(Updated October 2018) Ever since Satoshi Nakamoto published his famous paper detailing how Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), which is another nomenclature for Blockchain technology, can underpin a digital currency, the first of which would later be known as Bitcoin, the world has been taken by storm by this new form of settling financial transactions. The general sentiment alternated between fascination and awe on the one hand, and skepticism and incredulity on the other.
However, regardless of what the naysayers have to say, it is now apparent that Bitcoin is here to stay. In early December 2017, a Bitcoin’s price has surpassed 19,000 $, going well beyond plenty of predictions out there, and the underlying Blockchain technology has been used to create multiple forms of cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple. Despite Bitcoin’s price being extremely volatile over the past couple of years, this article will attempt to make a few Bitcoin price predictions for 2018, in the hopes of shedding a little light on this fascinating subject.
As of writing this article, the price of a single Bitcoin is $6,666.58 – 5% higher than a month ago, when a single Bitcoin was worth $6,332.57.
Given the way Bitcoin’s price has skyrocketed over the past year, it is very difficult to discern the fundamentals that can help us figure out its inherent value. As a matter of fact, when I started researching this article, the price of a single Bitcoin was around $12,000, 2 days and half an article later, the price of the same Bitcoin stand at $17,500 $ and now when I am updating this article the price is $6,666. Furthermore, the way Bitcoin has been breaking through all previous expectations has rendered any attempt at using technical analysis to make Bitcoin price predictions for 2018 irrelevant. Nevertheless, there are a few factors that should affect the cryptocurrency’s price going forward:
1.Rate of adoption: Metcalfe’s law states that the value of a network increases as the number of users on said network increases, and this is somewhat applicable to Bitcoin as well.
2.Underlying technology: Although Bitcoin is built on Blockchain technology, it is somewhat inferior from a technological perspective to other cryptocurrencies built on the same platform.
3.The appearance of other competing cryptocurrencies: With more and more digital coins surfacing on the scene, the argument for using Bitcoin as a means of transactions is becoming less justifiable.
4.The use of futures: Creating a futures market for trading Bitcoins will have a profound effect on the young currency.
5.Regulation: Regulation is inevitable; however, its effects are uncertain, rendering any Bitcoin predictions suspect at best.
Bearing all of this in mind, let’s take a look at the top 4 Bitcoin price predictions for 2018:
1. Bitcoin’s Price Will Surpass the $100,000 Mark by the End of 2018
Originally, the dominant Bitcoin price prediction was that Bitcoin would reach the $14,000 mark by the end of 2018. However, recent developments have blown that prediction out of the water, and optimists are hoping that Bitcoin will break through the $100,000 barrier within the next few months. In fact, some people, including CNBC’s Jim Cramer, are predicting that Bitcoin will go as far as shattering the million dollar threshold one day.
It’s difficult to say if it can really reach $100,000 per coin especially considering the fact that we are already in October 2018, I would say is impossible. Market capitalization should surpass 1 trillion USD just on BTC to reach $66,000 per coin, a 10x increase. Now the entire market cap is at $212 billions. Considering the BTC market cap was $170 billions almost a year ago, now is $115 billions and it was at $800 billions in January 2018 who knows what can happen.
As farfetched as these forecasts may seem at the outset, they aren’t completely implausible, seeing as Bitcoin’s price has been doing the impossible for the past few months. Additionally, upon taking a closer look, you will come to realize that these optimistic Bitcoin price predictions for 2018 may have some ground. For one thing, the growth of the number of daily transactions using Bitcoin has outpaced the currency’s price hike by a factor of 100! In other words, if the value of a Bitcoin has appreciated about 20 times in 2017, the concurrent amount of trades has increased about 2000 times. Nevertheless, there is still plenty of room for growth, which translates to a higher adoption rate and justifies the expected price increase.
