But can the virtual currency bounce back in 2019, or will it plunge to new lows? Several cryptocurrency specialists have given various predictions on what they believe will happen to BTC’s price in 2019 and the broader impact it will have on cryptocurrency markets. Some experts remain bullish in their outlook, with others providing more modest forecasts.
Calvin Ayre (founder of Bitcoin Cash and now the face of Bitcoin SV) believes Bitcoin will plummet to zero in 2019.
The crypto entrepreneur’s outlook does not “reflect an overall bearish attitude towards crypto but more a belief that Bitcoin has now been superseded by more scalable technology and solutions”, David Thomas, director and co-founder of GlobalBlock, told Express.co.uk.
GlobalBlock have given a reasonably modest bitcoin price forecast of $8000-$10000 (£6,300-£7,880) for 2019.
But ex-Goldman Sachs billionaire fund manager and founder of Galaxy Digital, Mike Novogratz, is more optimistic about the potential of BTC’s price to surge next year.
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Mr Novogratz used a recent soundbite to argue it is “realistic” to “expect” Bitcoin to reach $20,000 (£15,760) in 2019.
Sonny Singh (CCO of Bitcoin payment service provider Bitpay) concurred with Mr Novogratz, saying a price point of $20,000 (£15,760) is reasonable for Bitcoin in 2019.
Tom Lee (CEO of market research firm Fundstrat) gave incredibly bullish predictions for BTC in 2018.
However his forecasts were dashed as BTC had a difficult year, meaning his positive predictions failed to materialise.
READ MORE: Bitcoin price RALLY: Expert warns of ‘unfinished business’ for crypto
Mr Lee’s outlook for 2019 isn’t quite so bullish as last year – but, along with Fundstrat’s quant strategist, Sam Doctor, he still believes a Bitcoin price of US $36,000 (£28,374) is achievable.
Meanwhile Donald Bullers, North America representative, Elastos, argued cryptocurrency markets, in general, have “steadily begun to recover”.
He said: “Cryptocurrency markets have steadily begun to recover, regaining off of a 35 percent rally by Bitcoin Cash.”
Mr Bullers contended those “in the industry” were not surprised by the recovering markets, adding: “This move only further demonstrates the need for investors to ride out the storm, not abandon ship at the first sign of crashing.”
The crypto buff pointed out the “uptick” occurred one year on from BTC’s huge price surge in December 2017, which saw the digital asset hit record highs of $19,783.21 (£15,593).
He said: “For those feeling nostalgic for the excitement they felt about bitcoin’s boom at the end of last year, keep the faith.
“The latter half of 2018 was a critical maturation point for the industry, and 2019 will bring with it viable products going to market.
“Crypto is far from dead.”
But Andrey Alekhin, CEO of blockchain art laboratory Snark.art, gave a gloomier forecast.
He said: “I don’t think that this is the end of a bear trend. At least not yet.
“As a result of a steady decline in the crypto markets, many blockchain startups have been cutting down their activity or even leaving the market entirely.”
And Misha Libman, co-founder of blockchain art laboratory Snark.art, urged a word of caution to those attempting to predict the price direction of such wildly unpredictable assets.
He said: “Every morning I wake up reading about the rise and decline of crypto and I am fascinated by the incredibly technical and visually sophisticated graphs predicting its future that borderline an art project.
“Ultimately we are dealing with a new technology and new asset that is highly speculative, illiquid, and elusive, and drivers for its rise and fall is anyone’s guess and can be attributed by the media to anything from Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes to SEC regulations to market fever.
“But without a doubt I believe that blockchain and cryptocurrencies have a place in our future and the rollercoaster volatility that we are seeing today is something we are going to have to live with for a while until we will start using crypto to buy chewing gum.”