Bitcoin Price Surpasses $300, Drops After Greek Bailout

Yessi Bello Perez
Jul 13, 2015 at 13:10 UTC
Updated Jul 14, 2015 at 13:59 UTC
news

coindesk-bpi-chart (5) jan-jul 2015

The bitcoin price surpassed the $300 mark over the weekend reaching its highest level since 10th March at 15:00 (UTC), according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index.

Bitcoin’s value reached $300.32 at 09:15 on 12th July, spiking to $313.77 at 14:45 on 12th July.

Despite hovering over $300 throughout the whole of Sunday, the price dropped by 4.8% from $304.22 this morning (07:00) to $289.48.

Emerging theories

Bitcoin has been touted as a safe haven asset during times of economic turmoil, which, according to some, has seen the digital currency gain increasing momentum in the wake of the Greek crisis.

Some media reports have suggested Greece’s likely exit from the Eurozone could be behind the cryptocurrency’s recent price movements as people look to it as a viable alternative to the euro or the drachma – the country’s former currency.

Despite a lack of consensus as to whether the Greek crisis has really influenced bitcoin’s price movements, it must be noted that today’s decline in value coincided with the announcement that Greece had reached an agreement with Eurozone leaders over a possible third bailout.

The agreement is likely to see the Southern European country keep the euro, thus potentially eradicating uncertainty over a future currency and, in turn, reducing the need for people to look for an alternative means of exchange. This could, as a result, have driven today’s bitcoin price decline.

Some commentators took to social media to reinforce the connection between the events in Greece and bitcoin’s price movements.

A tweet sent from the Twitter account belonging to Charlie Shrem, a bitcoin entrepreneur and the digital currency’s ‘first felon’, currently serving a two year prison sentence for aiding and abetting the operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business, added to the speculation, suggesting that fellow Greek inmates were showing an increased interest in the digital currency.

Looking at the data

Some bitcoin exchanges reported a surge in EUR/BTC trades from Greece in the wake of the country’s crisis.

According to Finextra, Bitstamp reported an increase of 79% on their 10-week average, which drew some criticism from redditors who questioned whether the exchange previously had a lot of Greece-based customers.

Whilst other exchanges also reported a notable increase in EUR/BTC purchases from within Greece, these surges could be attributed to the fact that some companies – such as Coinbase –  canceled fees for euro trades in a seeming attempt to drive bitcoin purchases.

According to Bitcoinity, a data website which offers an insight into the trading volumes of the major bitcoin exchanges, the EUR/BTC trading volume reached unprecedented levels in the last six months, peaking on 12th July.

Price predictions

As a highly volatile digital currency, bitcoin’s price has previously captivated the attention of both skeptics and enthusiasts in the past.

Just last week, a new report by Wedbush Securities predicted the price of bitcoin would reach $400 during the next year.

At the time of press, bitcoin’s price stood at $282.16.

Price chart image via Shutterstock.