hits $3,000, or 1000x my entry point six years ago

bitcoin-in-gold-shades-1280x720-istockphoto

In 2011, I went all-in into bitcoin. As I described in a blog post at the time, I took all my savings and my entire credit line and put it into the fledgling currency, once I had realized its disruptiveness, and I did so at about $3 valuation (to simplify events a bit). People mocked me relentlessly.

I tend to be good at predicting events five years out that the large majority considers unforeseeable black swans. I’ve done so twice now for particular high-profile events: once when founding the Pirate Party – which was a “career ending decision” according to some colleagues, until I had succeeded wildly in what I had set out to do, sending people to the European Parliament on basically no budget using a novel set of leadership techniques. The other time was when I predicted the massive breakthrough of cryptocurrency in 2011, and said I predicted bitcoin to increase in value hundredfold-to-thousandfold over the next three to four years. (Do note that the actual breakthrough has not happened yet.)

Coindesk's price index has broken $3,000. (The original image has been replaced with a later one from the same day for effect.)
Coindesk's price index broke $3,000 today, June 11 2017.

In both these cases, people basically said I was mad, even though I made no secret of going all-in into bitcoin — I’m not the “haha, I got rich five years ago with my secret method” type of person. Rather, I announced to the entire world that I was going all in, and being very specific about my reasons, giving anybody who wanted the ability to copy my actions. (A lot of people did; I get people coming up to me today saying I got them into bitcoin with these posts. Good for us, good for all of us.)

A key to these kinds of high-risk decisions, of course, is to trust your own intelligence and judgment when you know you’re going against the grain and against common wisdom. If you try to do something halfway, it’s the equivalent of taking the average between two sidewalks and walking in the middle of the road. I quickly lost count of how many times various well-meaning people told me to “sell and collect profits and come out ahead” – but that simply wasn’t the analysis I had made. Most people didn’t even try to be well-meaning, but instead had fun at and mocked my decision to go all-in outright.

To illustrate this, this is the highest-voted comment — not a random comment, but the highest-voted comment — from the Reddit thread six years ago when I announced I was going all in. Particularly note that this is a comment made by, and voted to the top, by bitcoin enthusiasts.

"I can't even begin to comprehend the depths of the stupidity of that kind of reasoning". To be fair, it took just over five years, and not my estimated three to four.
“I can’t even begin to comprehend the depths of the stupidity of that kind of reasoning”. To be fair to the commenter, it took a little over five years to get there, and not my estimated three to four years.

It’s quite funny in hindsight, actually, that even the people who were most devoted to the technology expressed themselves like this at the time.

In any case, as a followup to the original post, I just wanted to highlight that it reached the target I predicted. I was, as people say, right on the money.

Or maybe I should say that bitcoin reached the first target I predicted. Today, I refrain from making predictions for bitcoin until scaling is properly resolved with good engineering, and the obstructing company Blockstream has been kicked out of the community; the currency really has no future until this event has taken place as Blockstream has negated all the utility I originally pointed out through insanely tone-deaf non-business, but cryptocurrency as a whole remains extremely disruptive, be it the first-mover variant (bitcoin) or a second-mover variant.

If you love Blockstream and/or Bitcoin Core, but started doing so after I went all-in, I would urge you to consider the rational possibility that my analysis holds water this time too.

(Oh, and the market cap total for cryptocurrency just hit a hundred billion US dollars. And it’s still just the beginning. When cryptocurrency is ready, it won’t make sense to measure it in US Dollars any longer.)

Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. He works as Head of Privacy at the no-log VPN provider Private Internet Access; with his other 40 hours, he's developing an enterprise grade bitcoin wallet and HR system for activism.

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Discussion

  1. Anonymous

    I sold most of mine @$750 thinking it was going too high too fast now i hate myself.

  2. Anonymous

    i dont get where you say ” the breakthrough hasnt’ happenened yet. it has gone up 1000X

    1. Male

      More people is getting access to the internet by the day. More people is understanding digital systems, using apps, understanding apps, by the day too. This enlarges the potential population exposed to BTC and cryptos. More people will join.

