There are numerous dynamics at play in the bitcoin market. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) recently stated that the digital currency needs to be strictly regulated. Exchanges there announced last month that they would cease withdrawals until March, only to extend the wait further.
In the past year, according to Google Trends data, search interest for the term ‘buy bitcoin’ has steadily increased. In early February, it began a steep climb indicative of a future increase in buying interest.
The forthcoming SEC announcement about whether or not a Bitcoin ETF would be allowed could have also played a role in recent price movements. Some have suggested that the declines resulted from insider trading and speculators betting that the Bitcoin ETF would not be approved.
According to people “familiar with the matter”, and anonymous source Bitcoin.com has been in contact with, the ETF decision could come as early as Friday, and perhaps even earlier. Others say the decision might arrive on Monday.
The hedge fund Global Advisors Bitcoin Investment Fund (GABI), in a letter to subscribers, noted this week that it believes there is only a 25% chance the ETF will be approved.
Despite the recent lull in price and uncertainty over the Bitcoin ETF, many analysts remain optimistic about the future of the price of bitcoin.
Increased regulation from Chinese authorities, demonetization in India, recently passed legislation in Japan, as well as the general decline of the value of fiat currency, are all seen as impetuses to bitcoin’s price rise. Analysts share a wide range of future price predictions.
“I think you’ll see rapid growth in adoption”
“In terms of price this year, I think [bitcoin] will go up to $3,000. As it becomes more pervasive and more generally accepted, I think you’ll see rapid growth in adoption”, Adam Davies, a consultant at Altus Consulting, told CNBC in an interview on Tuesday. “People are unsure about what is going on in the world, and digital currencies unlike the U.K. pound sterling have been hit badly because of Brexit, so people are looking to divest into bitcoin. There is a definitely upward trend. So the drivers will be hedging against currency fluctuations and insecurity in the markets”.
Clif High, an analyst who some have called a modern-day Nostradamus, predicted that the recent price decrease is no more than a minute lull. “Bitcoin is gonna be $13,008 by February of next year”, predicts Mr. High. “Bitcoin is simply escalating. And bitcoin doesn’t explode [in price] until 2019”.
In a study of the effects of Bitcoin halvings on the bitcoin price, Bitcoin.com found that it would not be unreasonable to anticipate a more-than-$10,000 price per bitcoin in the period of time following the 2016 ‘Bitcoin halving’, in which Bitcoin miner rewards were reduced by one-half.
Bitcoin’s price increased 120 percent in 2016, making it the best performing currency the second year in a row. If last year is any indication, bitcoin’s price could reach $2,200 by the end of 2017.