With the recent violent sell-off of digital currencies, experts have been chiming in on what 2018 holds for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Having dropped below $6,000 earlier this week, which was the first time it had since November 2017, markets saw the world’s most renowned cryptocurrency trade above $7,000 on Wednesday. With more interest in the crypto space in general, owing to the massive publicity afforded to the mercurial coin and investors scouring through top financial blogs in order to get more acquainted with its potentially lucrative value, predictions and speculation seems likely to drive Bitcoin’s bull run throughout 2018.
On Tuesday, investors witnessed Bitcoin plummet to levels 70% down from mid-December, with $550 billion wiped in the crypto-market in general. Despite this, a steadily-growing number of financial experts are backing Bitcoin to embark on another considerable run this year.
Clif High, the creator of Web Bot, the computer program initiated to predict stock market trends, sees the rise of Bitcoin continue with more and more investors getting on the cryptocurrency bandwagon.
“As we get into mid-February, those who have the ability to look forward will see just fifteen, eighteen days from then, so early March, the beginning of a very of our next big up leg,” High said in a video address recently.
“The current buyers of the world’s cryptocurrency are less than one and half percent but the next cohort that’s coming in is thirteen and a half percent of the population”.
High is not alone in his prediction of seeing another run this year:
“Increasing regulatory recognition of cryptocurrency exchanges, the entrance of institutional capital and major technology developments will contribute to the market’s rebound and push cryptocurrency prices to all new highs this year,” Thomas Glucksmann, who heads APAC business development at cryptocurrency exchange Gatecoin, wrote in an email to CNBC by email on Tuesday.
“There is no reason why we couldn’t see bitcoin pushing $50,000 by December. One possible appetizer for the bulls, or the catalyst for the recovery, will be the release of another cryptocurrency backed instrument listed on a major exchange. There are several candidates in the pipeline, it’s only a matter of time until we have a cryptocurrency backed ETF (exchange-traded fund).”
So where does this leave those still not buying into the volatile cryptocurrency sphere? For many, there is simply a better choice in trading forex and commodities. For the more judicious trader, the uncertainty and unpredictability of Bitcoin is simply a risk not worth taking. For others, especially millennials, there appears to be a more positive approach to a future of trading in cryptocurrencies. But for how long, is the question?
Bitcoin was described recently by head of the Bank for International Settlements, AgustÃn Carsten, as “a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster”.
“If authorities do not act pre-emptively, cryptocurrencies could become more interconnected with the main financial system and become a threat to financial stability,” he told an audience at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. “There is a strong case for policy intervention. Appropriate authorities have a duty to educate and protect investors and consumers, and need to be prepared to act.”
With such measures already gathering pace, there is growing concern as to the changes in the landscape of how Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will be afforded to operate. Carsten’s insistence that investors should look at cryptocurrencies as illegitimate, citing the potential of non-traditional means of payments encouraging tax avoidance, money laundering, scams and contributing to terrorism and other egregious acts.
With Facebook having now banned adverts for cryptocurrencies, and credit card operators refusing customers who wish to purchase Bitcoin from doing so with their cards, is the projected surge in price this year, predicted by some, a genuine possibility?
Better save those early retirement plans until things unfold a little.