🤷 Opinions Vera Thornpike

What Happened to Bitcoin and What Happens Next?

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Bitcoin’s 10-year history is full of overwhelming ups and downs. Let’s break down the key events and find out what will happen to Bitcoin next?
What Happened to Bitcoin and What Happens Next?
Contents

Although Bitcoin became known around the world a couple of years ago, there’s a rich history behind this cryptocurrency. Let’s track the long way it traveled, and analyze what may happen to Bitcoin next.

The early years of Bitcoin

As we know, great inventions are created to solve great problems, and digital money isn’t an exception. There was one major event that triggered the course of things and let people realize there’s a dire need of drastic changes.

In October 2008, the Wall Street Journal contained the following title on its front page: “Crisis on Wall Street as Lehman Totters, Merrill Is Sold, AIG Seeks to Raise Cash”. The bankruptcy of the Lehman Brothers bank started the chain reaction that caused government bailouts of the banks. The situation was reminiscent of the Great Depression of 1929.

It should be noted that there were some attempts to create some store value and make it independent from intermediaries or some central counterparty.

In fact, Bitcoin is not the first phenomenon of its kid. It has precursors called ECash, HashCash, B-Money, BitGold, Anonymous Electronic Cash.

However, all the previous experiments failed.

On October 31st, 2008, the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto sent an email with an encryption site claiming to have invented electronic money that would establish a monetary system without the need of intermediaries (government, banks, or any other financial institution). The attached white paper was titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”.

Early Bitcoin history

Introduction: Slowly but steadily

On January 3rd, 2009, Bitcoin’s source code was released and the first block of 50 bitcoins were mined. The same day, the cover of The Times newspaper said, “Chancellor on Brink of the Second Bailout for Banks” – the phrase was evidently published to criticize the current financial system that was close to collapse.

1.5 years passed, and on August 17th, 2010 Mt.Gox appeared. It was the first exchange where Bitcoin could be traded for fiat currency. On the first day of trading, its price was $0.07. After that, the Bitcoin price started riding a never-ending rollercoaster.

  • 10 February 2011 - BTC reached parity with the US dollar.

  • 2 April 2013 - Bitcoin for the first time exceeds $100.

  • 28 November 2013 - Bitcoin for the first time exceeds $1,000.

In the period between 2013-2014, a few events caused Bitcoin to fall in price.

For example, the founder of Silk Road (the leading online drug and arms market that used Bitcoin payments), Ross William Ulbricht, was arrested. Bitcoin started being connected with illicit goods and was called a “drug currency”. Since the majority of transactions were organized in that marketplace, the currency nosedived.

In December 2013, the Chinese central bank published a warning for financial institutions and businesses that any Bitcoin trade would be considered illegal. At that moment, 80% of transactions were performed within China, so this event was a major hit for the cryptocurrency. To top it off, in January 2014, Alibaba canceled BTC payments on its eCommerce portal. Thus, Bitcoin lost its main world market.

What inhibits BTC use?

 

The chain of unhappy events for the cryptocurrency didn’t end, though. On February 28, 2014, Mt.Gox, the largest Bitcoin exchange by that time, declared bankruptcy after a serious hacker attack. It made the company lose 750,000 customers’ Bitcoins plus 100,000 proprietary coins. The website had already dealt with hacker attacks before, but this one was too disruptive. Confidence in cryptocurrency and Bitcoin fell, and its price dropped by 80%, getting back to the previous year’s rate.

New heights – new hopes

Starting from 2015, large companies and institutional investors started expressing their interest in the technology behind Bitcoin, and that made it exceed the threshold of $1,000 per unit again by the end of 2016.

2017 marked a turning point in Bitcoin’s history. The world witnessed a wide adoption of cryptocurrency. Here’s a short breakdown of important events:

  1. In January 2017, the number of Japanese eCommerce stores accepting Bitcoin increases by 4.6 times over the last year.

  2. Bitcoin starts being widely used on the B2B supply chain.

  3. Japan and Russia use Bitcoin as a payment method.

  4. Norway’s largest online bank, Skandiabanken, introduces Bitcoin accounts.

  5. In March 2017, the number of GitHub projects connected with Bitcoin passed 10,000.

  6. Exchange trading volumes continued growing. For example, from January to May 2017, Poloniex had an increase of over 600% active online traders, and the volume of processed transactions increased by 640%.