      Love the “Your name, maybe, Mail totally optional” hahaha.

    2. jack

      He means if bitcoin were to reach its full potential it would be closer to $1,000,000 or more per coin. Unfortunately until the scaling is resolved, it won’t happen. I am hoping that somehow the good will win, and bitcoin will fork away from blockstream. I hope they find a way, there’s got to be one.

      Thank you Rick for the insight, thank you greatly. Your interviews are fascinating and are what got me into bitcoin, especially the video you did for “The Bitcoin Report” in 2016 (“Rick Falkvinge – bitcoin to the moon or down the drain”). I still think it is one of the best videos on bitcoin out there. My instincts and judgement screamed the second I saw it that you were on to something. I went all in and have since made enough money to buy a house, and I’m only a few years out of high school. But this core leadership is disgusting to watch. I think guys like Roger Ver would be _perfect_ leading it. For now, I have diversified in order to protect myself. And no, don’t worry, I wouldn’t blame you or anyone else for any losses I incurred as a result of my investing. But your insight is always at the top of my list when trying to discern the truth. If scaling is resolved successfully, I look forward to much more of your thoughts. And don’t change, just keep doing what you’re doing.

      1. jack

        And just to reaffirm, I don’t consider your articles “investment advice”, nor do I blindly follow anyone. I always make my own decisions using my own judgement. But, your insight is always some of the most interesting to me.

      2. Rick Falkvinge

        This comment makes me insanely happy. So glad you’re doing well, based on your own judgment of the insights of others!

        Cheers,
        Rick

    3. Jonathan Silverblood

      It really hasn’t happened yet. Most still trade their bitcoins for fiat. When it happens, we will trade them for groceries and pay are utility bills with them.

  3. bill

    what if the scaling issue is never resolved. would it matter?. wouldn’t bitcoin be like a gold standard?

    1. Chr1st144n

      I think you are right with this. Bitcoin moves from a payment solution to a trading solution.

    2. Rick Falkvinge

      There is no store-of-value that isn’t first a transactional currency. This includes gold (which was the transactional currency of the world, abstracted by the US Dollar, up until August 15, 1971).

      The scaling will be resolved, but not by the current bitcoin team (“Core”, “Blockstream”), and maybe not on the bitcoin blockchain, but it will be resolved.

  4. TommyV

    Who is second-mover in about 5 years do you think besides Bitcoin?
    /Thanks

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      Ethereum, Monero, and Dash are all looking good right now, in my opinion, in roughly that order. They all have some hurdles as well, but of different kinds. I would also not be surprised to see Dogecoin still hanging around in about the same role it does today.

      1. My Name

        Is Dash quite a scam with instamine etc…? I know Tone Vays talks a lot about it and it makes sence (not like hes VERY PRO CORE stance (which doesnt make that much sense for me) and his quite stupid views on etherum, which costed me money already since i wanted to buy etherum when it way down but then listening to him made me lazy to go through with the actual buying of etherum :-) ). But his info on dash seems legit…

        Dont you think that dash is a “scam” or that there is something quite wrong with it? I dont see problem with etherum or monero but dash…? wasnt there an instamine, the dark nodes (ow hows it called ) etc.?

  5. Chr1st144n

    After reading “Originals” I am convinced that the first-mover never will become the biggest party. Bitcoin has been the solution that inspires all the developers to create the next “better” solution, with a bigger thinking at the start of the development.

    You say 3k is just a first station. Where can we read the other stations you are predicting?

  6. pyc

    Now pay attention to Ethereum because it’s Bitcoin^2, not right now suffering from scaling (actually political) problems as Bitcoin is. What’s gonna happen? Bitcoin will function as store-of-wealth at the best, I think it’s too late already for it to be used as currency. Also, anonimity is very important so right there’s only one logical answer – Monero. Other ones in the field are fishy and scammy.

  7. Penelope

    Congrats! Wonder if the trend will be upwards!

