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The Biggest Bitcoin Predictions for 2019

The Biggest Bitcoin Predictions for 2019

The bullish Bitcoin predictions for 2018 may have fallen rather flat with Bitcoin standing at USD 3,870 at press time, but many experts insist 2019 will be the year institutional investors enter the space and prompt for far better performance.

Barry Silbert: “In 2019 it will not just be easy to get involved, but socially acceptable”

The so-called ‘King of crypto’ and founder of NASDAQ Private Market, Barry Silbert, believes 2019 will be the year Bitcoin really makes it into mainstream finance. He told CNBC that 56% of funds raised through his digital currency investment fund Grayscale came from institutional investors, meanwhile, a year or two ago, their involvement was almost non-existent. While he acknowledged that there was still a need for institutional-grade custody solutions, he firmly trusts that hedge funds are eagerly looking to get involved in the cryptocurrency market early, but want to be second, not first and not late into the game.

Silbert’s fund management firm has a stake in the top five cryptocurrencies, the rest he says, ”are going to zero” next year or soon after.

Mike Novogratz: “Q1 will bring new highs”

Never one to shy away from a bold cryptocurrency prediction, seasoned investor Mike Novogratz sees the first quarter of 2019 bringing Bitcoin’s price to “new highs,” thanks to the same institutional investors. The bitcoin bull retracted his prediction of a USD 10,000 end of year value, instead, he said that everything in the cryptocurrency space is taking “longer than expected.”

Novogratz trusts that Goldman Sachs’ crypto custody solutions currently in the works, as well as Fidelity Investment’s announcement of a “world-class custody solution,” will be enough to convince the investor class into the market early next year.

Tom Lee: “2019 will end somewhere between $20,000 – $64,000”

Just last month, standing by a now near impossible USD 15,000 2018 year-end price prediction, head of research at Fundstrat Tom Lee sees Bitcoin mining as being the biggest proponent of an expected price increase. “We believe the current path of hash power growth supports a BTC price of about $36,000 by the 2019 year end, with a $20,000 – $64,000 range,” Fundstrat shared in May this year.

Mining was expected to influence the price in this way, particularly due to the next generation of hardware rig that could extend hash power growth. However, 2018’s bear market has had a significant negative impact on the mining industry with reports suggesting that miners are struggling to break even in recent times. The Bitcoin hash rate has now finally succeeded in climbing once again after a four-month downturn.

AT Kearney: “It’s not dead, it’s post-crash”

Management consultancy group AT Kearney released its 2019 price prediction, defending Bitcoin against claims that it is trending to zero and the whole cryptocurrency market to be “post-crash.” The report labels Bitcoin as an asset that is still maturing, although, it will “lead the consolidation and maturation” of altcoins.

The approval of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and a general improvement to market transparency were cited as factors that will propel the value of Bitcoin, while AT Kearney says there is only one path to survival which involves “acceptance by the international financial system that Bitcoin once sought to defeat.”  With this in mind, AT Kearney predicts 2019 will see the Blockchain Association lobby in favor of cryptocurrency in US politics.

The consultancy additionally predicted Bitcoin to reclaim close to two-thirds of cryptocurrency market capitalization even by the end of 2019, sensing a growing aversion to altcoins by investors created by an increased perception of risk. Bitcoin’s current market capitalization stands just over 50%, after recovering from a loss in January 2018 that saw it fall to just 33%.

Stablecoins may become real competition

With Bitcoin’s market performance this year disappointing many investors, its market fluctuations have prompted many cryptocurrency enthusiasts to look into alternative store-of-value opportunities. Particularly, operations reliant on Bitcoin for their business model have faced recent economic hardships. The trending option of stablecoins can theoretically be used as a way to preserve funds in a far more ‘stable’ way without having to cash out into a strong fiat currency. For example, the largest stablecoin by market cap, Tether (USDT), claims to hold an equivalent value of the USD.

