Lit up. Image: Flickr/dierk schafer
The price of a bitcoin is a fickle thing. Two years ago this week, Bitcoin reached its highest price ever: $1,242 for a single coin in US dollars, up from $12 at the beginning of 2013. Almost immediately after that peak, the price began to sink, and today the virtual currency still hasn’t regained its former glory. The price of a bitcoin simply continues to bob up and down, from around $200 to just above $400 this year alone.
Every dip in price elicits a state of emergency from some corners of the community, and the slightest rally has people losing their ever-loving shit. But for all the volatility, a concise explanation for Bitcoin’s price changes hasn’t been found. Is it shadowy Chinese ponzi schemes? Investor-driven speculation? Intentional market manipulation? Maybe Bitcoin really is the future after all?
The answer, it turns out, could be in our heads, because for every change in Bitcoin price, there are neurons that light up like a Christmas tree in response.
“It’s all in the brain”
Researchers have done plenty of work analyzing the effects of changes