A hot potato: It's been 12 months since Bitcoin reached its all-time high of almost $20,000, sending the world into a crypto frenzy. But in the last 24 hours, it's hit a new yearly low of $3,126 - and it could fall even lower over the coming weeks. Now, a famous early investor who made millions from Bitcoin has warned that the best-known cryptocurrency of them all is "dead."
At the start of this year, 19-year-old Erik Finman hit the headlines as one of the world's youngest Bitcoin millionaires. A fact he liked to show off on an Instagram feed packed with photos of private jets and beds covered in cash.
Finman bought his first Bitcoin when he was 12 with $1,000 from his grandmother. The crypto only cost around $10 at the time, and when it reached a $1,100, he sold $100,000 worth to start an online education business, which he later sold for 300 Bitcoin. From that original $1,000 investment, the entrepreneur made over $4 million.
In an interview with MarketWatch, Finman said the crypto that made him rich is in its death throes. "Bitcoin is dead, it's too fragmented, there's tons of infighting I just don't think it will last."
"It may have a bull market or two left in it, but long-term, it's dead."
While virtually all cryptocurrency prices have fallen recently, Finman also singled out Litecoin, which is down 95 percent from its peak, as being on the way out.
"Litecoin has been dead for a while," he said. "It's like when the sun is going down and there's that eight-minute period just before it goes dark. Litecoin is in its seventh minute."
Finman isn't the only Bitcoin naysayer we've seen of late. Santa Clara University professor Atulya Sarin argues that the crypto is in a "death spiral" and on the way to zero - something he claims is due to the coin's price falling below its cost of mining.
Several factors have contributed to the fall in Bitcoin's price, including Bitcoin Cash's hard fork. Moreover, the justice department is investigating Tether's role in BTC's 2017 price surge, and the recent bomb hoax, in which a $20,000 bitcoin ransom was demanded, also negatively affected the coin.
Bitcoin's fall has had a widespread effect, especially on Nvidia. The company's failure to predict the decline of cryptocurrency mining has led to a "crypto hangover." This has contributed to the firm's shares losing half their value, and its fourth-largest investor is reportedly looking to sell up.
It's not all bad news, though. Sarin maintains that the "Blockchain economy is here to stay," and some industry players believe that while Bitcoin has further to fall, the crypto will eventually bounce back. As for Finman, he says project-based cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, ZCash, and Bitcoin Cash have the best chance of success.
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