  7. In August 2017, Bitcoin split into 2 derivative digital currencies – the Bitcoin (BTC) chain with 1 MB block size limit and the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) chain with 8 MB block size limit. This split was called the “Bitcoin Cash hard fork”.

In October 2017, Bitcoin reached the price of $5,000 and then $6,000. Together with the hype in the media, the fear of some governments also increased: authorities were concerned that Bitcoin can be used in illegal activities.

On December 17th, 2017, Bitcoin reached its all-time high of $19,783. How did it happen? The attention of media, birth of new cryptocurrencies, ICOs and crypto projects, and numerous investment options altogether contributed to all this hype. However, it didn’t last long – the price failed as quickly as it rose.

BTC price ups and downs in 2017

 

2018 – Bitcoin struggles with hindrances

2018 wasn’t an easy year for Bitcoin. While some governments are trying to implement Bitcoin payments and contribute to its introduction, others only see it as a threat to the well-established traditional economy and law enforcement. For example, on January 22, 2018, South Korea released a regulation that requires all the Bitcoin traders to reveal their identity. Besides, anonymous BTC trading was banned.

On January 24, 2018, the online payment firm Stripe decided to stop supporting Bitcoin payments by April 2018 on the pretext of rising fees and long transaction times.

Considering how many worthy altcoins and blockchains are around, Bitcoin started losing its technical superiority. Although it’s still the number one cryptocurrency with a $65 bln market cap, rivals don’t sleep: Ripple and Ethereum are in hot pursuit.

Is mining still possible?

Some two-three years ago, Bitcoin mining was available for a regular laptop user. But now, the difficulty of mathematical computations is so high that it’s impossible to get any substantial profit even with a good mining rig.

Bitcoin is rather mined in huge farms that consist of hundreds of ASICs and consume an enormous amount of energy.

Profitability of Bitcoin mining in the beginning

What will happen when 21 mln Bitcoins are mined?

As we know, the Bitcoin supply is limited to 21 mln units. 17 mln Bitcoins have already been mined. The rest 4 mln coins are expected to be mined by 2029. Global supply of Bitcoin will reach its limit unless the protocol is changed. According to Bitcoin supporters, it may cause several outcomes.

Bitcoin mining reward diminishes with the growth of coins available

 

First and foremost, Bitcoin miners will be affected. They won’t be rewarded anymore, but, theoretically, may need to rely on transaction fees for operation maintaining. However, according to Bitcoin.com, miners will find the process unaffordable. As the result, the number of miners will reduce, and the Bitcoin network will become more centralized.

The transaction fees alone won’t be enough for Bitcoin miners to be financially sound once the mining process is finished. On the other hand, some experts are sure that transaction fees and mining expenses will even out down the road.

People put their hopes in mining technologies: mining chips are expected to become smaller and way more efficient. That will reduce the efforts and electricity expenses for miners and boost the ROI of their investments. Besides, if transaction fees increase, it might help miners to keep afloat.

What about the future price of Bitcoin?

While blockchain experts predicted that Bitcoin would reach its bottom of $3,600 in November-December 2018, it has recently been worth about $3,200. As of today, the cryptocurrency costs $3,763, but no one can guarantee that fluctuations have ended.

Bitcoin has been through significant hikes in the recent months. But what is clear is that its limited supply will make its price increase. Those who hold exclusive coins may enjoy an enormous profit in a few years.

According to experts’ estimates, there are stockpiles of inactive coins that are spread around the world. Probably, the largest supply belongs to Satoshi Nakamoto. It can be about 1 mln Bitcoins and is intentionally saved for the time when the global supply faces a wild level of demand.

The future price of Bitcoin largely depends on the interest of large institutions. If they prefer Bitcoin to other cryptocurrencies and blockchains, we can expect the price to grow by 100-200% from the current state.