  8. Name

    You started at something good and now you ended as a capitalist writing about your profits. :-(

  9. Anonymous

    Article can be summed into “Told you so”. But I guess you’ve earned the right to say that

  10. Marcus Licinius Crassus

    “Dash is not even remotely competitive. It is simply and purely a scam to steal money from the foolish and ignorant. The market cap of dash is an illusion created by temporarily removing most of the supply into masternodes which monitor all the transactions and insure that 90% of the network traffic goes through NSA controlled routers. When the scam bubble pops all of those masternodes will get liquidated in a huge rush to the exits, crushing all the innocent holders. The only reason why a masternode holder (other than a “national security” unit) is willing to take that risk is the illusion of yield. Let me give you a hint: Hard money has no yield. If it has a yield, it is a scam, and eventually that illusion will blow away. It took 46 years for the soveriegn fiat illusion of yield to disappear. I can assure you with confidence that it won’t take that long for the dash masternode rentiers to get their come-uppance. They lack armies and nuclear missiles, for one thing.

    Another example of a moral crime against humanity is zcash, which taxes it’s foolish users 20% for the priviledge of being subjected to infinite surprise dilution, and using gee whiz math that 99.999% of the buyers don’t understand. I would not want to face that Nuremburg justice when it comes.

    Ignorant and foolish people think they are clever because they are making money. Well, a rising tide lifts all boats. It is only when the tide goes out that we discover who was swimming naked. I will be covering my private parts with Monero when that happens, simply because I think it provides the best cover * liquidity value in known space.

    You can call me arrongant or insensitive, trollish, or book talking, or whatever you like, but if one person is saved from embezzlement and poverty by my warnings, I will consider the reputation burn well spent.

    That said, yes, there will always be the possibility of some future deanonymizing innovation as long as we rely on computational asymmetries. That is why defense in depth is so crucial. Your contributions to Kovri now may be late to the party, but will nonetheless be welcomed (after thorough peer review). Eventually we may incorporate a decoherence layer into peer communications to prevent information leakage, but the technology is not yet widely available. Eventually q.c. will destroy even zksnarks, but by then we will have new quantum-ready tech in place, at least if I have anything to say about it.

    And I would not be alone, I am sure, in being willing to cowboy-fork if necessary, when that time comes. Although, I do not believe it will be necessary, given the prudential responsibility demonstrated by the core team to date. (Also, I do think any new quantum ready PRs would be very premature at this point. We won’t want them until we expect to actually need them. Until then they would just be valueless added risk.)

    Anyhow, cheap coins, yo. When the facts change, so do my opinions: I am buying anything under $52 these days. I think in the very worst case they might be under water until August, but I still say the June/July scenario ranks are skewed positive, so I am willing to take that much duration risk. All it takes to prove me wrong is one large persistent seller in size, but so far all the evidence has been that transactions in size are overwhelmingly biased towards long term holds. Hence, the intermittent level-up jumps, each time the float supply gets drained off into reserve demand. Even a growing economy can’t prevent some profit taking by speculators, after a big jump, so you have to expect some dips to follow the jumps. That, my friends, is our great opportunity, as patient and prudent buyers. The FUD storms help us, as much as I hate to admit it. I much, much prefer gains by honest value-add and legitimate, well-reasoned and soundly founded “risk-taking”.”

    1. Marcus Licinius Crassus

      That was written by “aminorex.”

  11. David Gerard

    Didn’t you post previously that you’d lost your entire saving in Mt. Gox?

    I’m literally writing a book on Bitcoin and blockchains. I state that you CAN make money in cryptos, but it’s vastly more likely you’ll be the person the first guys make their money from. I see no reason to change this view here in the second great bubble.

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      Didn’t you post previously that you’d lost your entire saving in Mt. Gox?

      No, I’ve never written that as it isn’t true. I have stated on the record that I lost – I believe the scientific unit is “a metric fuckton” of money in the Empty Gox collapse. But I had significant amounts out of there before that happened.

      But because of Gox, I don’t have 1000x my original capital (as I also write in the comments above).

