Four Thousand Or One Million? Forecasting the Price of Bitcoin
Crypto media outlets and social media teem with price forecasts for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin maximalists are usually confident that the market has stellar prospects while supporters of government regulation, stock markets, banks and other “traditional values” often make downward forecasts or even predict the collapse of the entire industry.
Is it then surprising that the forecasts are so dramatically different from each other? But how does one navigate this endless stream of predictions?
ForkLog magazine offers an overview of the most interesting Bitcoin price forecasts from the market experts and celebrities.
Bitcoin optimists: $10,000 to $1,000,000
Let’s start with the most optimistic bitcoin enthusiast. More than two years ago McAfee Security antivirus creator John McAfee has made perhaps the most extravagant forecast ever. He promised to “eat his dick on national TV” if by the end of 2020 Bitcoin will not cost $500,000.
“Let’s get real, there are only 21 million bitcoins. Seven million of which have been lost forever, and then, if Satoshi is dead, add a few more million,” he said, apparently appealing to a scarcity crisis which in his mind was about to hit Bitcoin.
He is sure that the first cryptocurrency will account for 5% of global financial transactions or even more. Furthermore, based on the available number of coins bitcoin can potentially cost as much as $10 million, says McAfee. We’ll see if he was right at the end of 2020.
The former CEO of the oldest Chinese BTCC crypto exchange Bobby Lee is another true believer in Bitcoin’s supremacy. Recently he expressed confidence that by 2028 the price of bitcoin will reach $500,000.
Lee compares the first cryptocurrency to gold, whose market caps at about $8 trillion. According to him within 9 years the price of BTC will exceed $ 500,000 and as a result, Bitcoin will surpass the gold market in terms of capitalization.
Lee believes that Bitcoin will not stop at the $500,000 mark either.
“And with all of the money printing that’s happening globally, BTC will actually very likely be over $1 million,” the expert said.
In addition to the macroeconomic component, Bobby Lee substantiates his forecast with the deflationary nature of bitcoin. Bitcoin becomes even more scarce after each halving, reducing emission and, consequently, inflation.
#Bitcoin was designed to be SUPER valuable over time.
First 10 yrs, there were only 2 block reward halvings, but the next 10 years, there‘ll be 3 (that’s 50% more)!
By 20th year, daily new output will just be ~255 BTC — yearly inflation of less than 0.5%. More scarce than #gold!
— Bobby Lee – Ballet: Simple & Elegant Wallet (@bobbyclee) November 10, 2019
The head of Blockchain, one of the leading providers of cryptocurrency wallets, Peter Smith made a forecast back in April 2017 that Bitcoin could reach $500,000 by 2030. It is important to mention that at that time BTC was being traded at around $1,200.
Smith offered a list of main drivers that would affect Bitcoin’s price in the coming years:
- Cross-border payments, where the share of Bitcoin will grow rapidly.
- Uncertainty in the global economy, leading to increased interest in liquid, easy to use and transfer, assets.
- The spread of mobile networks, each owner of a smartphone carrying a “bank in the pocket.”
The head of Blockchain is confident that in 2030 market capitalization of bitcoin will reach $10 trillion (the product of the number of BTC users by the average cost of the coins they hold).
Tim Draper, a venture investor and early adopter of Bitcoin, is also very optimistic.
Draper is convinced that Bitcoin is a safe asset in times of turbulence on traditional markets. The investor is also sure that within five years Bitcoin will supplant fiat currencies. According to him with every year cryptocurrency will become a more convenient tool for payments and investments due to the high speed of transactions and low fees.
Trader and cryptanalyst Josh Rager came to the conclusion that the current Bitcoin price trajectory is in many ways similar to that observed in 2015.
In April 2019 Rager hypothesized that the accumulation phase would end in July. In his opinion to start a bull rally, the price needs to break through the resistance of a 100-week moving average (MA).
Shortly after his assumption, Bitcoin began to grow steadily. In June the price of the asset reached the year’s maximum of $13,880 (Bitstamp exchange).
TradingView BTC/USD daily chart
Apparently the accumulation phase ended much earlier but the rally did not last long. At the end of June, a rapid fall began with recurrent “dead cat bounces”.
The weekly chart shows that the MA 100 was indeed broken against the backdrop of a very strong movement supported by volumes:
BTC/USD chart from TradingView
The breakthrough occurred in May, somewhat earlier than was forecast. Subsequently, the price repeatedly tested the MA 100.
