A reddit user recently asked the $800 question: who bought their bitcoins at this higher price, where are these coins now and how do they feel about it?
The Coin Telegraph has gathered the many responses – and they make for some fascinating reading indeed.
Users responded with details of the price they paid for bitcoins, what they subsequently did with them and what plans they have involving Bitcoin in the future. A lot of respondents also volunteered further information which colors the findings even more. At the time the thread was published on 30 March, the price of 1 BTC was fluctuating around US$453.
Spectrum of investment
Roughly half of commentators bought Bitcoin at $800 per unit or above, up to $1200 in November 2013. By contrast, just over 49.4% purchased at $799 or below, down to a minimum of $10. Additionally, 20 of these users purchased in both price ranges.
It is interesting that the high price of BTC late last year did not deter purchasing. This can be explained through Bitcoin’s rise to fame during this period, while being comparatively unknown in earlier times when its price was significantly lower.
Things become more interesting, however, when the factor of regret is added to the data. As the price of BTC has declined sharply in the intervening few months, one would expect lamentations across the board, especially from high-end purchases. However, of the 87 users surveyed, only 11 voiced specific regret at their decision to purchase, with many more (27) stating the opposite. “The highest I bought was at 850$, I don't regret it,” one writes, “I'm on the long run”.
Being ‘in it for the long-run’ is a sentiment echoed across those who responded. In fact, 73 out of 87 buyers say they have no intention to sell in the near future, instead opting to speculate on price changes as BTC remains highly volatile.
Weathering the storm
While there is a certain inevitability in this statistic, as low-price purchasers have no reason to sell and high-price purchasers don’t want to lose out, the sense of optimism surrounding the future BTC really is surprising in its regularity:
“I bought at ~ 750$ (530€ to be more clear, via bitcoin.de). Since that I've been trading DOGE and other Alts with the money. Since DOGE tanked during this year, I'm 25% lower in total BTC value PLUS the loss from BTC being worth now only 500$,” another user adds, “But I don’t regret anything yet […] I'm still long in DOGE and I'm quite sure Bitcoin will rise again.”
With only 11 reporting having sold some of their bitcoins and a tiny 3.4% having sold their complete reserves, belief in the system remains very strong despite opposition from governments, banks and law enforcement, and events such as the fall of Mt. Gox. Indeed, some reddit users were caught in the collapse, but are not wholly pessimistic about it:
“I bought in at $924 only to see it get GOXed to $840 and waaay less. Mhhh... there must be an opportunity in this scene somewhere. Bingo! Time reduce my dollar cost average. So I continued buying, numerous transactions later now my dollar cost average is @$535 and dropping,” reads one such response.
If the overall consensus among private investors post-Mt. Gox is the use of BTC as a long-term speculative investment, it is clear that the core support could well be in place.
As officialdom struggles to accept crypto-currency as whole, however, their loyalty may well only be rewarded if corporate advocators of Bitcoin produce results. The plethora of companies aiming to integrate crypto-currency with mass consumerism is encouraging, and tools from Android wallets to payment for Starbucks coffee will all help inch forward its presence into everyday life. What remains to be seen now is whether Bitcoin and crypto-currency can replicate such loyalty across the board.
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