Bitcoin reached its all-time high of almost $20,000 in December 2017. However, since then, Bitcoin declined by over 80% when it breached the $3,250 levels several months ago. The entire crypto market languished in a bear trend throughout 2018. The price of BTC currently oscillates around $3,500.
A new study by Finder.co.au in Australia saw financial market experts predicting that Bitcoin could rise 84% in 2019. Most of the experts provided their predictions in the range of $7,500 to $9,000. A surge from $3,500 to $9,000 would translate to a 157% rise in value within less than ten months. Experts believe that BTC could increase its price in the whole of 2019 to reach these targeted predictions.
The COO of Digital Capital Management, Ben Ritchie, one of the six experts was the most bullish of them all. He predicted that the crypto will end the year close to $9500. The average prediction of all the others in the panel was around $7,000.
Ritchie believes that there are two major things to consider in 2019. First, he asked whether the virtual currencies will be trading differently compared to the past. On the second issue he stated:
“The second is the impact of the traditional markets on digital currencies. Will Bitcoin rise if the S&P drops? On-ramp and off-ramps to buying cryptocurrencies will improve in 2019 with Bakkt and Fidelity Group entering the market. However, I do not believe we will see many institutional investors enter for some time yet.”
Why Experts Remain Bullish on the Long Term
Analysts, investors and many other commentators remain positive on Bitcoin’s long-term trend. The positivity arises from the near-term catalysts that may excite the markets to rise. In the first quarter of 2019, ICE’s Bakkt is expected to launch a BTC futures market in the United States.
These large-scale institutions’ activities in a bear market may enhance the investors’ confidence in the future of the cryptocurrencies. All experts in the panel stated that Bitcoin may experience a slow grind up with low volatility levels in the months to come. These sentiments concur with what we reported earlier about Mike Novogratz’s acknowledgment that the crypto winter may last longer.
If Bitcoin adopts a gradual climb to the $7,500 to $9,000 range in 2019, it may cause exchanges a wide range of challenges. Currently, exchanges in major markets like South Korea and Japan report a significant decline in daily trading volumes. Some exchanges have reported up to 90% declines.
If the market experiences low volatility for long periods, exchanges could suffer since transaction fees are their primary revenue source. However, with the current developments in the cryptocurrency sphere, experts remain positive on the long term.
Millenials and Digital Currencies
Millenials seem to be the biggest adopters of digital currencies. 12% of the participants between 24 and 38 years in a recent poll confirmed that they have already invested in cryptocurrencies. Hence, around 661,000 Australians have invested in the crypto market. Overall some 6% of adults, or around 1.1 million Australians, said they invest in cryptocurrency, up from 5% last year.
The co-founder of Finder.com.au and HiveEx.com, Fred Schebesta, explained that millenials embrace virtual currencies to amass wealth for themselves. He added that:
“They have grown up with digital technology, so it is little wonder they want to get involved in digital currency. They are looking at investing very differently to their parents.”
What Could Push BTC Higher?
Some investors expect institutions to join the crypto sphere by the third quarter of 2019. Currently, institutions remain hesitant due to uncertainties in the asset class itself and regulatory infrastructure. Billionaire investor Mike Novogratz said that institutions are not in a hurry to invest in the crypto sector. However, the introduction of more regulated and well-maintained investment vehicles will encourage more large companies and institutions to enter the crypto market.