In general, Rager is confident that the upcoming phase of the Bitcoin bull cycle will end in 2023 at around $150,000.
The next Bitcoin cycle should peak out in July 2023 and could reach a price at $150,000 or more per Bitcoin
Cycle Peak Prices:
2023: ??? ($150,000+ projected) pic.twitter.com/ikicZbJRhe
— Josh Rager 📈 (@Josh_Rager) March 31, 2019
The analyst also believes that after 2021 most investors will not be able to purchase more than 1 BTC due to the high price of this cryptocurrency.
Mark Yusko, the head of the Morgan Creek Digital Asset Management Fund, is convinced that Bitcoin can easily soar to $50-100 thousand in the next two years.
He bases his conviction in the impending BTC rally on Metcalfe’s law.
“If you think about the network growth and Metcalfe’s law, some time around 2020 or 2021 I think we can easily be somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000. That’s a pretty wide range but I think the challenge of predicting day to day price is that the price does not reflect the value,” said Yusko.
He also stressed that the new rally will be due to the network effect and emergence of a large number of speculators vying to become market participants.
Also in the summer of 2019 CEO of Kraken, the American Bitcoin exchange, Jess Powell, mentioned the $100,000 mark. He believes that this is far from the limit and over time the price of BTC will reach a million dollars.
A large German bank, Bayerische Landesbank (BayernLB), published a study according to which in 2020 the price of Bitcoin could reach $90,000.
The study is based on the ratio of reserves and growth corresponding to the models of Seyfedin Ammus and the popular analyst Plan B. The financial institution is convinced that bitcoin resembles gold in its characteristics. Moreover, after the halving of 2020, the asset will demonstrate an identical ratio of reserves and growth.
$60,000 — $100,000
ThinkMarkets online broker’s analyst Naeem Aslam believes that during the next bull rally the price of bitcoin will conquer new heights of $60,000 – $100,000. He is convinced that in the not so distant future the important price lines for BTC will be $20,000 and $50,000.
The expert believes that the main drivers of Bitcoin’s price growth are the involvement of institutional investors, the US and China trade war, as well as the uncertainty in the stock market and the risks of a new military conflict in the Middle East.
But before such an impressive growth may transpire Bitcoin will have to survive a fall to the level of $5,500 and, possibly, even to $3,905. The first goal can be reached in July next year.
According to Brandt, there is still too much of unjustified optimism around Bitcoin:
“The bulls must first be fully purged. When no bulls can be found on Twitter, then we will have a great buy signal.”
Being adept at technical analysis the expert is confident that Bitcoin is currently entering the fourth phase of parabolic growth which will carry the asset to the level of $100,000.
Market phases according to Brandt
“No other market in my 45 years of trading has gone parabolic on a log chart in this manner. Bitcoin is a market like no other,” Brandt noted.
In April 2019 BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes claimed that within 2 to 5 years the price of Bitcoin will reach $50,000.
According to him, governments in the next five years will systematically destroy financial privacy, trying to establish full control over a variety of areas. At the same time, cryptocurrencies will become the “last bastion” of financial privacy. Therefore the demand for digital currencies will increase.
Tom Lee, co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors, has become a celebrity in the crypto community thanks in a larger part to his predictions. His optimistic assumptions about the future price of Bitcoin resonate with the participants of the crypto industry.
For example, in August, Lee expressed an opinion that by the end of 2019 the price of BTC could reach $20,000. The US Federal Reserve which reduces the rate and thus weakens the dollar, in his scenario was be the unlikely driving force behind Bitcoin’s rally.
“Bitcoin is becoming increasingly a macro-hedge for the investors against certain things that can go wrong. Rate cuts are adding liquidity. Liquidity is pushing money in all these risky assets and also hedges, which is helping Bitcoin,” said the co-founder of Fundstrat.
Another important factor in market growth, Lee said, is trade tensions between the US and China. The expert is confident that over time Bitcoin becomes a hedging tool for global risks, increasingly demonstrating a positive correlation with protective assets like gold and bonds and a negative one with the stock market.
Previously Lee’s predictions were much less restrained. For example, in June analyst said that after hitting the $10,000 level the FOMO-driven Bitcoin price might reach $40,000 within a few months.