Head of research at Blockchain.com and co-founder of Mosaic, Dr. Garrick Hileman, in November said that stablecoins have become the fastest growing category in the blockchain ecosystem since the rise of interest in distributed ledger technology (DLT) in 2015. His analysis is largely based on the enormous levels of venture funding the crypto-asset category has raised, currently standing at over USD 50 million, a total that surpasses all other categories.

Stablecoins became more prominent in the latter half of this year and, as the technology behind them is still being finetuned, the impact they will have on cryptocurrency market is still unclear. If a large enough percentage of Bitcoin-reliant business models or investors choose to switch to stablecoins for a perceived improvement of economic stability, this could prove to be a struggle for Bitcoin’s performance in 2019.

Can the price even be predicted?

Some pundits are happy to throw around numerical guesses of where Bitcoin will find itself next year, but others are more cautious in doing so, especially with the failings of nearly all predictions in 2018.

Lisa Cheng, the founder of the Vanbex Group thinks that the lack of cryptocurrency fundamentals ultimately lead to unsophisticated analyzers who are responsible for bad predictions. Additionally, she has pointed out that the early Bitcoin investors still account for a large share of the market and have incentives to swing the price by publicizing forecasts, as do others who are betting long or short on the value.

While it is difficult to put a price on Bitcoin for the coming year, there are certain things that can be assumed to play out and effect adoption, such as institutional involvement, stablecoins, and a greater understanding of cryptocurrency fundamentals as the market matures.

 

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Blockchain Expert Panel: Is There Really a Way to Predict Bitcoin Price?

In a panel debate at Blockchain Live 2018 in London Wednesday, experts came to head over whether there is, in fact, any way of accurately predicting Bitcoin price and that of other cryptocurrencies.

Speaking on the panel was Jemima Kelly, Alphaville reporter at the Financial Times, Jane Lippencott, business development at CoinFi and Origin X Capital, and Lisa Cheng, founder of the Vanbex Group.

A “fool’s game” vs the “FUD is real”

Kelly stated outright that she believes 100 per cent of Bitcoin price predictions fail, and the only way they succeed can only be attributed to luck. ”Everyone knows predicting future prices is a fool’s game,” she said, pointing out that the vast majority of the time, predictors have incentives themselves whether they are betting long or short on the value.

She also described her interpretation of a mismatch between the value and usability of cryptocurrencies, saying that one does not have any relation to the other. There are also problems with the mentality of Bitcoin investors as Kelly sees it: ”Why are you hodling if you can use it? You don’t want the value to fluctuate loads.”

Lippencott corrected her by saying that hodling is no different than holding cash or storing it in your bank account, only that “it’s just a cooler term”. In terms of Bitcoin price, the business development expert thinks that negative speculations have a lot to do with bear markets: ”FUD is real and it influences the price.”

Cheng, on the other hand, thinks that the lack of crypto fundamentals ultimately leads to unsophisticated analyzers who are responsible for bad predictions. She made note that the early Bitcoin investors account for a large share of the market and they do have incentives to swing the price by publicizing forecasts.

”Education is necessary before investment,” Lippencott agreed.

Mass adoption – are we there yet?

One of the topics that caused most contention between the panel was when the question was raised regarding the timeframe for Bitcoin mass adoption. Kelly, for one, thinks that this already happened, peaking at the top of the bull market in December last year. Lippencott refuted, saying “mass adoption is blockchain”, adding that once blockchain becomes part of peoples daily lives, which she sees as inevitable, Bitcoin will finally reach its full potential.

Cheng also sees the present as far from peak adoption levels and believes right now we are in a trough. While she agrees that speculative interest may have fallen now, the approval of an ETF will make an impact and she expects Bitcoin to reach USD 9,000 by December.

”Why not say 20K or 100K? We don’t know, we can only speculate,” challenged Lippencott.

Another area that Cheng sees as important to wide-scale cryptocurrency usage is the release of the first state-backed version, though she does not believe Venezuela’s Petro counts: ”When a country creates their own cryptocurrency we will see mass adoption. The Petro is extremely problematic and cannot be used as a case study. ”

 

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Image Courtesy: Amelia Trapp/ Blockchain Live 2018

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