With half of 2019 already gone, here is a look at how the customary Bitcoin price forecasts have fared.
First Half of 2019 for Bitcoin
On the calendar, 2019 comes after 2018 but in crypto history, the year will undoubtedly be of far greater significance. Reason? Well, 2018 was something of a long winter for virtual currencies with prices falling by more than 80% across the board.
Many commentators had spent 2018 providing extremely positive price predictions on the back of a bullish late 2017 run. Bitcoin fell from $19,800 to $3,100 and altcoins saw red.
Perhaps in 2018, people wouldn’t be so eager to offer price forecasts, but alas they were. Not at first though because the Q1 2019 saw not much excitement in the market.
When not releasing their pseudo-cryptocurrency, JPMorgan spent Q1 2019 calling BTC at $2,400 fair value and saying the top-ranked crypto was only useful in a dystopia. From a price action perspective, it was dull until April Fool’s day.
April 1, 2019, triggers a full-blown rally that sees bitcoin cross $4,000, topping out at $8,000 a month-and-a-half later. Since then, it has been upwards with a few 30% declines along the way, and now BTC is up 220% in the first half of 2019.
In Q1 2019, commentators seemed prepared to stick to talking points like fundamentals without giving price forecasts. Since April Fool’s day, however, the price bets have come out in force.
From $10,000 to $40,000
Perennial bitcoin price forecaster Tom Lee of Fundstrat Global Advisors has moved from a conservative $10,000 to a more bullish $40,000 forecast in the space of three months. To be fair to Lee, he always did say 2019 would be positive for bitcoin.
The Fundstrat chief’s $10,000 prediction came to pass in June 2019. With the $10K mark attained, Lee believes this price milestone will trigger a FOMO-driven hype among retail investors taking BTC to $40,000 before the end of the year.
Others like Max Keiser also predicted that bitcoin would hit $10,000 back when the rise above $6,400 was still the 2019 high. Before any of these price calls, however, Weiss Ratings did say BTC would reach a new ATH in 2019.
Like Lee, Keiser also upped his short-term price bet from $10,000 to $28,000 at the end of May 2019. Keiser based his forecast on the situation in Europe saying BTC will set a new ATH in 2019.
For Keiser, the main goal isn’t even a new ATH but a six-digit price valuation that takes bitcoin’s market capitalization into the trillion-dollar arena on similar levels with commodities like gold.
Some commentators also added to the list of future price calls. The stock to flow, price models, predicts a BTC price of $55,000 by 2020.
The 2020 halving constitutes an integral part of many of these new future price bets with the expectation of BTC continuing its parabolic advance in the lead up to the block reward halving.
As always, there are the naysayers, “bitcoin is going to zero” brigade whose forecasts end up being more laughable than Lee’s $25k end-of-year price call for 2017. JPMorgan says BTC is overpriced, Nouriel Roubini, like a broken record never fails to bring up the $0 prediction.
What is your end of year price forecast for Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below.
While crypto fanatics have been buzzing with news about bitcoin price surges and Facebook’s introduction of its digital currency libra, the Bitcoin 2019 conference brought together some of the most significant people in the BTC community for a two-day event to discuss the current and future state of Bitcoin.
These two crypto scientists are particularly notable because they were directly cited by Satoshi Nakamoto in the Bitcoin white paper. At Bitcoin 2019, they came together for a discussion with Bitcoin YouTuber Naomi Brockwell about their contributions to the creation of Bitcoin and where they foresee the original cryptocurrency going in the years to come.
Stornetta’s Contributions to the Development of Blockchain
Stornetta co-authored three papers cited in Bitcoin’s white paper and was one of the first people working on creating a system that did not require people to trust a central authority. In the early days of Bitcoin, Stornetta realized there was a problem with recording transactions, so he suggested the creation of immutable records in order to track all bitcoin transactions.
“We’re going to not be able to know the difference between an old bit and a new bit, and all of the world’s records are going to be in bits, and that’s going to create a crisis of credibility,” as Stornetta described the problem during his conference panel.
According to Stornetta, he and Stuart Haber, who is also credited with the creation of blockchain technology, were struggling to solve the problem, so they decided to create a publication that would prove it is impossible to build an immutable record without a central authority. In writing it, Stornetta said they were able to figure out how they could build an immutable record with the use of a blockchain.
Back’s “Proof-of-Work” Concept
In 1997, Adam Back introduced Hashcash, a “proof-of-work” system that would help users of the internet detect and avoid spam email. Hashcash worked to ensure users were only accepting emails from others who provided proof that an effort was made to send the email.
The “proof-of-work” concept was carried over into the world of Bitcoin to enable competitive mining of blocks. By using a trial-and-error method to mine bitcoin, miners that are able to verify proof of their work and successfully mine a block are rewarded with bitcoin as payment.
