Investors have found recent Bitcoin news startling due to its volatility and price swings over the past few months. Although many cryptocurrency investors are concerned, particularly given public sentiment believing Bitcoin might just be a financial fad on its way out, cryptocurrency is here to stay, according Hong Kong-based blockchain entrepreneur Dave Chapman.
Dave Chapman explained how the erratic Bitcoin price and angst surrounding escalating regulation are both normal and rather common as witnessed when the Internet, Facebook and Twitter first launched as new assets entering the market.
“Everyone says cryptocurrency is so bad, but there’s no difference between this and any other time when people have gone into something (new),” Chapman elaborated while speaking to the South China Morning Post. “Is it new? Yes. Does it need to mature? Yes. Will it be regulated? Yes.”
Chapman, who previously worked at Credit Suisse, Bear Stearns, and HSBC, co-founded ANX, a blockchain solutions provider and ANX Pro, a cryptocurrency exchange, in 2013. He more recently launched a cryptocurrency trading firm called Octagon Strategy which currently trades seven digital currencies; Chapman hopes to increase this number to 40 or 50 by the end of 2018.
The Australian businessman, who describes himself as a “corporate refugee,” is an avid blockchain and cryptocurrency enthusiast and early adopter.
While tech billionaires like Mark Cuban are Bitcoin bears, Dave Chapman appreciates the decentralized nature of cryptocurrency.
“One of the really fascinating things that kept me coming back to bitcoin when I first saw it is that there was no central authority,” he elaborates. “That means no one can stop it. A bank can’t stop it. A dictator can’t stop it. Parents can’t stop it.”
When he first got into cryptocurrency, Chapman said former investment-banking colleagues were flabbergasted and skeptical. “It surprised a lot of people: leaving a respected career to go and play with ‘magical internet money,'” he explains.
Now, Chapman says, bankers either dismiss cryptocurrency entirely or are riddled with FOMO (fear of missing out) and are eagerly jumping aboard the blockchain bandwagon.
Chapman has set a $100,000 price target for Bitcoin for the end of 2018.
Even though bitcoin bears laugh at this bullish projection, Chapman describes being dismissed by these same people when he predicted BTC would hit at least $10,000 by the end of 2017. Bitcoin did in fact climb to over $13,000 on December 31, 2017.
“I was quoted back in August (2017) when bitcoin was trading at around $4,000 that we would have a five-figure headline by the end of this year,” he said back in December. “I think a lot of people thought I was crazy, a lot of people scoffed at me, but that’s OK.”
While most bitcoin investors obsess over its daily price fluctuations, Chapman says BTC prices are not an important focus for him.
“The price to me is probably the most uninteresting component about bitcoin,” he said. “I’m more excited in the applications and more excited about what this means for people who don’t have access to financial inclusion. If we focus on the price, we’re losing track of the big picture.”
Others are optimistic as well. Fundstrat co-founder, Tom Lee, believes bitcoin prices will rise after April 17 which is Tax Day in the United States. Lee attributes the recent drop in BTC prices as merely the result of investors trying to sell off their cryptocurrency holdings to avoid paying capital-gains taxes.
Accordingly, Tom Lee predicts selling pressure on Bitcoin will taper off after Tax Day.
The importance of IRS regulation of cryptocurrency related assets was discussed in previous article “Did you hold Bitcoin in 2017? You may want to file for an extension on taxes.” To get a clearer, big picture view of Bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrency, Weiss Ratings created a grading scale for cryptocurrency as reported by the Hill. This system uses a grading scale from A to F (just like in school), using a computer model examining the technology, adoption, and investment risk/reward for each form of cryptocurrency.
When launched in January, bitcoin initially received a C+ while no cryptocurrency earned an A rating. This perturbed cryptocurrency enthusiasts around the world, setting off a firestorm on social media. The reality is, however, cryptocurrency investors who used those ratings could have avoided large losses as Bitcoin plunged in December.
The ratings model tells us older, more established types of cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin (currently B-) and Ethereum (C+), now face challenges with slow speed and limited scalability. Meanwhile newer forms of cryptocurrency such as EOS (B-), NEO (B-), and Cardano (C+), which promise to overcome these issues with more advanced technology are still, by and large, experimental. Most forms of cryptocurrency which use copycat or buggy technologies, get D grades or lower.
Regardless of its grade, virtually every cryptocurrency suffers from extreme price volatility.
Despite this volatility, neither investors nor policymakers should let these challenges overshadow the extremely promising potential of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.