  12. LennStar

    I did a similar prediction for Gridcoin when it started late in 2013.

    Compared to Bitcoin it does not need PoW to run, chain moves by PoS. But you can earn GRC by doing scientific work on the established platform BOINC – not by using especially made ASICs but with your everyday CPU (and GPU).

    It is the only coin that rewards a multitude of science projects. Because of the greater block speed it can handle 3 times the transactions of Bitcoin without any change to the code (which could be easily made).

    Thanks to the last crypto boom GRC is now up to 100 times its worth in 2014 and still vastly undervaluated if you ask me.

    btw there is a bounty out for a program change (unfortunately not many programmers in the coin) that should be several thousand $ now. Earn money by helping science!

  13. Vince

    well explanation Rick. Love to read your analysis back in 2011. What do you think about dogecoin for the future?

  14. Kristian M

    Hi Rickard. I texted you yesterday but haven’t heard back from you, so I thought I would ask here instead.

    I was watching your interview on youtube regarding how you think that BTC will hit 1-5mUSD. That would make the marketcap of bitcoin more than 21tUSD. That’s 25% of the total stock capitalization. Why is it that you believe that BTC can amass such a huge marketcap with competing coins like ETH, LTC Dash taking up an increasing number of the total crypto market cap? Also, do you still believe that BTC will conquer and that the scaling will be resolved, or do you have more faith in coins like ETH and Monero?

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      Well, I believe cryptocurrency will take up a significant market cap. There will be two or three major ones, at most, for slightly different purposes.

      Bitcoin may be among them. It will not if scaling isn’t resolved this year. Scaling and governance.

      1. Kristian M

        I appreciate the reply, but can you give me the calculation for why you think 1 BTC could be worth 1mUSD? 21tUSD seem like an unrealistic market cap for one crypto to achieve.

    2. outlook sign up

      • I’ve read your entire information that you stocks in your article and I must say I love it. Many thanks for writing this post. I appreciate it.

  15. Matt

    What do you think about GameCredits and Factom? Two of the more interesting Altcoins. I think there is room for much more than 2-3 major cryptocurrencies.

  16. bill

    what do you think of this article Rick written on zero hedge a couple of days ago?. has india stack usurped bitcoin?
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-13/raoul-pal-warns-bitcoin-mania-not-store-value-i-sold-out-last-week
    thank you,
    b

  17. bill

    will india stack stop inflation?

  18. Arif Harianto

    Bitcoin, solution for global crisis. Maybe on the 2 years later, bitcoin will be real money :3 maybe

  19. bill

    what’s the best , simplest, most honest money (ie/ non inflationary) and most readily usable by the masses that can be implemented? ( i guess computing code may be complicated, but when its done, its done). ie/ can an 8 year old use it?. can an 80 year old use it?. can a poor person use it?,
    thanks
    b

  20. Joel Kaartinen

    Rick,

    Your announcement of going all in in Bitcoin is what got me involved with Bitcoin and I thank you for that. As it was for you, it was obvious to me as well, that this is going to be huge. It is indeed important to be able trust your own intelligence and judgement. We share that quality.

    However, that very quality leads me to be extremely puzzled about your attitude towards the Core Dev team and especially Blockstream. I’m a programmer and the prevailing thinking in the Core Dev team about scaling makes complete sense to me. I can’t think of any other way to approach the scaling issue that would be feasible in the long run.

    From my perspective, the Core Dev line of thinking makes perfect sense while your position is very puzzling. I have no idea what kind of reasoning (and assumptions) leads to the conclusions you make. In the past my own thinking about issues has been very much in line with yours so ending up with a polar opposite viewpoint, when compared to yours, is rather unusual.

    It’s not merely that we disagree that troubles me. The most troubling part is that I have no idea how a rational person could come to the conclusion you’ve ended up with in this situation. However, since, for the most part, I tend to agree with your thinking, I’m hoping that perhaps you might be able help me (and others who disagree) to at least understand why you believe as you do.

  21. Paykasa Bozdurma

    will india stack stop inflation?

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