After the last two years — one of which has been constantly bullish, while the other one saw one of the most ruthless bear markets in crypto history — investors around the world are wondering what to expect in 2019. Their main concern is what will happen to Bitcoin (BTC)?
There are several reasons for this. One of them is that Bitcoin still holds more than half of the total crypto market cap, which makes it the most influential coin in the entire crypto space. The other one is the fact that Bitcoin is expected to lead crypto adoption, and to be the first coin to enter the mainstream usage.
Analysts around the world are struggling with the question of whether BTC will surge or continue to drop for a while now. There are multiple indications that either of these scenarios is possible, and some even suggest that both might happen in the following months.
Will Bitcoin drop or rise?
The most important thing to remember is that the crypto market is highly volatile, meaning that drops and surges are unpredictable and often severe. As such, Bitcoin might drop to $2,000 or grow back to $5,000 or even more, depending on numerous factors.
Some analysts believe that they have found a cyclic pattern in Bitcoin’s behavior. If true, this would mean that BTC price rises and drops in regular intervals, a phenomenon which would continue if not interrupted by various developments that directly affect it.
Half of the time, BTC price drops, only to rise again after the second half of the circle starts. It is also believed that the positive half of the process took place in 2017, while the negative one started as soon as 2018 arrived. With that in mind, it is possible that the positive move might arrive once again in 2019, which indicates that the surge is to be expected at some point during this year.
However, analysts also believe that the worst has yet to come and that BTC might have another large crash before it starts growing again. One analyst who has speculated that this might be the case is Josh Olszewicz, who pointed out this possibility in December 2018. According to him, it is possible that BTC will drop to around $2,500 only to grow back up immediately after that.
With that being said, there is also a possibility that some developments expected to arrive in the following months might impact this natural process in unpredictable ways.
Things that might impact BTC in the near future
One of the first events that have the potential to change the way Bitcoin “breathes” is the launch of Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Exchange. Bakkt is a project that has received a lot of support, and caused a lot of hype in the last several months, as it may serve as an entry point for institutional investors into the crypto space.
However, it was already delayed several times, which only increased the hype and investors’ hopes for its positive effect on BTC price. The exchange is currently scheduled to go live in three days, on January 24th, which is unlikely to happen due to the US government shutdown. The exchange is likely ready for launch, but it depends on the government’s approval, which is not going to arrive. As a result, another delay is likely to be announced very soon.
Another thing that might change Bitcoin’s behavior in following weeks is the potential approval of the Bitcoin ETF application, submitted last year by SolidX and VanEck. This would also allow investors to start trading in the crypto space risk-free, which would represent a huge cash flow dedicated to the crypto market. Unfortunately, the same government shutdown might impact this as well, as the US SEC’s positive decision is necessary.
The decision is scheduled to be published on February 27th, which means that there is still time for the SEC to consider the application and give its approval. Additionally, under the current laws, the request might receive approval by default if the SEC fails to bring its own decision. The problem with this is that there is a possibility that some remaining regulators might reject the application just so that the default approval doesn’t come to pass. Whether this will actually happen or not remains to be seen.
Finally, the last big event that is expected to influence Bitcoin’s value is the launch of its Lightning Network, which is to serve as an additional blockchain layer that would help with the coin’s scalability issues. The LN is currently still in development with no indication when it might be completed, but many are hoping that it might be introduced by the end of the year. Whether the positive momentum starts by then or not, the network will likely boost BTC value significantly.
Smaller news and events such as listings, new use cases, and smaller steps towards mainstream usage can also improve the coin’s value, although with a significantly smaller effect. Even so, if analysts are correct, BTC might soon see another rally regardless of these ev
Bitcoin in the first three weeks of 2019
At the time of writing, Bitcoin’s price sits at $3,587.92, after a small drop of 1,75% in the last 24 hours. The coin has experienced a significant surge on January 6th, which has brought it to around $4,086. However, on January 10th, another drop took it down to $3,663, with its price gradually dropping from that point on.
Most of the crypto market is currently trading in the red, with TRON (TRX) currently being the only coin in the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap to see gains (4.90%). If the situation continues, BTC might see a drop that analysts have predicted. If that prediction turns out to be correct, it is also possible that the growth will follow as well.