Bitcoin trading is in the green today, with prices at 2pm GMT (UTC) hovering around the £ 3,163.12 ($4,000) price point. At 2.13pm GMT bitcoin exchanged hands for £ 3,177.88 ($4,018.66) on CoinDesk – an upward trend of 0.048 percent. The recent upswing in trading comes after a minor bull run at the start of the week saw prices spike from around £ 2,372.34 ($3,000). And the upwards movement comes as a welcome Christmas surprise after prices crashed mid-November from highs of over £ 4,745.28 ($6,000).
Between the night of November 13 and the morning of December 16, bitcoin plummeted about 50 percent in value, crashing from about £ 4,903.46 ($6,200) to £ 2,530.82 ($3,200).
David Thomas, director and co-founder of London-based crypto broker GlobalBlock, labelled 2018 so-far a “frankly dreadful” year for cryptocurrency.
The crypto expert said: “The cryptocurrency industry has to date been viewed as the wild west; an analogy that is regularly wheeled out in any new immature financial market sector.
“Governments and institutions have been looking at the space over the last year and are poising themselves to make big moves, but hesitancy is the dominant force at present until assessment is made on how best to introduce regulation.”
So, with this in mind, what are crypto experts saying will happen to bitcoin in 2019?
Bitcoin price forecast: Five experts shared their BTC 2019 predictions
Five bitcoin price predictions for 2019
Crypto predictions for the next year range from dire to extremely optimistic, with some experts expecting a total crash of bitcoin trading.
Bitcoin has continually fallen during 2018
Mike Novogratz, the former Goldman Sachs fund manager and founder of Galaxy Digital, finds himself in the positive camp of bitcoin forecasts.
Mr Thomas said: “Mike Novogratz has given various predictions throughout 2018 which have been scrutinised, particularly as some of these have been less than accurate.
“Nevertheless, in a recent soundbite he suggests that it’s realistic to expect Bitcoin to reach US $20,000 next year.”
Sonny Singh, the CCO of bitcoin payment service Bitpay, believes bitcoin can claw its way back to its 2017 peak prices of £ 15,815.30 ($20,000).
Mr Singh was quoted saying it is “reasonable” for bitcoin in 2019 to work its way back up the ladder.
On the pessimistic end of the spectrum, the founder of bitcoin cash Calvin Ayre, fears bitcoin will lose all value in 2019 and bottom out at £0 ($0)
Mr Thomas said: “This doesn’t reflect an overall bearish attitude towards crypto but more a belief that bitcoin has now been superseded by more scalable technology and solutions.”
Fundstrat chiefs Tom Lee and Sam Doctor, however, have claimed bitcoin can smash all expectations and smash at £28,468.08 ($36,000) in 2019.
According to Mr Thomas, the bitcoin forecast could be challenging for the Fundstrat duo, considering their past failed btc predictions.
To round off the list of bitcoin price forecasts, Mr Thomas took a more moderately motive approach and said, in his opinion, bitcoin can top the year between £ 6,323.36 and £ 7,904.20 ($8,000 and $10,000).
He said: “With the highs of December 2017 feeling like a lifetime ago, bitcoin has continually fallen during 2018.
Bitcoin 2019 forecast: One crypto expert things bitcoin will hit rock bottom
Bitcoin 2019 forecast: Some predictions suggest bitcoin will return to $20,000
“If we look at previous trends it takes on average around 67 weeks for bitcoin to recover and proceed to new all-time highs.
“If you follow this logic, then bitcoin would be heading towards US $20,000 in the second quarter of 2019.
“However, this is highly optimistic and whilst such highs should be reached again in the future, this short timeframe isn’t realistic given the hesitancy that will exist from a bruised investor base after this year.
“With positive news, ETFs and regulation, we believe bitcoin will recover to the US $8000 to $10000 levels during 2019 which given where it is today would on balance be a decent year.”