Expert opinions

Here are a few Bitcoin predictions for 2019.

Joel Kruger, currency strategist at LMAX Exchange:

“Our 2019 outlook for Bitcoin is far more constructive than what we had been projecting for 2018. As 2017 came to a close, we had warned Bitcoin had rocketed ‘past the point of rational appreciation’ and highlighted massive downside risk in a bubbling market with far too many holes (regulation, development, hard forks).

Bitcoin in 2019 could see a continuation of weakness in the first half of the year before the market finally stabilizes and starts to make its way back up in anticipation of what should be an impressive second wave for crypto assets.

We’ll look for Bitcoin to round out 2019 trading back in the $5,000 to $8,000 region, after recovering from lows that may have extended below $2000 between now and the end of H1 2019.”

Kevin Murcko, CEO of CoinMetro:

“Despite Bitcoin’s fairly limited use cases, and even though its technology may be less sophisticated when compared to some other projects, it will likely continue to remain the market leader in 2019. Bitcoin still has the reputation and the liquidity that make it preferable to other cryptos.

It’s important to remember that the crash we saw with Bitcoin this year doesn’t indicate lack of long-term value. The bubble may have burst in 2018, but there’s still enormous substance and potential in the crypto market at large.

The cryptos that survive this crash will continue to gain strength next year, and in the years to come. Like Amazon and eBay, out of a collection of cryptos that fail, a small but significant minority will succeed.”

Mitch Blakeway, Head of Trading at Quantatex:

“We expect a high degree of volatility in the very near future.

A high level of Bitcoins has recently been moved from cold storage to hot storage by significant influencers in the cryptocurrency market. What this means is that investors who have the ability to move the market are gearing up to trade. This could mean moves greater than 10% in either direction.

There are notable levels of support and resistance with support around the $2,850 level for Bitcoin and resistance around $4,000, therefore, a break either below $2,850 or above $4,000 could lead to momentum in that direction.

We believe that Bitcoin will eventually shrug off the recent weakness during 2019 and expect the price to retest record highs of $20,000 by December 2019. This is justified on a number of fronts”.

Bottom Line

In recent years, Bitcoin has been through ups and downs, but despite numerous claims that it’s a bubble, the cryptocurrency doesn’t seem to be close to its end. Just like many other cryptocurrencies, it is gradually becoming more stable, and there’s a long interesting way ahead.

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Bearish Ripple Chart Analysis Pointing Towards Short Term Price Losses: Is It Time to Sell XRP?

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After a week or so of good price growth, Ripple looks as if it could be in for a short bear run, so maybe it's time to take profit
Bearish Ripple Chart Analysis Pointing Towards Short Term Price Losses: Is It Time to Sell XRP?

A look over the charts for XRP shows some good growth since last week. However, there has been a bit of a flattening out, and even an inability to hold key support levels. This is key in trying to predict the next steps of XRP’s price, and technical analysis suggests that a small bear run could be imminent.

Ripple’s price failed to stay above the $0.3250 and $0.3200 support levels and declined against the US dollar. The price also failed to hold gains and declined recently against Bitcoin. XRP/USD could slide towards the $0.3050 support before starting a fresh upward move.

Because of these predictions, it might be time for some smart trading, selling some tokens for profit taking before looking for the bottom again and buying back in.

A look at the charts

Over the last five days, XRP peaked at $0.354 on Wednesday before correcting down and rebounding to $0.352; however, it has since fallen back to $0.342. There was some fight back from the XRP token to try and pick up those gains again over the last few days, but overall it has fallen twice, unable to maintain those support numbers.

Bearish Ripple Chart Analysis Pointing Towards Short Term Price Losses: Is It Time to Sell XRP?

After a period of trading relatively flat, and with indications showing it is struggling to hold its gains, the prediction would be that the price of the coin will face bearish tendencies in the short term.

More small drops can be expected, with undulating rises that fail to stick. It is not gloom and doom for the cryptocurrency, rather a period of correction after a good rise that set off the market growth earlier in the week.

