The world's two fastest-growing economies came down hard on Bitcoin in recent weeks.
Dips followed, but ultimately the virtual currency began to slough off the news and continued to gravitate toward a loose, but tightening, trading range.
And as a former senior advisor to a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, I've seen a lot of opportunities to make a killing on technology over the years.
I'm talking about everything from ultra-fast semiconductors, to advanced sensors, to the rise of the Internet and today's mobile revolution.
But in all those years, I've never seen anything reach critical mass as quickly as Bitcoin.
Consider that less than three years ago, few but a small cadre of hardcore tech geeks had even heard of this new crypto currency.
Today, however, this virtual money is traded on roughly 80 global exchanges. It's also accepted at thousands of retailers throughout the U.S.
And it has handed some savvy investors gains of 1,000% or more in as little as a few months' time.
Yet, skepticism persists. Predictions of Bitcoin's imminent demise by a wide range of so-called "experts" have proved premature at best.
Fact is, Bitcoin to date has met every challenge thrown at it and come back stronger.
For Bitcoin's backers and investors, that's great news. Because Bitcoin is now defying a growing list of global governments doing their best to stop its advance...
Central Bankers Are Worried
You can see why central bankers and finance ministers from around the world are so worried. After all, Bitcoin presents a major challenge to their fiat currencies.
Just look at what recently happened in India. Traders there had been investing in Bitcoin as a hedge against the declining value of the Indian rupee.
Over the Christmas holidays, the nation's central bank came out swinging. It warned citizens not to invest in Bitcoin. The authorities said users of virtual currencies faced "potential financial, operational, legal, customer protection, and security related risks."
But India's leaders didn't stop there. Finance ministry officials then forced several exchanges to close. The government also raided several offices, seizing information about the exchanges and detaining several people.
This was the second big government to target Bitcoin in less than a month – it followed a similar move by China in early December.
China's leaders want to stop the advance of the dollar, which accounts for the bulk of the $3.6 trillion they hold in foreign exchange. Chinese citizens were using Bitcoin as a back-door way to convert the Chinese Yuan into greenbacks.
So, China banned the nation's commercial banks from trading in Bitcoin in early December. They then prohibited third-party payment platforms like Alipay from doing business with Bitcoin exchanges.
After China's crackdown, the price of Bitcoin promptly fell by more than half from around $1,045 to a recent low of $445. Since then, the currency has remained volatile but has climbed back to trade in a range around $900 on Mt. Gox, one of its leading exchanges.
In other words, Bitcoin bested the world's two largest developing economies…
Governments Are Backed into a Corner
And it's not just big governments that want to block the world's most popular form of virtual money.
About the Author
Michael A. Robinson is one of the top financial analysts working today. His book "Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings" was a prescient look at the anatomy of the nation's S&L crisis, long before the word "bailout" became part of our daily lexicon. He's a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter, lauded by the Columbia Journalism Review for his aggressive style. His 30-year track record as a leading tech analyst has garnered him rave reviews, too. Today he is the editor of the monthly tech investing newsletter Nova-X Report as well as Radical Technology Profits, where he covers truly radical technologies – ones that have the power to sweep across the globe and change the very fabric of our lives – and profit opportunities they give rise to. He also explores "what's next" in the tech investing world at Strategic Tech Investor.