Bitcoin Price Patterns to Predict Future Trends

I am putting together a report by overlaying recent Bitcoin price movements against the best matching past occurrences to see if there is any predicable continuation.

Currently there are no graphs or back testing to see how the different parameters affect accuracy.

I have some preliminary numbers based on comparing a dataset of 6 months, 8 months and 12 months then looking at the average outcome when looking forward from those matches out to four months.

6 Months  1        2        3        4      
 Upside  115  117  118  118 118  118  118  118 118  118  118  118  118  118  118  118
 Average  94  100  101  102  102  101  100  99  98  97  96  94  93  92  90  89
 Downside  105  96  95  93  88  86  85  81  78  75  73  72  69  67  62  58
8 Months                                
 Upside  115  118  121  126  133  149  160  165  166 166  166  167  171  175  178  183
 Average  94  103  105  108  111  114  118  121  123  124  126  126  127  127  127  127
 Downside  105  102  101  101  100  100  99  99  98  97  97  97  97  97  97  97
 12 Months                                
 Upside  117  128  134  159  195  251  297  323  333  341  350  352  353  362  368  374
 Average  95  106  113  122  132  146  163  178  188  194  199  205  211  216  221  226
 Downside  105  105  105  105  105  105  105  105  105  105  105  105  105  105  105  105

The columns are weeks projected into the future and the numbers are percentages. So when comparing 6 months of data to find the most similar past pattern the best outcome after one week is a return of 115%, the second week is 117% etc. All of these numbers are based on the price data pattern as of July 10, 2018.

A big disclaimer; this is not a prediction, just because the past data set closely matches does not guarantee that the trend will continue.

These are just a small sample of results with random parameters. When using a larger pattern to compare with past data can result in more specific matches but at some point reduce the amount of range to search through.

A big issue with this approach when comparing patterns on historical data is tuning the parameters to the dataset rather than fundamental patterns. This comes through in the fact that the 6 month pattern predicts a decline in price and the 8 and 12 month data set predict an increase in price.

I will have to experiment with back testing different parameters to get a good sense of accuracy if any on historical data and the future prediction. That will come later.

Update July 11, 2018

Here are a small sample of back testing results. The data samples are collected in days back from 180 all the way back to 1275 three and half years ago. The data sets were run using 6, 8 and 12 months of data respectively and the results are shown as projected average divided by the actual percentage change ninety days later.

 Days Back  1275  1095  910  730  545  365 180 
 Date 2014-10-02 2015-04-05

2015-10-07

2016-04-03

2016-10-25 2017-05-26 2018-01-10
 Price  $373  $254  $243  $418  $657  $2177  $14000
 6 Month Set  89/85  105/100  102/177  130/156  120/176  188/199  260/48
 8 Month Set  46/85  93/100  121/177  110/156  116/176  216/199  199/48
 12 Month Set  214/85  113/100  123/177  129/156  148/176  265/199  141/48

Overall the results were kind of interesting. There are some correlation but also some significant misses. More resolution and adjusted parameters may make this a more useful report.

Bitcoin Criticism – Broken Window Fallacy

I like to follow the wider crypto currency news and industry developments. I often come across wild exuberance and extreme criticism. Over time I have noticed that a lot of points against digital currencies that while valid at the time quickly change with the adoption of new people and technology.

Early on the most common criticism of Bitcoin was that it wasn’t worth anything. People were mining 50 BTC in blocks with hardware on there desktop. Anyone could accumulate hundreds of BTC if they wanted to unfortunately no one could have guessed that they would become as valuable as they are now. In hindsight it seems funny to criticize the absence of price when it is often the most significant characteristic to newcomers.

After the value criticism was that no one accepted it for payment. Only a handful of stores accepted bitcoin. While most businesses still don’t accept bitcoin there are a significant number now and new integration services that make it easy for new stores to start. Also now that the value Bitcoin is widely known more people are now willing to accept it in place of dollars.

The next criticism was that Bitcoin has no intrinsic value. It was common to compare it with the Dollar but in comparison there is no intrinsic value of the dollar. People also compared it with gold because you can hold it and that is true but it doesn’t mean that an electronic currency can’t provide value on it’s own.

Lately the criticism of Bitcoin is that the network doesn’t have the capacity to handle enough transaction volume to support a larger economy. While the core network is limited to about seven transactions per second there are many groups working on solutions that will allow significantly more in the next few years.

I’m not saying that criticism can’t point out valid issues with Bitcoin but in the context of changes already in motion it makes sense to make a hedged guess and use the opportunity as an investment.

One of the most bizarre criticisms that I disagree with is that Bitcoin, or others like it, can never be used in a functioning economy because the deflationary nature of currency issuance will cause people to save instead of spend. As a result businesses in their economy will not have enough customer demand to survive and the economy will collapse.

I believe that most people who make this criticism are viewing this as a variant of the broken window fallacy. The broken window fallacy says that destruction of a local town shop window is good for the economy because it necessitates the services of a local window repair person, thus earning them money to support their family. Of course this is a fallacy because the net result is a loss as the cost to the shop owner is more than the gain to the window repair man. The shop owner also would have used the same money paid the repair person to spend in the economy.

In this example the breaking of windows is analogous to inflation of the currency.

Most people have lived in a financial system that inflates savings for their entire life and simply can’t comprehend anything different.

In an economy with a different monetary policy people will still need to buy things in order to live. Currently with dollars there are incentives to spend because the value of dollars are eaten away as time passes. In a Bitcoin based economy the incentive might be to hold rather than spend if they are on the fence of a purchase. But people would still buy the things they need.

The key point is that people have to work in a dollar economy to replace the value that is eaten from holding dollars. Does this necessitate the creation of unnecessary work? Is the current expansion of production and consumption of natural resources unsustainable? I think so.

People right now need to work because in a fractional reserve based economy any assets are quickly eaten away with a small amount of deflation. Most people need full employment to just get buy.

I’m not suggesting that Bitcoin will become a predominant currency but rather than the hypothetical outcome isn’t necessarily worse than the current system.

Update:

As a counter point to the broken window fallacy comparison the argument has be made that the key point of the effect of deflation is reflected in the use of effective resources rather than the observation that some things are broken. In other words it is more desirable irrespective of currency system to make optional use of all available resources, human labour and capital as it provides opportunity for growth and leaning. Additionally people don’t hold dollars because of inflation and as a result don’t significantly suffer as a result. All interesting ideas.