“At the height of the Enron mania, the company's market value was $65 billion. Once the dust cleared, the final value was $0.” - Robert Kiyosaki
On July 25, 2018, Bitcoin broke $8,000.00. After a tumultuous rollercoaster ride seeing the cryptocurrency go from $900 to $20,000 in one wild run in 2017 and then dropping below $5,755.00 in 2018, it seems the coin is once again on the rise. Bitcoin has always outperformed other altcoins but there was a time when the hype, the mania, looked as if it would vanish into thin air and the entire cryptocurrency world would come crashing down forever. But now, it’s on the rise again. So where will it go? There are still naysayers when it comes to crypto and there are those in the know who say the sky’s the limit. Who is right and why? Because we accept Bitcoin and we created the cryptocurrency exchange Railto, we’re very interested in crypto here at Thoughtlab. So, in this article, we’ll take a quick look at the bull and bear thoughts on Bitcoin as well other altcoins and where they may be in the future.
Those in the bullish camp still have great faith in Bitcoin, despite its meteoric rise and subsequent Roman Empire-like fall. They believe that it’s on an uptrend, betting that it will eventually reach $30,000 by the end of 2018. Some big names in finance are in this category and they see the future of Bitcoin as sunny money for all.
Marshall Taplits, Chief Strategy Officer for NYNJA, a company that has embarked on the creation of the world’s first fully-integrated communications application with its own currency and financial ecosystem, is a Bitcoin believer. Taplits says that even though speculation on price is difficult he thinks the trend of Bitcoin is clearly up. He sees it going to about $20,000.
Daniel Worsley, who is the COO of LocalCoinSwap is definitely a Bitcoin bull. He believes there is no other network that has been tested quite as hard and the bitcoin blockchain. Worsley sees that Bitcoin has resisted serious competition from other altcoins and even some coordinated attacks designed to disrupt the functioning and it has survived and thrived, so he has faith. Worsley says he wouldn’t be surprised to see the price of Bitcoin above $20,000 USD by the end of 2018.
Tim Draper, the venture capitalist who hit it big with early investments in giant internet companies Twitter and Skype predicted, on 2014, that bitcoin would reach $10,000 and he was right. He now predicts $250,000 by 2022. While speaking to a crowd outside his self-founded Draper University in California he said; “It’s going to happen, they’re going to think you’re crazy but, believe it, it’s happening, it’s going to be awesome.”
Also, cybersecurity innovator and subject of the 2016 documentary; Gringo; The Dangerous Life of John McAfee, John McAfee himself predicted in November of 2017 that Bitcoin would hit one million by 2020.
As for the fears, cryptocurrencies are often compared to forerunner companies like Microsoft and Apple; their stocks were pretty volatile at the start but, as they developed their business model the stocks rose and then became stable as well.
Most bear campers argue that Bitcoin is a mania that, like every other mania, will come to a crashing, fiery end. These guys see falling demand in the face of rising supply- in the form of other cryptocurrencies- and they believe that when these conditions are met, Bitcoin will dive down to $1000 or back to its fundamental value.
Some estimates set the fundamental value of Bitcoin at $1,142 and bears say there are a couple of solid reasons that could push Bitcoin down to its fundamental value. First would be a Lehman or Enron-style fraud. This fraud doesn’t even have to take place in the Bitcoin market but, rather, any cryptocurrency market would cause Bitcoin to tumble. The second reason is the end of easy money. This would push the interest rates higher and take the ‘air” out of the Bitcoin mania bubble. As the bears say, bubbles burst.
Some heavy financial hitters weigh in on the bear side of the cryptocurrency argument as well. Warren Buffett has made the comment that Bitcoin was “rat poison.”
Mati Greenspan, a Senior Market analyst at eToro said: “To be clear, to those who are in the top 1% of the world earners, it is very toxic”. He has made it clear that he does not see Bitcoin or the other altcoins hanging in for the long haul.
Eli Dourado, a PhD economist who is an actual expert on the economics of cryptocurrency, argues that if you look at all the important features for a cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is either dominated by Ethereum or it soon will be. Given the strength of Ethereum, he argues “I no longer believe there is a stable place for Bitcoin, Ripple or most other cryptocurrencies that exist today.” The reason for the Ethereum domination is two-fold.
- Transaction fees. Ethereum’s transaction fees are significantly lower than Bitcoin. These transaction fees are one reason why the Bitcoin conference hilariously had to stop taking Bitcoin payments for tickets.
- Another issue that puts Ethereum ahead is governance quality. Leadership, development and community mean a lot for a cryptocurrency.
Duorado believes that governance quality is a key competitive advantage for a cryptocurrency, pointing out that governance institution can’t be simply copied the way technical parameters can be. A crypto coin's governances, therefore play a huge role in its value and strength.
A Bitcoin ETF
This is the current must have for virtual currency enthusiasts, they want a bitcoin-based Exchange Traded Fund or ETF.
A Bitcoin ETF would track the bitcoin benchmark index and replicate its daily performance allowing people with a brokerage account to invest in Bitcoin without having to worry about the challenges of buying, storing and safekeeping it. It would really break things open for Bitcoin and, the thinking is, other altcoins would follow.
However, in order for it to be launched as a financial instrument, the Bitcoin ETF needs to be approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission,(SEC) which has been dragging their feet on this for some time. The famed Winklevoss twins have a Bitcoin ETF product that they have been awaiting approval on since 2013. The SEC keeps casting off Bitcoin ETF proposals one by one and there is no definitive go-ahead in sight. In fact, as of the writing of this article, the SEC has announced that a decision on the Bitcoin ETF, which was supposed to be coming months ago, will now be pushed off till September. Even then, few believe that a ruling will happen any time soon.
There is certainly an enormous amount of weight on either side of this coin. The idea, as some economists have said, that the entire cryptocurrency thing is just a mania that will hit its peak and die out may be true, who knows. But, think about this; Beatlemania was a mania that people said would die out quickly.
However, the Beatles album 1, a compilation of all their number one hits, was the best selling album of the decade from 2000-2009 and that’s 30 years after the band broke up. So, you never know, this mania may have legs.