Bitcoin, the world's largest digital currency by market capitalisation (market cap), has experienced sharp price volatility since coming into existence in January 2009. The cryptocurrency has enjoyed both notable rallies and equally substantial declines.
As Bitcoin has experienced these sharp price fluctuations, market observers and analysts have repeatedly predicted where its price will go further down the line. This article will review several notable predictions involving the cryptocurrency, in chronological order. Investors should keep in mind that any and all predictions are speculative, and they may never materialise.
2013: Cameron Winklevoss Predicts Bitcoin Will Top US$40,000
In December 2013, Cameron Winklevoss predicted that Bitcoin's price will surpass US$40,000, which was roughly 40 times the value it had when he offered this particular forecast.
He described the "small bull" scenario in an "Ask Me Anything" conversation on Reddit:
The "small bull case scenario for Bitcoin is a 400 billion USD dollar market cap, so 40,000 USD a coin, but I believe it could be much larger. When this will happen, if it happens, I don't know, but if it happens, it will probably happen much faster than anyone imagines," he said.
2017: John McAfee Forecasts US$1 Million Price By End Of 2022
In November 2017, John McAfee, a technologist and entrepreneur who is associated with McAfee Antivirus, predicted on Twitter that Bitcoin would reach US$1 million by the end of 2022. He confirmed that he was sticking by this bet multiple times, reiterating his wager on Twitter in February 2018 and then informing Newsweek in August 2018 that he had not changed his mind.
"I absolutely stand by the million-dollar prediction," he stated. "It is still two and a half years away, in which two things will happen: bitcoin will continue to grow, and the U.S. dollar and other fiat currencies will devalue."
Jan 2018: Tom Lee Predicts Bitcoin Will Hit US$125,000 By 2022
In the beginning of 2018, Tom Lee, managing partner for Fundstrat Global Advisors, said that Bitcoin prices would rise to US$125,000 by the end of 2022.
At the time, when the digital currency was trading below US$10,000, he also forecasted that it would hit US$25,000 by the end of 2018. He cited a valuation model that considered variables such as the expansion of the money supply and alternatives to that money supply, such as gold.
Apr 2018: Tim Draper Forecasts US$250,000 Bitcoin By 2022
In April 2018, venture capitalist Tim Draper tweeted that Bitcoin would rise to US$250,000 by 2022.
This was not the first time that the venture capitalist made a bullish prediction. He forecasted in March 2018 that in five years from that date, no one would use fiat currencies any longer. Instead, he said they would be leveraging digital currencies to make transactions.
"In five years you're going to walk in and try to pay fiat [a government-backed currency like the U.S. dollar] for a Starbucks coffee, and the barista is going to laugh at you, because they're going to say, 'What is this? Are you counting out pennies? Give me shells?'" Draper said during CNBC's "Fast Money."
Jul 2018: Arthur Hayes Predicts Bitcoin To US$50,000 In 2018
Arthur Hayes, co-founder and CEO of digital currency exchange BitMEX, predicted on CNBC in May 2018 that Bitcoin prices would climb to US$50,000 by the end of the year. He reiterated this forecast in July 2018, appearing once again on CNBC's "Fast Money" and offering further detail.
While Bitcoin prices had fallen sharply from their recent high, Hayes emphasized that "something that goes up to [around] US$20,000 in one year can have a correction." He noted that while Bitcoin might bottom out "in the US$3,000 to US$5,000 range ... we're one positive regulatory decision away, many an ETF approved by the SEC, to climbing through US$20,000 and even to US$50,000 by the end of the year."
Aug 2018: Bitcoin To US$96,000 By 2023, Says Satis Group
Bitcoin prices could reach US$96,000 by 2023, according to a report released by ICO advisory firm Satis Group.
When arriving at this figure, the two authors of the report, an analyst and a head of research for Satis Group, made use of fundamental analysis. They claimed that "currently, the vast majority of the total cryptoasset market capitalization is held in traditional store of value markets, with offshore deposits accounting for nearly 40% of the total."
"Increased store of value use case penetration" will be the primary cause of this market capitalisation increasing over time, they wrote in the report.
"We see penetration of the offshore deposits market by cryptoassets jumping dramatically in the next 1-2 years as custody solutions come online," the authors stated, predicting that the total market value of these digital assets will rise sharply, climbing to US$3.6 trillion in 2028.
Sept 2018: Bitcoin To Trade Between US$8,800 And US$10,000 In 2018, Says Mike Novogratz
In late September 2018, former hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz, who worked for Fortress Investment Group, told CNBC Fast Money that Bitcoin prices would bounce back that year, inevitably rising to between US$8,800 and US$10,000 in 2018.
The former hedge fund manager stated that financial institutions like hedge funds and pension funds would fuel the next rally in cryptocurrencies as they purchase these digital assets amid fear of missing out (FOMO).
"It won't go there (US$20 trillion) right away," he stated, adding that once major financial institutions start offering custodial solutions, it could provide a key impetus. Late in 2018, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley announced their plans to offer such services.
Market analysts have provided a wide range of forecasts regarding what Bitcoin prices will do in the future. Investors should keep in mind that any and all predictions are speculative, and they may never materialise.
When considering potential options, investors can benefit greatly from conducting thorough due diligence. For example, if they want to consider the forecasts of different market experts, it could be quite helpful to investigate the background of these analysts.