We all know that Tulip Mania happened about 400 years ago. Will the same economical bubble happen again with bitcoin? Although what they have in common is that they are both victims of sensational headlines that don't reflect reality, the existence of Bitcoin has already far exceeded Tulip Mania.
What Really Happened During Tulip Mania
According to Anne Goldgar, who wrote Tulipmania: Money, Honor, and Knowledge in the Dutch Golden Age, the exact story is quite far from all the myths. Below are the highlights.
- Nobody went bankrupt and Dutch economy wasn't really affected after the bubble burst.
- It is very rare to see people spend extreme amount of money for a tulip bulb. e.g. Annual salary of a craftsman
- The crash happened not because of price speculation but it was because of concerns about oversupply and the unsustainable nature of the market.
- Tulips were not bought by anyone and everyone. There were only small number of people buying tulips and they are mostly wealthy merchants.
Bitcoin skeptics would argue that bitcoin doesn't have any intrinsic value other than liquidity from fiat currency. So how does one derive the intrinsic value of an item? Does gold or US dollars has intrinsic value if one does not value it? Would they be worthless? At least Bitcoin has its key characteristic that invented real-use utilities and also the reason behind blockchain. It is no longer an investment tool but more of a financial inclusion.
Stronger Than A Bubble
When one has survived a number of bubble crashes, they are usually here to stay. Tulip never came back again after the crash happened.
Below are the Bitcoin major crashes:
June 2011 (-99%)
August 2012 (-56%)
April 2013 (-83%)
December 2013 (-50%)
December 2017 (-84%)
March 2020 (-50%)
May 2021 (-53%)
Jan 2022 (48.5%)
I believe the main difference of Tulip buyers is that they would buy for the sake of flipping for profits whereas Bitcoin buyers buy it for the technology of blockchain & its scarcity. Tulip may be scarce due to its slow growth rate, scarcity is not guaranteed unlike Bitcoin that has a limited supply of 21 million.
Well… What’s Left To Say?
You may realise that skeptics would compare Bitcoin to commonalities with similar bubbles that didn’t survive economic crashes. They would just give critics based on their assumptions without digging for better information to back their critics. They wouldn’t be able to justify against Tulip Bulbs if they seen how crypto is used in real world problems.
There are just too many reasons for Bitcoin to be different from a single Tulip Bulb. From how crypto enthusiast sees it to solving real world problems. You could still classify Bitcoin as a “mania” 5 years ago. Now, it would be too huge to go to zero. The dust has settled over the years it has been around.
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All of these are merely my knowledge and not financial advice. Please do your own due diligence and have conviction before investing. The information above is based on many hours of research out of my own curiosity/interest in YouTube, Google, blogs and discord communities. Leveraging & filtering information from other crypto enthusiasts and analysts.