For investors or traders, this is actually good news given that if the prediction is correct, there will be a chance for profit taking as people sell off tokens after the bull run, only to ride out the bearish run in order to buy back.

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Litecoin Price Forecast 2019: Set Sail to Break the $50 Iceberg and Swim as Far as $230

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Litecoin price forecast 2019: The coin has the chance to reach the value of $230. What are the factors contributing to LTC growth?
Litecoin Price Forecast 2019: Set Sail to Break the $50 Iceberg and Swim as Far as $230
Contents

Following Bitcoin’s path, Litecoin seems to be on the rise: it’s becoming quite popular among investors and is slowly gaining in price. There’s a very high probability that it will trade higher than $30 all year long, but what about its highest points?

Litecoin Price Forecast 2019: Set Sail to Break the $50 Iceberg and Swim as Far as $230

Focus on numbers: Litecoin’s future in 2019

Although the bearish period seems to be over, the crypto market is still highly volatile. That’s why making any short-term predictions is quite hard. However, it doesn’t discourage analytical websites and people from making their own forecasts.

Thus, according to publications on various crypto websites, Litecoin has enough potential to reach the $1,000 edge. Some articles mention the number $2,000 – it seems to be far from reality. What are these suggestions based on? It’s not clear.

However, these forecasts are on par with predictions from some experts. For example, George Tung, a cryptocurrency analyst, claims that Litecoin will reach $1,500 towards the end of 2019. Brian Kelly, the head of BK Capital Management (LLC), is sure we might witness an LTC price of $500 or even $600 by the end of this year. Though conservative, this approach seems to be close to reality.

In November 2017, Litecoin was traded at $100 and investors managed to enjoy 25x ROI. If the market is hit by the bullish wave again, the scenario can repeat: LTC might jump from its current $48 to $1,200. But what if that won’t happen?

Our guess is that Litecoin can reach the range of $150-$230 by the end of 2019. How can it crawl to such numbers? First, in August 2019, the block reward for miners will be cut by 50%, which might provoke the growth of demand for LTC.

What will kick-start Litecoin growth?

Here’s the whole gamut of factors that can make Litecoin soar separately or altogether:

  • The rate of accepting Litecoin on exchanges and online websites will gradually increase. One of the adoption examples is the Surf Air store that started accepting LTC payments.

  • Of course, Litecoin’s growth is partially defined by Bitcoin’s performance. At the moment, BTC is on the rise. However, Litecoin seems to recover from the bearish period much faster and better.

  • At the same time, while Bitcoin’s gaining in traffic, users start complaining about growing transaction fees and slow performance. That’s when their attention switches to Litecoin, with its lower commissions and better speed.

  • A big influx of traffic on Coinbase is expected – it backs three major crypto assets, including LTC.

Thus, Litecoin is getting more and more media attention, which only contributes to its growth. Some Internet users are sure that it has to reach the $50 mark to get back on track and start gaining in value. This event is definitely around the corner!

Disclaimer: The opinion expressed here is not investment advice – it is provided for informational purposes only. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of U.Today. Every investment and all trading involves risk, so you should always perform your own research prior to making decisions. We do not recommend investing money you cannot afford to lose.

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EOS Price Expected to Keep Rising After Doubling in Value Since December Lows

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EOS is one coin that has shrugged off its lows to double in value since December, with more growth expected
EOS Price Expected to Keep Rising After Doubling in Value Since December Lows

In the current climate, there is optimism returning to the market with Bitcoin pushing the $4,000 mark. However, a lot of this positivity has come from an altcoin rush of late. Coins such as Tron, Ethereum, Ripple and Stellar have played their part in boosting the market, but one particular coin has been striving since its lows in December last year.

EOS, a cryptocurrency that is currently ranked fourth by market cap, has quietly been going about its business, growing not only in price but also value as a blockchain company. It is showing some medium to long term bullish tendencies, outperforming many others.

The coin reached a low of $1.54 on December 7th, 2018, but at the moment, it is heading beyond the $4 mark, having doubled in value since that late last year low. It currently sits at $3.38.

