Like many new markets and technologies, cryptocurrency has its ups and downs. While it can be easy to dwell on each individual blockchain news story, the key with any market is to focus on overall patterns to understand its growth and potential.
Despite some past volatility for cryptocurrency in general, and Bitcoin in particular, experts predict bitcoin will increase significantly in value over the summer.
Furthermore, they entirely dismiss the misconception of cryptocurrency being a fad.
Previous article What’s Your Take On Bitcoin? Top Theories On Its Demise Versus Its Comeback discussed some of the issues and predictions Bitcoin faces right now. Last December, Bitcoin’s value dropped to a record low shortly after hitting a record high in value.
Thankfully, Bitcoin has steadily recovered with BitMEX CEO and co-founder Arthur Hayes predicting it will reach $50,000 by the end of 2018. Speaking on CNBC’s Fast Money, Hayes said “something that goes up to [around] $20,000 in one year can have a correction.”
“We could definitely find a bottom in the $3,000 to $5,000 range,” he elaborated. “But we’re one positive regulatory decision away, many an ETF approved by the SEC, to climbing through $20,000 and even to $50,000 by the end of the year.”
BitMEX or Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange, is the largest cryptocurrency trading platform by volume; Arthur Hayes has the experience with cryptocurrency stock charts to back up his claims.
“We’ve done these kind of moves before,” he explained. “With more people in the market comes more capital and the potential for faster jumps in price” he said, explaining not only why bitcoin has been volatile, but, also why this volatility is actually a good sign.
“Now that we have more visibility, more people talking about [bitcoin], the time between an aggressive bear market and an aggressive bull market, I think, is going to shorten,” he further explained. This type of volatility is often attractive to investors as it offers more opportunity to buy low and sell high.
Another reason cryptocurrency is likely to remain an important market sector has less to do with its financial aspects and more to do with the its underlying technology and code.
Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize many industries like healthcare and land management. We’ve already seen it adopted by major institutions indicating blockchain, like the internet, may soon impact aspects of everyday life.
“All banks are realizing they need to get onto this blockchain boat, I don’t think many banks necessarily understand where the boat is going, but they realize that this is a development that is taking off and that, if they want to be on this journey that everyone is going on, they need to be on the boat,” explained Farzam Ehsani, a former blockchain lead at Rand Merchant Bank and co-founder and CEO of VALR.
With blockchain gaining such widespread acceptance, it seems likely cryptocurrency like bitcoin will be along for the ride and, therefore, may increase in value even though the two may seem separate right now.
Elizabeth Stark, CEO of Lightning Labs, elaborated, “When we first pitched my company Lightning Labs, we actually took the word ‘Bitcoin’ out of our deck and our marketing material because it was so much about blockchain. Now, I feel like we’ve entered into a ‘Bitcoin, not blockchain’ world, where people understand the value of cryptocurrency technology and what these can bring. You also have proof-of-work in Bitcoin, you have the public/private key cryptography. There are other things that make Bitcoin special. Somehow, the blockchain part got separated and became a thing.”
Bitcoin has the advantage of brand name recognition and longevity over other forms of cryptocurrency, too.
It is the originator of blockchain and first successful attempt at cryptocurrency without the double-spending problem.
Emin Gün Sirer, an associate professor at Cornell University, elaborates: “We have seen that these technologies are quite robust. Chains do not just disappear, they are resilient and stick around. Many of us spent years proselytizing for these technologies in general and Bitcoin in particular. As a result, it had immense goodwill and brand recognition built around it. So, there will always be a community around the brand that will ensure that that chain makes progress.”
Further establishing the significance of bitcoin as a trusted brand and, therefore, probably here to stay, is Jehan Chu, co-founder of Kenetic Capital. She states: “Bitcoin will never go to zero because it is a hedge against falling currencies, inefficient economies and increasingly systemic inequality. Bitcoin represents the currency of a better future for society, and people will always invest in their future.”
Simply put, at this point there are too many vested stakeholders in Bitcoin specifically, but, also blockchain technology in general for cryptocurrency to go away.
While the technology is still very new, its potential is tremendous.