BitMEX co-founder predicts $50,000 bitcoin in 2018
More of the usual vague pointing at institutional money and previous slumps, without any real reasons.
Bitcoin entered July the worse for wear, having just sunk to a new 2018 low. It might have been disheartening for the many who bought in during December's $20,000+ highs, but many of the longer-term devotees and big names in the crypto space keep making the same bullish predictions.
On one hand
"Something that goes up to [around] $20,000 in one year can have a correction," said BitMEX co-founder Arthur Hayes to CNBC. "We could definitely find a bottom in the $3,000 to $5,000 range. But we're one positive regulatory decision away, many [sic] an ETF approved by the SEC, to climbing through $20,000 and even to $50,000 by the end of the year."
VC firm Andreeson Horowitz has remained similarly bullish, setting up a $300 million rain or shine crypto fund, to keep buying all kinds of coins regardless of the state of the market.
"We've done these kind of moves before," Hayes said.
It's a familiar refrain for long-time bitcoin enthusiasts, who often point out that bitcoin's price history has seen bubbles before, and has been known to spend years riding at just a fraction of its previous price and that they don't expect this time to be any different.
Hayes doesn't expect it to take years though, and suggests that the added attention to bitcoin will see it move faster.
"Now that we have more visibility, more people talking about [bitcoin], the time between an aggressive bear market and an aggressive bull market, I think, is going to shorten," he said.
The slump is nothing new for bitcoin, they say.
On the other hand
It is different this time though. Bitcoin has never before been surrounded by so much competition or looked so technologically lacking next to it. It's never run into the scaling wall the way it did in December, or been under as much scrutiny for unsustainable energy use or price manipulation as it is now.
There's also the possibility that none of the experts predicting a massive bitcoin run actually know what they're talking about, and that their wealth and experience doesn't make them any less delusional than the foamier and worse-dressed bitcoin fans.
There's also the nagging question of what exactly bitcoin is good for (buying other cryptocurrencies) and why anyone expects mass crypto adoption or institutional money to help prices.
Mass adoption means people can finally start avoiding bitcoin and its expensive transaction fees rather than being forced into its funnel for lack of any other option. And there's no reason to expect institutional money to look at the current cryptocurrency markets and decide that bitcoin, with it's unimpressive year to date, is where they want to put their money.
Bitcoin needs a huge, ongoing cash infusion – or more manipulation – to boost its prices, and there's no reason why anyone would pump that into bitcoin. Bitcoin is one of a select few coins that's proved itself to be deeply and inherently flawed.
For bitcoin to go up, the markets need to be convinced it's going to go up. But it's quite rightly going to take a lot more than just vaguely pointing at institutional money, mumbling the words "mass adoption" and pointing out that it's going to go up again.
There's no shortage of experts predicting massive bitcoin price rises in the near future, but they all make the same points without a single good argument between them.
The truth is that bitcoin has a lot more reasons to go down than up, which is why it's mostly been going downwards. A bet on bitcoin isn't for its merits. It's a bet on the world making an irrational decision and being seduced by the shiny brand name of the one and only bitcoin.
And that might be a safe bet. It probably wouldn't inspire anyone to buy though.
Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VET, XLM, BTC, NANO
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