The Bitcoin Tipping Point

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference by Malcom Gladwell is a book that discusses the tipping point or the boiling over point for individuals and businesses. Gladwell describes this on page 12 of the introduction to his book as “The Tipping Point is the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.”  This tipping point helps ideas go mainstream, enables viruses to spread exponentially, and products/services to become popular. 

The Rules and Characteristics

The three rules that Gladwell covers are the following:

1- The Stickiness Factor – presentation of an idea to make the message transmittable,
2- The Rule of Few – success of a social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with certain characteristics,
3- The Power of Context – an environment in which an idea is spread can help people adopt and spread the very idea or message. 

These three rules are paired with a rare set of social gifts; without which the tipping point could not happen.

1- Connectors – People with a vast inner social circle, but are not able to reach outside their social network,

2- Salesmen-  Ability to speak with a contagious and empathetic approach can lead to social impact such as change of behavior, and

3- Mavens- knowledgeable about a vast array of topics and are always making links and managing new information. 

How Does it Apply to Bitcoin?

Satoshi Nakamoto, the author of the Bitcoin whitepaper had all three rules present in his email in 2007 to a small group of cryptographers: law of the few (small group was contacted and asked to test the code he wrote for the Bitcoin network), stickiness factor (it’s been 13 years and the adoption of Bitcoin is continuously increasing), and power of context (Bitcoiners aim to equalize monetary freedoms all over the world). His incredible work years ago paved the way for a tipping point and acceleration to mainstream within the crypto world. It additionally paved the way for copycats or “alt” coins with new platforms/networks for a wide array of usages. 

Satoshi Nakamoto was a connector. Satoshi had a small social network, which in turn created a weak tie because Satoshi could not directly reach nor influence those outside of the network. To reach outside the social network, Satoshi needed “mavens” and “salesmen”.  The salesman, which is of immense importance in Gladwell’s book, is able to speak with a contagious and empathetic approach that can lead to social impact such as change of behavior. Enter twitter, reddit, and any private instant messaging app that people have used to better understand and discuss Bitcoin. Mavens are individuals with immense amounts of information at their disposal. Enter those with massive twitter follows, podcast platforms, and newsletters that the bitcoin followers read.

In the World Today

In March 2021, Citi group  released a report titled “BITCOIN: At the Tipping Point.” Page 75 indicates several factors driving the growth of Bitcoin. The stickiness factor is driving the diversity of growth within the crypto world to compete with Bitcoin thus enhancing and pushing the price up. The “demand for dollar liquidity” has risen which changes the way people see the crypto world and Bitcoin itself.

The Effect

The effect Bitcoin has had with central banks, within cryptography, and now with stock broker houses cannot be ignored. Since its inception 13 years ago the price of 1 bitcoin has risen from $0.08 to $64,885 on November 11, 2021. As of this writing, Bitcoin price is down to $47,239 on December 10, 2021. Bitcoin has effectively reached its boiling point and there are those, such as Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood, who “expects Bitcoin to soar in $500,000 in five years” (Nagarajan, 2021, pg.1). She attributes this rise in price to the fact that “El Salvador recently made  Bitcoin a legal currency, while Panama and Ukraine are said to be doing the same” (Nagarajan, 2021, pg.1).  The outlook, created by the tipping point is incredible and has been an incredible ride so far; corrections and all. Are you stackin’ sats?