Crashing markets defined the cryptocurrency story in 2018. With a gain of over 1,000 percent in last year, bitcoin price entered this year on a high.
But the excesses of 2017 gave way to the sobriety of 2018. Speculators exited the market but Wall Street refused to fully commit to the new asset class. The result was a sharp drop in bitcoin price due to a decline in liquidity and volatility.
An inexorable slide in bitcoin price that began this past January continues till this day. The cryptocurrency’s price continued to fall even as ostentatious Lamborghinis and Snoop Dog made their presence felt at a crowded Coindesk’s Consensus conference.
By November, however, reality had set in. Crypto markets swung to new lows along with the stock market. Bitcoin’s price is currently struggling to break past the $4,000 mark.
To be sure, this year was also the year that cryptocurrency matured as an asset class. Technological advancements, such as the Lightning Network, promise to set the stage for an increase in transaction volume. The SEC cleared bitcoin and ether of being securities. Wall Street is also beginning to warm up to cryptocurrencies. Fidelity Investments and Goldman Sachs announced forays into trading crypto while NYSE owner ICE announced a new platform for trading bitcoin futures.
Given the mixed messaging for cryptocurrencies this year, what does 2019 hold in store for bitcoin price? Here are the thoughts of three prominent investors weighing in on the cryptocurrency.
Calvin Ayre owns CoinGeek, the largest mining pool for Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and he is a prominent backer of bitcoin SV. According to him, bitcoin price may drop to as low as $0 next year because the cryptocurrency has no utility. “It does not do anything and they are intentionally anti-scaling,” he said. He posits that another global dominant cryptocurrency will emerge in its place and bets that this will be bitcoin cash.
Naturally he has skin in the game with his investment in CoinGeek. When Bitcoin SV was launched, he diverted his mining pool’s resources to mine the coin. Ayre is also building a billion dollar resort in Antigua & Barbuda, where he is based, that will accept only BCH.
Thanks to regular appearances on CNBC and Bloomberg, Lee is one of the most noted analysts of bitcoin price. But he missed the mark several times in 2018. For example, he predicted that bitcoin would hit $20,000 by mid-year and end it at $15,000. Both those predictions were wrong. Not surprisingly, Tom has stopped giving out frequent price forecasts. In an earlier May prediction, he stated that bitcoin price would end 2019 at $36,000.
Former hedge fund titan Michael Novogratz has invested a third of his fortune in cryptocurrencies. His firm Galaxy Digital is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange and booked losses of $136 million during the first nine months this year in the wake of steep valuation declines in cryptocurrency markets.
According to him, a surge of institutional interest in bitcoin will push bitcoin price higher during the first quarter. “There’s going to be a case of institutional FOMO, just like there was in retail,” he said. Subsequently bitcoin could reach highs of “$20,000 or more” in 2019 with increased adoption, he says.