Theories Abound Amid Greek Default and Bitcoin Price Breakout


After weeks of calm waters, the price of bitcoin broke out this week, spiking to a high of $257 on 17th June.

Of particular focus for many observers was the speed at which the market made its gains, with most of the run occurring between 13:00 and 15:00 UTC on 16th June. Though such volatility is by no means uncommon in the bitcoin market, the wider community quickly sought to correlate the market movement to larger trends.

One of the most prominent theories that emerged was related to the market’s timing, which roughly coincided with growing indications that Greece will likely default on its debt obligations. Nicknamed the “Grexit“, some believe the default could result in Greece leaving the eurozone, even as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders strive to downplay such speculation.

The narrative is not a new one for the bitcoin market, given that, as an asset class, digital currencies are one of the few that can act as a hedge against fiat currency fluctuation. For example, many in the bitcoin community have correlated the rising interest in bitcoin in early 2013 with economic issues in Cyprus.

As CEO of bitcoin-to-gold exchange Vaultoro Joshua Scigala admits, while mostly psychological, the connection is still powerful given that the market that moves on sentiment.

Scigala told CoinDesk:

“It’s this sort of rallying point. Like when Cyprus was happening, it’s not that everyone in Cyprus was buying, it’s that everyone was going, ‘Whoa look, Cyprus is in trouble and we see the value proposition of something like bitcoin or private assets in general.’”

Nonetheless, the connection was seized upon by the press, with an early and prominent piece from Reuters contributing to the wider discussion.

But as UK Digital Currency Association board

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