January always feels like such a long month. Here we are, still not quite at the end, and already new year’s day feels like half a year ago. And time marches even more swiftly in the world of bitcoin. With its epic price rally over the new year break, the inevitable comedown was a true January reality check, along with the Christmas credit card bill and shattered new year resolutions. But, according to the Biterati, there’s every reason to be cheerful. This year’s price predictions are practically effervescent. So forget Brexit and Trump for a few minutes and let’s have a few reasons to be cheerful.
2016: a halving, and a doubling
Hot on the heels of 2016, this year has a lot to live up to. Not only was 2016 a halving year, full of speculation and uncertainty in itself, but it was also plagued by internal bickering over the block size debate. Yet somehow bitcoin managed to increase its price by over 100% from $430 to around $950 depending on your source. And it’s not just the price that’s been reliably growing – 2016 saw the transaction volume take a steady climb from a weekly average somewhere around 150,000 to around 250,000. So predications based on 2016’s performance certainly have the data to back them up; but you don’t need me to tell you there’s much more to it than that.
What the experts say
Unless you’re as sick of listening to experts as Michael Gove, there’s a wealth of insight to be gained from listening to the this year’s bitcoin forecasts – even if you do take them with a pinch of salt. After all, confidence is closely related to performance, and confidence is in no short supply.
- Steen Jakobsen, chief economist at Saxo Bank says it’s entirely plausible that China and Russia could begin using bitcoin as an alternative to a destabilised USD, and predicts a year end price of $2,000.
- Vinny Lingham, CEO of cyber security software company Civic predicts that bitcoin will end the year on a dizzy high of $3,000 as governments become the largest buyers of bitcoin.
- Juniper Research, online trend analysts predict that bitcoin transaction volume will triple in 2017.
I could go on and on and on. Take in enough column inches you’ll see predictions rising as high as $10,000. Now, I’d like a new Ferrari as much as the next man, but you and I both know that it’s not going to happen.
What’s interesting about these predictions is that they’re all supremely confident. Nobody’s forecasting a limp year, or even just a modest price increase. And when you look at some of the reasons given, it’s easy to get on board. From a Trump-inspired loss of confidence in the world’s favourite currency, to the uptake of Segwit, Lightning Network and other capacity-doubling upgrades, a lot of arguments seem not only plausible, but inevitable. If bitcoin EFTs (exchange traded funds) make it possible to trade BTC on the stock market – another 2017 prediction – those boys in striped suits won’t be able to help themselves.
Where’s the catch?
Dare I say it, there isn’t one. While opinion is great for filling column inches, it’s also central to the common narrative, especially in the world of economics and investment. As fiat currencies the world over are failing to provide a sense of basic security to citizens, it seems practical to hedge your bets with bitcoin. As a great sense of uncertainty looms over the whole globe, a man who has nothing to lose has everything to gain. This really could be our year, you know.
This article represents the personal opinion of the author and is not a recommendation to buy or sell Bitcoins.