2. The Original Intent to Use Bitcoin as a Means of Transaction May Give Way in Favor of Using It as a Means of Storing Value
It is very likely that Bitcoin usage will shift from a currency that we all use, to a tool used to store value. To begin with, owing to the major increase in Bitcoin price, investors have been using Bitcoin as a vehicle for their investments. Additionally, Bitcoin’s security features make it all the more attractive to be used as a proverbial vault rather than a transactional currency. Furthermore, Bitcoin has issues regarding scalability (scalability refers to adding more users to the network), and all attempts to address these issues have been met with resistance and failure.
This, in turn, means that the cost of each transaction has increased, and will keep going up so long as these issues are not addressed. Finally, the appearance of new cryptocurrencies that are better equipped to handle a large number of transactions in comparison to Bitcoin may force the incumbent currency to take a backseat.
3. The Emergence of a Futures Market Will Be a Game Changer, for Better or Worse
The instant CME announced that it would be creating a futures contract for Bitcoin come mid-December, everybody started realizing the possible implications this might have. On the positive side of the equation, futures facilitate tradinga certain asset, making it more accessible to investors and the general public alike. As a result, the rate of adoption of Bitcoin should increase commensurately. Furthermore, the cost of trading futures is quite low, whereas an increasing rate of adoption and a stagnant underlying technology have been driving the cost of transacting via Bitcoin up. Over and above, futures are pivotal in the process of price discovery, which means that they can help Bitcoin gain some price stability.
However, a futures market could also mean that there will be some downward pressure on the price of Bitcoin. This stands to reason as a futures market will make it easier for large institutional investors to short sell Bitcoin, and take bets on both sides of the table. It remains to be seen which effect will dominate the other.
4. There Is Reason to Believe that Bitcoin Is in a Bubble Which May Burst at Any Moment
Despite there being plenty of optimism surrounding Bitcoin, there are some who are concerned that this is all a speculative bubble. Firstly, the fact that Bitcoin’s underlying technology is antiquated when compared to its younger peers means that unless it experiences a radical advancement, Bitcoin won’t be able to enjoy its first mover advantage forever. Another point is that Metcalfe’s law concerning the size of networks won’t be as applicable should Bitcoin become a vehicle for value storage, regardless of the number of people who adopt this technology. Simply put, a network will become useless if all the members in it are hoarding the currency and not interacting with one another.
Another critical variable to put into the mix is regulation. This might come as a surprise to some, particularly due to the fact that cryptocurrencies are decentralized and impervious to direct manipulation, but governments still have the ability to regulate the usage of cryptocurrencies indirectly. The simplest case in point is how the price of Bitcoin plummeted when China banned all coin exchanges within its borders. It is true that Bitcoin recouped afterwards, but this doesn’t change the fact that, should the American government decide to intervene, they can influence Bitcoin’s price. For instance, through banning companies from accepting cryptocurrencies as payment or from importing blockchain related technology (such as Application Specific Integrated Circuits), governments can make cryptocurrencies nearly inaccessible, hence dropping their utility and their price. Some might argue that Bitcoin is a global currency, yet the fact that the U.S. is a very large player within this space means that the actions of the American government can have powerful ramifications for the entire space.
The future of Bitcoin is anything but certain and making Bitcoin price predictions for 2018 is akin to trying to discern the weather three months from now. Nevertheless, given the way things have been going, it is reasonable to assume that, at least for the short term, the price of Bitcoin should continue to rise and reach new heights. Moreover, this year, Bitcoin has been witness to one of the nastiest feuds concerning its future, which ended in a sort of stalemate. As a result, without the necessary technological advancements, Bitcoin may end up being used as a safe haven for investors’ money in the short term and may become obsolete altogether in the long term. Over and above, the introduction of a Bitcoin futures market should be very interesting, and it is yet to be seen how this will affect the nascent technology. And, when it’s all said and done, it is worth bearing in mind that this hyperbolic increase may be a bubble that can pop any second.
With all that said, we are interested in knowing what you think. Do you think that the Bitcoin predictions for 2018 stating that the currency is bound to surpass $100,000 is on the money? Or, are you of the opinion that this is all a bubble? What about futures and their effects on the cryptocurrency space in general, do you think they’ll have a huge impact or not? Please let us know, leave a comment below, and feel free to ask us any questions you might have.