The flagship cryptocurrency was in free-fall last year, consistently dashing investors’ hopes of record price rises and mass market adoption. Bitcoin’s price plummeted below $3,200 on December 15, according to data from CoinDesk.com, having started 2018 at a huge $11,500. The massive losses sparked fears the cryptocurrency had “topped out” and that it may not be able to regain these significant deficits.
But Bitcoin has staged a spirited fightback in 2019, and began March with its price hitting $3,800 having surged to a high of $4,100 on February 23.
Bitcoin had suffered six consecutive months of sell-off – the cryptocurrency’s worst losing streak since 2014, but momentum appears to be shifting.
Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at London-based TF Global Markets, said the momentum bitcoin has started to build could continue and improve the price over the coming months.
He told Express.co.uk: “The bitcoin price had been way oversold. It was widely expected this monthly string of consecutive losses could not last forever.
Bitcoin price news: Experts have predicted a revival for the struggling cryptocurrency
With the wind of change blowing, the fundamentals are likely to improve in the coming months for the cryptocurrency space
“As long as the bitcoin price closes above the $3,405-level – the opening price of February – the sell-off pressure is likely to ease off. Perhaps, this could encourage more buyers into the market.
“With the wind of change blowing, the fundamentals are likely to improve in the coming months for the cryptocurrency space.
“The hopes are pinned on the improvement of the transaction volume for on-chain transactions. This will attract growth because of a larger number of industries becoming part of this infrastructure.”
A number of other Bitcoin advocates have also been out in force recently in a desperate attempt to talk up the credentials of cryptocurrency.
Jesse Lund, vice president of blockchain and digital currencies at IBM, last month revealed he expects bitcoin’s price to hit $5,000 this year.
Bticoin price news: The cryptocurrency’s value plummeted throughout 2018
Blockchain Capital partner Spencer Bogart believes now is a “good time to buy” bitcoin.
He said: “I think there’s a strong case to be made that bitcoin is the most compelling asset in the world right now.
“The bitcoin market is a tinder box right now and anything could set off the next bull run.”
Mr Aslam pointed towards recent significant cryptocurrency announcements and market firsts from a number of large global companies and countries.
Among them is Rakuten, the largest online retailer in Japan and among the world’s largest by sales (£740million in 2018), considering using cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.
Argentina also said it is going to accept bitcoin payments for goods sold to neighbouring Paraguay.
Bitcoin price news: Spencer Bogart said ‘anything could set off the next bull run’
But perhaps the most significant development has been JP Morgan revealing plans to roll out its own cryptocurrency in a world first for banks – a move that could radically transform payments for thousands of huge businesses.
The bank will begin trials of ‘JPM Coin’ over the next few months, and when the testing of international payments is complete, it will become one of the first real-world applications for cryptocurrency in banking.
Mr Aslam said: “When it comes to cross-border payments, only one coin comes to mind: Ripple and the digital currency XRP. The comparison between the XRP token and JPM Coin will flare a serious debate.
The decentralised element pretty much knocks the JP Morgan’s coin out of its place, but the upper hook of JPM Coin in terms of its capacity of moving $5 trillion in wholesale payment each day takes the wind out of XRP token.
Bitcoin price news: JP Morgan will become the first bank to roll out its own cryptocurrency
“Consequently, JP Morgan using the digital coin for cross-border payment only strengthens the entire space.
“JP Morgan jumping in this space is not a matter of competition between XRP and JPM’s coin, but it only fosters the very concept that these digital coins are the future.”
Mr Aslam believes, with news of further adoption and releases of a number of different types of cryptocurrency, the market will drive forward, with the negativity around the sector over the past months quickly fading.
He said: “Fundamentals are shifting positively, and the selling pressure lost its momentum with no substantial backing of volume.
“This leads me to believe that all that negativity which we have been facing in the industry for the past five months may be coming to an end.”