In December, cryptocurrency was the toast of the amateur investor as, on the back of the seemingly inexorable rise of Bitcoin, all those around them, such as Ripple and Litecoin rose up to huge values.
However, it all came crashing down shortly afterwards, as people realised that the market was subject to a huge bubble and setbacks since then – the latest being a cybercrime attack on South Korea’s Coinrail exchange three weeks ago – meaning that the price of Bitcoin had plummeted to $6,750, its lowest price in two months and just half the price it was at the start of the year.
The ups and downs of Bitcoin are generally related to several factors: signs from financial institutions over whether they will look to use them in the future; signs of regulation of the market, or otherwise and cybersecurity discussions.
Some believe that they will never be accepted by the wider world, while others think they are the future of currency – and at the moment we’re all betting on maybes.
However, one expert, Arthur Hayes, the co-founder and CEO of BitMEX, believes that Bitcoin is still at the beginning of its journey, and that even its record high of $19,783 back in December will be eclipsed.
Hayes explained Bitcoin’s rollercoaster ride this year and last by saying, “something that goes up to [around] $20,000 in one year can have a correction.”
He continued, “We could definitely find a bottom in the $3,000 to $5,000 range. But we’re one positive regulatory decision away, many an ETF [Exchange-traded fund] approved by the SEC [U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission], to climbing through $20,000 and even to $50,000 by the end of the year.”
Hayes made a similar proclamation back in May and, despite a fall in price since then – it dipped below $6,000 last week and is currently worth $6640.49 and overall Bitcoin is down 57% in 2018 – he remains bullish about its chances.
“We’ve done these kind of moves before,” he said. Referencing the fact that more people now know about Bitcoin and its related cryptocurrencies, and thus more people are interested in investing, he added: “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.”
The $64,000,000 question – or $50,000 question perhaps – is whether we should believe Hayes or not. BitMEX, or Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange, is the largest crytocurrency trading platform by volume, which means one of two things: as someone at the head of the crypto world, Hayes knows what he’s talking about; or he is a man who obviously stands to gain by hyping up Bitcoin’s chances.
Or could it be both? As ever, we don’t really know, but we’ll find out soon enough.