Bitcoin is trapped in an on-going 13-month bear market which has dragged down almost all other major cryptocurrencies, but that hasn’t stopped some of bitcoin’s biggest supporters and cheerleaders from predicting a return to the heady days of 2017.
The bitcoin price has lost more than 80% of its value since it hit a lofty near-$20,000 per bitcoin in December 2017, soaring from under $1,000 at the beginning of the year.
Bitcoin has been hovering around the $3,500 mark so far in 2019 but now the likes of Digital Currency Group and Grayscale Investments chief executive Barry Silbert and Galaxy Digital Holdings founder Mike Novogratz (amongst others) are predicting the next bitcoin bull run could be just around the corner.
“As far as I’m concerned, bitcoin has won the race to be digital gold,” Silbert told CNBC. “[I’m] as bullish as [I’ve] ever been.”
“I’m convinced that whatever money is in gold is not going to stay in gold,” Silbert added. “That gets handed down to millennials—I’m highly confident a lot of that will go into bitcoin.”
Meanwhile, long-time bitcoin bull Novogratz has predicted institutional money should start to flow into cryptocurrencies within the next year, which he expects will trigger the next bitcoin price rally.
“A small amount of institutional assets is a lot of money,” Novogratz told the Bloomberg newswire service, predicting the bitcoin price will rise to $8,000 within the next 12 months.
The bitcoin price bear market, labeled “crypto winter” for its debilitating effect on the nascent industry, has seen some $400 billion wiped from the value of the world’s cryptocurrencies as investors get cold feet, worrying that long-awaited institutional investment and mainstream adoption will fail to materialize.
However, these bullish bitcoin predictions come after news that bitcoin and blockchain asset management firm Morgan Creek Digital landed what it’s claiming is the first crypto asset investment from a U.S. pension fund.
Elsewhere, bitcoin and cryptocurrency fundamentals are on the up—with bitcoin transaction fees hitting new lows as bitcoin transactions struck a one-year high last month, according to a recent report from research firm Diar.
Twitter chief executive and bitcoin advocate Jack Dorsey has also indicated his popular Cash App will eventually add support for bitcoin’s closely-watched lightning network, designed to make smaller bitcoin payments quicker and cheaper.
Many bitcoin investors and traders are also looking toward things like the highly-anticipated Bakkt bitcoin platform and a U.S. bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) to boost the price, though those expectations have been somewhat dampened lately as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission frets over potential price manipulation.
The Bakkt bitcoin platform, which is being developed with New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange as well as partnerships with coffee shop chain Starbucks and PC giant Microsoft, plans to offer bitcoin futures trading from the first quarter of this year and open bitcoin and cryptocurrencies up to a wider retail market.
Earlier this week, Zhao Dong, a Chinese billionaire who’s one of the world’s largest over-the-counter traders of bitcoin, said now is the time to stock up on bitcoin because the “only thing you need is patience.” Earlier this year Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing doubled down on his bet on bitcoin.