Last three months have seen several notable moments in bitcoin’s history. The cryptocurrency is up over 70 percent in the September quarter, while relevant regulations and developments are taking place. Congestion on the network promtped incredibly high trasactions times for bitcoin with the community thinking on how the amount of data should be processed in one transaction needed to increase.
These talks and concerns became a truly “fork” earlier this year what resulted in a new cryptocurrency creation, also known as bitcoin cash. Since August it has risen to nearly $900 before falling to current levels of around $402.
Meanwhile, China had been considered to be the most prominent influencer on the cryptocurrency price before the country’s financial watchdogs imposed a ban on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) which are widely used by companies to raise resources for further development.
Local bitcoin exchange players such as OKCoin, Huobi and BTC China have halted trading for customers on the mainland. While at the beginning of the quarter Chinese yuan accounted for around 17 percent of bitcoin trade globally by the end of the quarter, last month it was less than 3 percent.
Last week, similar news came from South Korea, where the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) imposed a ban on raising money through all forms of virtual currencies.
And that’s the time when Japan steps in becoming more open to cryptocurrencies as it legalized bitcoin. Prominent retailers have already begun accepting it as payments and a few days ago Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) officially granted 11 companies a special license making them registered cryptocurrency exchange operators.
As far as predictions go, Bitcoin could rally about 40 percent to hit a $6,000 mark as early as by the end of 2017, industry experts claim. Bitcoin was trading around $4,347 at the moment of writing.
Thomas Glucksmann, head of APAC business development at Gatecoin, a cryptocurrency exchange, told CNBC by email: “Throughout the year we’ve been predicting the bitcoin price will surpass $5,000 and creep closer to $6,000 by year’s end. That prediction is looking more in line with market sentiment these days.”
He also noted cryptocurrency investors should brace for more volatility as some in the bitcoin community might move to reject SegWit2X. This could trigger another split in bitcoin, and lead to creation of a new cryptocurrency once again.
Charles Hayter, CEO of industry website CryptoCompare, predicted that the most popular cryptocurrency could hit $5,000 by the end of the year due to increased regulation to cryptocurrencies and ICOs.
“Bitcoin’s biggest price catalyst is regulation. Japan has breathed life into the price and as the fog of uncertainty clears in other jurisdictions, clarity on regulation will release a break on the price,” Hayter told CNBC by email.
Earlier this day, Max Keiser, authoritative financial analyst and RT’s Keiser Report host, said he also feels quite optimistic about bitcoin’s short-term price trend, adding that it is likely for bitcoin price to hit $6,000 by the end of the current year.
And it does can happen as despite Chinese crackdown on virtual money and uncertainty regarding SegWit2x activation, as bitcoin has managed to gain almost $1,000 in value in less than two weeks, rising from $3,500 level.