Is Bitcoin the new Apple?
A recent article by a Cointelegraph Markets contributor proclaimed, “Bitcoin is the ‘new’ Apple.” In it, Marcel Pechman explained how Bitcoin’s price could reach $60,000 by 2023. He wrote, “Bitcoin hangs near the chasm of the adoption curve, and its price looks similar to Apple’s stock in 2008 before it broke out with a 520% rally.”
Pechman based his analysis on Everett Rogers’ book of 1962, Diffusion of Innovations, in which he classified consumers in the following five groups: Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority and Laggards. It is a system that has become widely used across many industries.
He looks at where Apple was positioned in 2008, when Apple’s United States smartphone penetration was stalled at about 11% and still waiting to cross the “chasm,” the gap between the “early adopter” stage and the “early majority” stages in the Rogers lexicon. To be considered a technical, Apple needed to cross this threshold. We know Apple achieved this as iPhone sales surged, “and Apple’s share price soared into the ionosphere.” Pechman believes Bitcoin could be in the same position today.
However, as Cointelegraph points out, can we even talk about Bitcoin and the iPhone in the same way: “Is BTC even a technology — like radios, PCs, and smartphones — or is it something different: unique, sui generis — i.e., in a class by itself?”
Arvind Singhal, a professor of communication at the University of Texas at El Paso told Cointelegraph that Bitcoin did indeed seem singular: “It has tremendous barriers to adoption for most individuals and operates in a space of multiple familiar currencies — and that peculiarity would greatly influence its adoption.”
Michel Rauchs, the head of Paradigma, a consulting firm focusing on the digital assets sector, said: “Bitcoin is not a technology in itself, and any comparison [with traditional technologies] is misguided.”
Oliver von Landsberg-Sadie, the CEO and founder of the BCB Group commented: “The reason Bitcoin’s adoption path has broken formation with established adoption curves is quite technical: In the short term, the more users there are, the less useful it is as a currency.”
In conclusion, BTC following the same growth pattern as Apple sounds like a fun version of what may happen, but it doesn’t make sense to compare Bitcoin to traditional technologies “because Bitcoin does not have the ability to create value — either in the form of increasing revenues or reducing costs.”