“Satoshi made use of the hashcash idea to create the mining,” Stornetta said. “It’s easy to see in hindsight huge incentives were needed to kickstart (bitcoin).”
The Future of Bitcoin
For Stornetta, the future of Bitcoin is broad and diverse. Stornetta told the audience at the conference that he is a “fundamental believer” in crypto technologies and their ability to level the playing field.
“I am not a crypto anarchist, but I certainly am a crypto libertarian, and I think we are going to get the world that we want and that we deserve, we just need to find a path that leads from A to B,” Stornetta said.
Stornetta said he believes distributed ledger technologies will continue to advance and diversify in the future, and that he sees a potential for other currencies besides bitcoin to flourish.
“It doesn’t all just have to be about money, of course,” Stornetta said to the crowd. “I’m a big fan of the distributed ledger and how that can create quantization and tokenization of assets … I just think we’re gonna see such a broadening and diversification of this.”
“A New Paradigm”
Back also touched on the quick development of cryptocurrency technologies and the challenges of keeping up with the pace of new ideas and implementations of them, even for technical people. Back discussed how there are still areas of innovation that have yet to be realized. He further noted that blockchain and bearer electronic cash are new building blocks that have implications with smart contracts.
“Basically, it’s like picking up a new programming language with a new paradigm, and it takes a lot of people to natively understand it and reach the conclusion of what kind of conclusions you can build with it,” Back said.
Back mentioned the development of the Lightning Network and state chains to further his point about how advancements within crypto technology are being made at a rapidrate. He also discussed his reasoning for why multiple cryptocurrencies may not be a necessity in the long run.
“In terms of coins, I tend to view it as sort of like TCP/IP — that there’s one interoperable standard,” Back said. “Any kind of innovation can be adopted in layers or, ultimately, people can import Bitcoin’s UTXO set to another data structure if a new data structure is found.”
Disclaimer: Bitcoin 2019 was produced by BTC Inc, the parent company of Bitcoin Magazine.
It seems inevitable that two of the financial world’s hottest trends would cross roads with each other. For bitcoin enthusiasts and investors looking to benefit from the growing popularity of exchange-traded funds (ETF), the possibility of a derivative that tracks the value of cryptocurrencies is the best chance for connecting the two worlds.
But the chair which holds power to approve a bitcoin-based ETF is uncertain about its real-world prospects. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the US securities regulator, is hesitant to allow a nascent and mostly unregulated market such as the bitcoin to participate in a thoroughly regulated ETF space. The core reason is bitcoin’s wild price swings, which, as SEC explained, is reflective of broader price manipulation and fraud cases across the cryptocurrency spot market.
Bitcoin ETF Future’s Bleak
The SEC has turned down a total of nine Bitcoin ETF proposals in the last six years. The first applicant was the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, a trust backed by the founders of Gemini cryptocurrency exchange, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. Other applicants that got in the way of the SEC’s rejection spree include ProShares, Direxion, and GraniteShares.
Monday marked the 6 year anniversary of the first filing of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust ETF. Onward and upward!
At the same time, the applicants that passed through the SEC’s early stages but stuck in a long-pending review process later include Bitwise and VanEck/SolidX.
The likelihood of receiving a green signal for a Bitcoin ETF has gone further down in June, according to Jeff Dorman of Arca, a US-based asset management firm. The chief investment officer said in a research note that because of the cryptocurrency’s 50 percent surge and 20 percent downside correction in June would make it difficult for the commission to approve an ETF.
“It’s almost a slam dunk now that an ETF won’t be approved any time soon, as an 81% 14-day levered rally, most of which occurred after U.S. trading hours, is not exactly the formula for successful SEC approval,” he wrote.
Bitcoin has Recovered by More than 275% Since Its Bounce Back from the $3,120 Level | Image Credits: TradingView.com
Ray of Hope
The comments nevertheless appeared at a time when the bitcoin market seems more confident about an ETF approval. In late June, the SEC opened a commenting period on an ETF proposal filed by Wilshire Phoenix Fund. The New York-based asset management firm has proposed to offer shares to a combined ETF backed by both bitcoin and treasury bills.
In response, the SEC allowed the listing on the NYSE Arca Exchange following a rule-change proposal, pending the 21 day comment period. The suggestion read:
“The Exchange proposes (1) to amend NYSE Arca Rule 8.201-E (Commodity-Based Trust Shares) to provide for issuance and redemption of such securities for the underlying commodity and/or cash, and (2) to list and trade the shares of the United States Bitcoin and Treasury Investment Trust under NYSE Arca Rule 8.201-E, as proposed to be amended.”
The final approval for the Wilshire’s ETF proposal is still months away. In the meantime, the probability of SEC to approve a bitcoin ETF looks bleak, at least in 2019.