Standpoint Research founder Ronnie Moas concluded that Bitcoin’s annual inflation is lower than that of more than 70 national currencies, including the United States.
According to him the current inflation of the leading cryptocurrency is 4% per year and after halving in May 2020 it will be reduced to 2%. This, in his opinion, will make Bitcoin an even better way to save value.
Moas added that while the US stock market can double in 5 to 7 years then the price of bitcoin will double in the next 5–7 months.
The forecast was made on November 18 when BTC was trading around $8,200. Thus Moas expects that in March-May 2020 the price of Bitcoin will be slightly higher than $16,000.
Mike Novogratz, CEO of the Galaxy Digital crypto bank, notes that in recent months the industry has been experiencing a shortage of fundamentally significant events that can push the market up.
In October Mike expressed confidence that Bitcoin will return to the psychologically significant mark of $10,000. But before this, there will be a brief dip to $6,500.
Like many other experts Novogratz considers global instability the main contributing factor in the growth of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies:
With the yuan over 7.0, an FX war, instability in HKG and the beginnings of capital flight, $Btc rally could have real legs.
— Michael Novogratz (@novogratz) August 5, 2019
Apparently Novogratz’s forecast has already partially come true. At the end of November Bitcoin’s price did reach the bottom just above the $6,500 mark and at the time of writing is being traded in the region of $7,300.
Bitcoin sceptics: $6,000 to zero
Peter Schiff, a financial expert and cryptocurrency critic, said in October that Bitcoin’s technical picture looks awful. Spotting the “Bear flag” pattern on the chart, he suggested that the price of bitcoin would drop to $6,000.
Then he noticed signs of the formation of the “Head and shoulders” figure with a target of around $2,000. The WhalePanda trader immediately offered the Bitcoin skeptic to open a short position with a 100x leverage on BitMEX.
Earlier, Peter Schiff claimed that digital gold failed a protective asset test.
It may seem strange, but the well-known trader in the community, Tone Vays, does not exclude that bitcoin will soon reach $ 4000. However, according to him, this mark will serve as an excellent signal for large purchases.
I agree with @PeterSchiff, however the difference is that once it finds a bottom: above, at or below $4k, I will be going ALL IN on $BTC w/ whatever I can sell that's not nailed down! #Bitcoin #stacksats https://t.co/RfRHGxjXtt
— Tone Vays [Vegas – Unconfiscatable.com] (@ToneVays) September 25, 2019
The world-famous predictor of global crises Nouriel Roubini believes that the value of Bitcoin is exactly zero.
We can discuss negative predictions and criticism of Bitcoin for a long time, but do we have to? Doomsday predictions about Bitcoin have appeared in various media since the first years of the cryptocurrency’s existence. According to the Bitcoin Obituaries website, to date, Bitcoin has been “buried” 379 times.
Below we have compiled a rating of forecasts by Bitcoin experts:
Although it should be noted that all these goals differ in the forecasting timeframe. Additionally, many analysts (Bobby Lee, Peter Brandt, Naeem Aslam) do not accurately indicate the future value of BTC but only a range that can be quite wide (this chart shows prices that correspond to the lower limits of the ranges).
Most experts heavily rely on fundamental factors in their forecasts. They place such characteristics of Bitcoin as scarcity, relatively low transaction costs and an acceptable transaction speed among the most important ones.
Analysts also often refer to various external forces. Yet we can not be certain that Bitcoin is affected by macroeconomic factors to the same extent as traditional assets.
For example, the US stock market may be sensitive to the slightest changes in the Fed rate and other changes in monetary policy. Bitcoin, conversely, is not controlled by governments and central banks. Therefore the influence of these institutions on its price can only be indirect.
It is difficult to imagine an asset whose forecasts would differ so much. Bitcoin is truly unique and it’s very difficult to predict its price, especially if you listen to each expert’s opinion.
Prediction is complicated by Bitcoin’s weak correlation with traditional assets, the inconsistency of the macroeconomic factors’ influence and the poorly developed methodology of its fundamental analysis. Not to mention that the market value of Bitcoin can suddenly fall or rise by more than $1,000 over the course of a day, putting an end to most short-term forecasts.
Nevertheless, many experts believe that over time volatility of the cryptocurrency will decrease while its liquidity will increase. This will make the market more predictable and attractive for institutional investors.
By Alexander Kondratyuk
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