On Friday evening, November 30 the forty-first President of the United States George Herbert Walker Bush passed away at ninety-four years of age. He served his country throughout his long life starting at the tender age of eighteen when he enlisted in the Navy and flew bombing missions during World War II.
He was a successful businessman, a member of Congress, the U.S. Ambassador to China and the United Nations, and the director of the CIA. After serving as the Vice President to Ronald Reagan for two terms, Bush won a term as the commander-in-chief and the leader of the free world. He was one of two Presidents in U.S. history to see his son rise to the highest office in the land. President Bush spent his life serving his nation, and on Wednesday President Trump honored his predecessor by declaring the day of his memorial service in Washington DC, December 5, a national holiday. The nation paused to honor the fallen leader, and stock and bond markets took the day off to remember a man who gave so much to so many in his lifetime.
Commodities and currency markets are global, so many continued to trade on Wednesday, and that included the burgeoning digital currency market and the token that serves as the George Washington of the cryptocurrency asset class, Bitcoin.
Bitcoin burst onto the scene in 2010 at a price of 6 cents, but no one seemed to notice. However, seven years later in December 2017, Bitcoin was a front-page news item as the price climbed above the $19,000 level. The bull market in Bitcoin in 2017 was unprecedented, and nothing short of incredible as the price opened 2017 at below the $1000 level and rose in value by more than twenty times from the low to the high.
The week is the one-year anniversary of the highs in Bitcoin and many of the other digital currencies. Last year during the final month, the market capitalization of the asset class rose above the $800 billion level, and it seemed as if it would be only matter of weeks or days that it would climb above the $1 trillion level. What a difference a year can make in markets.
As the chart shows, on Wednesday, December 5 as the world paid its respects to President Bush, the price of Bitcoin moved to under $3735, over 80 percent below where it was last year at this time. Meanwhile, the overall market cap of the asset class was at the $121.4 billion level, around 85 percent lower than where it was during the final month of 2017.
Even though Bitcoin’s value continues to melt, the daily trading ranges continue to provide lots of opportunities for nimble traders with their fingers on the pulse of the market. On December 5, the price of the cryptocurrency traded in a range from $3590 to $3950, a $360 or 10 percent range.
Throughout his life, President Bush witnessed many innovations and changes. The pace of those changes increased in his later years as technology has been nothing short of amazing. In 1924, the year the forty-first President was born, there was no television and movies were silent. What a long way the world has come in the span of one lifetime. Moreover, the population of the world was under 1.9 billion; today it stands at over 7.5 billion.
Bitcoin and digital currencies are examples of financial innovation, and even though the prices and market cap shrunk dramatically over the past year, the technology will continue to change the way markets operate. A 10 percent trading range on a day when most markets paused for a day to honor the passing of an influential leader is a sign that trading opportunities will continue in the world of Bitcoin.
Rest in peace President George Herbert Walker Bush.