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What Direction is Bitcoin Heading In?

Bitcoin and Blockchain

Bitcoin hit an ultimate high at the end of 2017 reaching almost $20,000 and then slowly plummeted down to around $8,000 per bitcoin. Not only has this deterred new investments (along with a series of fraudulent initial coin offerings), but it has made investors and regulators concerned about the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies. Despite the recent price fluctuations, leaders in the fintech industry continue to express their high hopes for the future of cryptocurrencies.

Industry leaders predict that bitcoin can reach to about $27,898 by the end of 2018.[1] However, bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency to look out for. “Comparing the forecast market capitalisations for bitcoin, bitcoin cash and ethereum, ethereum is predicted to see the highest growth by the end of the year of 234% – more than double that of bitcoin (114%).”[2] Investors are also eagerly watching Ripple XRP, which is expected to grow by 526% by the end of the year.[3] Although these are just predictions, there is a push from countries to harmonize fintech regulations which may impact the growth of cryptocurrencies in a positive way. Christine Lagarde, International Monetary Fund Managing Director, explains that “Policymakers should keep an open mind and work toward – an even-handed regulatory framework that minimizes risks while allowing the creative process to bear fruit”.[4] 

David Drake, chairman of LDJ Capital, predicts that the “world will have a single currency, the internet will have a single currency. [He] personally believe[s] that will be bitcoin”.[5] In today’s global political climate, a single currency seems far out of reach. Currency continues to be closely intertwined with nationalism, which will prevent countries relinquishing their power to bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. One of the obstacles impeding bitcoin is that it is not being used (by a majority) as a currency. Regulators around the world are having trouble defining and regulating the fintech industry. To stabilize the value of cryptocurrencies, there will need to be uniform consensus and clear measures guiding the fintech industry. At the end of March, the G20 discussed the challenges facing crypto assets and have planned to “implement the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards as they apply to crypto assets “.[6] This may push countries to adopt harmonized regulatory measures, which could ultimately stabilize the value of cryptocurrencies.


[1] Farquhar, P. (April 5, 2018) “Crypto Experts Have Revised Their 2018 Predictions For Bitcoin Down – To 400% Above Today’s Price.” Available at: https://www.businessinsider.com.au/crypto-experts-have-revised-their-2018-predictions-for-bitcoin-down-to-400-above-todays-price-2018-4. Accessed on April 20, 2018.

[2]Ib.

[3] Ib.

[4] Lagarde, C. (April 16, 2018) “An Even-Handed Approach to Crypto-Assets.” Available at: https://blogs.imf.org/2018/04/16/an-even-handed-approach-to-crypto-assets/. Accessed on April 20, 2018.

[5] Hignett, K. (Mar. 25, 2018) “Bitcoin Price Predictions 2018: Expert Says Cryptocurrency Could Be Valued At $30,000 By End Of Year.” Available at: http://www.newsweek.com/bitcoin-price-predictions-2018-expert-valuation-cryptocurrency-859832. Accessed on April 20, 2018.

[6] G20. (Mar. 20, 2018) “The G@) Seeks to Strengthen the Contribution of Trade to the World’s Economies.” G20 – News. Available at: https://www.g20.org/en/news/g20-seeks-strengthen-contribution-trade-worlds-economies. Accessed on April 20, 2018.

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