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Dotcom bubble and cryptocurrencies: differences and similarities

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Technological revolutions, such as the rise of the internet and the advent of cryptocurrencies, have had a significant impact on global markets and economies. While they are different phenomena, they exhibit certain similarities, especially in terms of their initial growth, speculation, and subsequent collapse. In this article, we will compare the cryptocurrency market and the dotcom bubble.

What Was the Dotcom Bubble?

The dotcom bubble, also known as the internet bubble, emerged in the late 1990s and lasted until 2000. It was characterized by a rapid increase in the stock prices of internet companies, which often lacked solid business plans or profits. Investors were attracted by the enormous potential of the internet, leading to massive speculation and inflated stock values.

Main Causes and Course of the Dotcom Bubble

  • Massive Investments: Investors were drawn to new internet companies, investing large sums of money often without considering the real potential of these firms.
  • IPO Bubble: Many internet companies went public through Initial Public Offerings (IPOs), often without a solid business plan or revenues.
  • Exaggerated Expectations: Investors believed the internet would revolutionize all aspects of life, leading to massive speculation and stock price increases.

In March 2000, the bubble peaked and subsequently burst, leading to a massive decline in the value of internet companies’ stocks. Many of these companies went bankrupt, resulting in significant financial losses for investors.

Biggest Increases During the Dotcom Bubble

  • Yahoo! Inc.: Yahoo! stock rose by more than 600% between 1996 and 2000.
  • Inc.: Amazon’s stock price increased by approximately 5,000% during the dotcom bubble.
  • eBay Inc.: eBay saw a stock increase of more than 2,000% from its IPO in 1998 to the peak of the bubble.
  • AOL: AOL’s stock increased by more than 500% between 1994 and 2000.
  • Qualcomm: Qualcomm’s stock price rose by more than 2,600% during the dotcom bubble.

Biggest Declines During the Dotcom Bubble

  • stock lost nearly 100% of its value within months after its IPO.
  • Webvan: An online supermarket that lost nearly all its value and went bankrupt.
  • An online fashion retailer that lost almost all its investments and went bankrupt.
  • eToys: An online toy retailer that lost most of its value and eventually went bankrupt.
  • A social network that lost most of its value and went bankrupt shortly after its IPO.

Examples of Growth and Collapse

  • Amazon became one of the most successful companies, surviving the bubble burst and becoming an e-commerce giant.
  • eBay: eBay also survived the collapse and became a dominant player in online auctions.
  • Yahoo!: Although Yahoo! experienced a decline after the bubble burst, it remained an important player in online services.
  • Cisco Systems: Cisco is a key provider of internet infrastructure and survived the bubble.
  • Oracle: A database services provider that also survived and grew.
  • Qualcomm: A telecommunications technology firm that continued to grow.
  • AOL: AOL survived the bubble and merged with Time Warner.
  • Microsoft: Microsoft became a dominant player in the software industry.
  • Apple: Although not a major part of the dotcom bubble, Apple significantly grew after the bubble burst.
  • Intel: A key supplier of microprocessors that survived and thrived.

And regarding the top collapses:

  • A symbol of the dotcom bubble that quickly went bankrupt.
  • Webvan: An online supermarket that went bankrupt due to high costs.
  • An online fashion retailer that spent millions on marketing and technology but quickly went bankrupt.
  • eToys: An online toy retailer that failed to handle the competition.
  • Excite: A search engine that could not compete with Google.
  • GeoCities: A precursor to social networks, acquired by Yahoo! and later shut down.
  • A social network that quickly exhausted its capital.
  • AltaVista: A search engine that lost market share due to competition.
  • A streaming service acquired by Yahoo! and then shut down.
  • Infospace: An internet company that faced financial problems after the bubble burst.

Dotcom bublina a kryptoměny: Rozdíly a podobnosti

What Are Cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that use cryptography for security. The most well-known cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, created in 2009. Cryptocurrencies are decentralized and typically use blockchain technology, a distributed ledger of all transactions.

Main Causes of Growth
  • Technological Innovation: Cryptocurrencies represent a technological innovation that promises to revolutionize financial services.
  • Speculative Investment: Similar to the dotcom bubble, investors often speculate on the future growth of cryptocurrencies.

In 2021, cryptocurrency prices peaked, but the subsequent crash in 2022 led to massive losses. Nevertheless, cryptocurrencies remain relevant, with many recovering and continuing to grow.

Can Cryptocurrencies Burst Like the Dotcom Bubble?

The dotcom bubble in the late 1990s and the rise of cryptocurrencies in the last decade have many common features, especially rapid growth, massive speculation, and the potential risk of bursting. The dotcom bubble led to a massive increase in the value of internet companies, followed by a dramatic decline. The question is whether cryptocurrencies could experience a similar fate.

Possibilities of a Crypto Bubble Burst

  • Regulatory Risks: One of the main risks for cryptocurrencies is possible regulatory interventions. If governments worldwide began to regulate or ban cryptocurrencies more strictly, it could lead to a massive decline in their value.
  • Technological and Security Issues: Cryptocurrencies rely on blockchain technology, which is still in development. Significant technical problems or security incidents, such as exchange hacks, could negatively impact investor confidence and lead to a decline in the value of cryptocurrencies.
  • Speculative Bubble: Like the dotcom bubble, cryptocurrencies may be at risk of a speculative bubble. If it turns out that many cryptocurrency projects are not viable and do not offer real value, investors could start mass-selling, leading to a sharp decline in prices.

Differences and Resilience of Cryptocurrencies

  • Decentralization: Unlike internet companies, which were centralized, cryptocurrencies are often decentralized and independent of a single entity. This decentralization can provide some resistance to centralized regulatory interventions.
  • Global Nature: Cryptocurrencies are a global phenomenon and are not limited to a single market or country. This can reduce the risk of a sudden collapse caused by problems in a specific area.
  • Innovation and Adoption: Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are continually evolving and finding new applications. The adoption of cryptocurrencies among consumers and businesses is also growing, which can help stabilize the market.


The cryptocurrency market and the dotcom bubble exhibit many similarities, especially regarding initial growth and speculation. While there are similarities between cryptocurrencies and the dotcom bubble, it is essential to recognize that cryptocurrencies represent a new asset class with unique characteristics. While the cryptocurrency market may experience a significant decline, several factors could contribute to its long-term stability and growth. Investors should be cautious and thoroughly research the projects they invest in to minimize the risks associated with this dynamic and rapidly changing field.

All content in this article is for informational purposes only and in no way serves as investment advice. Investing in cryptocurrencies, commodities and stocks is very risky and can lead to capital losses.