In case you hadn’t noticed, 2020 was a bit wild. And many of the unprecedented events of the year directly impacted Bitcoin and its value proposition.
A pandemic-driven wave of economic stimuli highlighted the need for a truly incorruptible store of value, potentially motivating institutional adoption of BTC. A growing authoritarian political climate alerted many to the need for pseudonymous and independent money. And the Bitcoin community itself grew stronger, with a range of companies and projects developing new and improved services to leverage the technology.
A sustained bull run and the repeated eclipsing of all-time price highs has made it clear that 2020 was a big year for Bitcoin, and that this momentum will carry us well into 2021. But we wanted to get a clearer sense of what our readers are thinking as this wild year ends and a new unknown begins. So we teamed up with sats-reward platform Carrot and commissioned a “2020 End Of Year Survey.”
More than 200 participants submitted responses and below are a few of the most interesting results from the field, as well as thoughtful commentary from some of the spaces most active and influential participants.
In A Year Of Crisis, Bitcoin Emerged
For many of us, 2020 has been defined by the emergence and spread of COVID-19, which motivated government lockdowns, mandated social distancing and subsequent economic stimulus. Our survey made clear that many Bitcoiners see this as the primary driver of Bitcoin’s surge across the year.
“Amidst the uncertainty of the world due to the pandemic, Bitcoin was looked upon as the savior,” wrote one respondent. “People want certainty. With fiat money being printed for fun, it allowed people to ask the right questions and realize that cash is trash.”
“There is no doubt that Bitcoin has had a good year,” wrote another. “The pandemic has given the perfect lane for Bitcoin to spread, which has allowed us to see how people quickly become familiar and become part of the network. What I think it does to keep this going is to attract as many people as possible and gradually put the pieces of the next release rocket in space.”
More specifically, respondents seemed to feel that the crisis that defined 2020 was one that articulated the value propositions of Bitcoin — the global catastrophe that bore out some of the properties of BTC that they had been arguing in theory for so long.
“Although the fiat shitcoins have inflated their global monetary base by 75-plus percent, Bitcoin is still on a steady path toward 21 million,” wrote Wasabi Wallet’s Max Hillebrand. “Where international travel has been hampered to a bare minimum, Bitcoin continues to ignore imaginary boundaries of government jurisdiction. In these challenging times, where sovereign individuals are under heavy attack, Bitcoin has proved itself again as the most reliable weapon of defense.”
Bitcoin’s Biggest Surprises Of 2020
Perhaps motivated by the value propositions noted above, Bitcoin’s 2020 was marked by corporations diverting their treasury asset into BTC, with software intelligence firm MicroStrategy buying more than 70,000 BTC, for instance.
For many of our survey respondents, this wave of adoption (and not Bitcoin’s resilience in the face of a global pandemic) was the biggest surprise of the year.
“That is very difficult to answer, but I think it would be the amount of institutions that are joining and how quickly many are changing their minds,” wrote one participant in response to our question about the biggest surprise for Bitcoin in 2020.
“The interest of large companies and financial institutions, e.g., MicroStrategy, Fidelity, Visa, Square, JPMorgan, MassMutual, etc.,” answered another.
Specifically, many respondents highlighted MicroStrategy’s actions as the biggest surprise of the year, and one that has likely paved the way for similar moves this year and into the next.
“I’d say MicroStrategy’s bitcoin buys for their corporate treasury,” answered Stephen Cole, an influential Bitcoiner and investor. “That’s a strong signal to CFOs and the world more broadly that Bitcoin needs to be taken seriously.”
Many Bitcoiners responding to this survey mentioned MicroStrategy’s CEO Michael Saylor by name as they reflected on 2020, noting that his BTC purchases and bullish sentiments shared with the space this year buoyed Bitcoin at large.
“The numerous bitcoin purchases made by MicroStrategy is the greatest 2020 development for the space,” wrote Deniz Saat, a writer and founder of Bitcoinivy. “Michael Saylor and his team are taking full advantage of low interest rates by issuing corporate bonds to acquire an additional $650 million worth of bitcoin. All of the plebs are jelly, but wish him the best. With his success comes ours.”
The other biggest surprise of the year among Bitcoiners seemed to be the price surge, as demonstrated by this collection of anonymous responses:
- “The rise from early in the year to almost $20,000 was a big surprise to me, I wish I had bought more.”
- “The biggest surprise for Bitcoin this year is when it reached its highest value of $20,000. It was really amazing.”
- “It was able to drop to sub-$4,000 prices and rebound to an ATH [all-time high] in nine months.”
Looking Forward To 2021
After reflecting on an all-time year for Bitcoin, we asked respondents of our survey to look forward to 2021. When asked what risks Bitcoin faces next year, many highlighted regulatory authorities.
“The only risk in 2021 is by governments over-regulating and forcing the tech out of their country,” wrote one respondent, summarizing the sentiments of many others. “So, the risk isn’t to Bitcoin, it’s to the ignorant governments of the world.”
“Social attacks regarding regulation [are the biggest risk to Bitcoin in 2021],” wrote Coinicarus, co-host of the “Simply Bitcoin” show. “They can’t actually regulate Bitcoin, but they will do everything to make you believe it’s being done.”
Despite the consistent acknowledgement of this risk, respondents overall seemed optimistic about where 2020 has left Bitcoin in its journey through 2021. When asked what the core narrative for Bitcoin is going into 2021, many respondents evoked the bull market, bitcoin’s status as sound money or the fact that it is now well established among institutional investors.
“A bitcoin is already now too expensive for the average joe,” wrote one participant. “The new core narrative has to get potential adopters used to being comfortable/excited about an investment that is a few thousand or a few hundred thousand satoshis.”
And, of course, we asked our survey participants to make price predictions for BTC in the new year. From our field of anonymous respondents, almost none believe that bitcoin could fall below a $20,000 price, and predictions for prices above $100,000 were not uncommon. Here is how some of our other respondents answered:
- Jan Wuestenfeld, Bitcoin researcher and analysis: “Point prediction $254,650 ($100,000 to $300,000 with a clear tendency to higher bound)
- Ben Carman, developer at Suredbits: “$600,000”
- Cole: “Highest high = $363,000, lowest low = $18,000 (early January 2021)
- Coinicarus: “Highest = $250,000, lowest = $125,000”
- Brian Harrington, Bitcoin-focused marketing consultant: “$105,000 (highest) and $17,800 (lowest)”
- Hillebrand: “$18,912,756 bitcoin by December 31, 2021”
- Sasha Hodder, Bitcoin-focused attorney: “High of $100,000, low of $30,000”
- Saat: “Highest high would be $996,000”