Many are expecting the coin to keep growing, with its highest point touching $4.05. This move represents a 161% gain in only 74 trading days. If the bullish tendencies can continue across the markets, there is no doubt that EOS will cash in.

EOS Charts

More to come

EOS is seen as a rival to Ethereum, and because its intention is to improve upon the original smart contract blockchain, it will feel it has an edge in terms of adoption in the coming months.

It is a double-edged sword, as added adoption of the blockchain platform will help increase its reputation, which in turn will boost its price. Then, because EOS’ price is already starting to grow substantially, it will bring the platform to the fore for future blockchain applications.

If EOS can continue to offer a good blockchain service and the market keeps positive, there is every reason to believe that the coin’s price will continue to grow — and also outperform many of its rivals and other altcoins.

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Ripple XRP Price Prediction: Major Financial Services Group Sees XRP Exceeding Bitcoin’s Market Cap

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The president of SBI Holdings in Japan believes that Ripple will dominate global expansion and soon have a bigger market cap than Bitcoin
Ripple XRP Price Prediction: Major Financial Services Group Sees XRP Exceeding Bitcoin’s Market Cap
Contents

The SBI Group, a Japan-based financial services giant as well as a keen partner with Ripple for their bank settlement cryptocurrency, are bullish on the XRP token overtaking the current head of the market cap standings, Bitcoin.

The President and Representative Director of SBI Holdings, Yoshitaka Kitao, has come out and said XRP is dominating international expansion and will become global in the future. This global domination, based on XRP’s propensity to partner with major financial institutions across the globe, means Kitao sees it overtaking Bitcoin.

Bitcoin has stood at the head of the market cap standings in relation to cryptocurrency ever since it was invented some 10 years ago. Other coins have come close to knocking it off, but the decentralised coin has stood firm. But, if Kitao is right, XRP could overtake the market cap with a huge growth in price from global adoption.

International adoption

Ripple’s XRP token is as a cryptocurrency global and borderless, just as Bitcoin, because of its decentralised nature. However, Ripple has been looking to run XRP like a business with its xRapid product.

Thus, its growth is based on its adoption by financial institutions around the globe, and as this adoption grows, the worth and interest in XRP will increase, and thus its market cap will begin to rise.

“Because XRP is already beginning to become international, xRapid will be used for fund transfers in 2019. By increasing the so-called XRP’s plastic use, we anticipate that the [Ripple] market capitalization will easily exceed the market capitalization of Bitcoin,” Kiato said.

Ripple has already shown its power in growth as opposed to other major cryptocurrencies, often stealing second spot from Ethereum in the recent past. Ethereum was once a coin that was almost overtaking Bitcoin, but it is now under threat by a much more compliant and potential-full XRP token.

Better use cases

Because Ripple is trying to build XRP’s use cases for financial institutions, it has an advantage over other tokens in that it will be useful rather than just a cryptocurrency experiment. It is highly believed that once crypto finds its killer application, the price of it will skyrocket as people flock in demand.

If XRP does become more globally adopted, there will be an influx of interest in the coin and thus its price will shoot up, allowing it to overtake Bitcoin’s market cap in no time.

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EOS Price Jumps 25% as Market Flattens Out: Is There More to Come?

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The cryptocurrency market’s best performer in the last 24 hours has been EOS as the rest of the growth plateaus – what’s next?
EOS Price Jumps 25% as Market Flattens Out: Is There More to Come?
Contents

Ever since last week Friday, where there were small indications that a rally could happen, the cryptocurrency market has shown some good growth, with Bitcoin, the head of the market, topping off at just under $4,000.

What has been typical of this small rally has been the effect of some of the major altcoins in pushing the cryptocurrency market. It began with the likes of Binance Coin, Stellar and Tron, and then saw Ethereum take over, but now EOS has shown a huge 25% growth spike in the last 24 hours.

It would seem that this rally has flattened out for the moment, with a lot of the coins levelling out. It is now important to see what comes next as another rally following this levelling could be massive for the medium to long term growth of the entire market.

EOS Drive

The now-fourth biggest cryptocurrency based on market cap has advanced nearly 25 percent in the last day to reach $3.47 and is currently neck-and-neck with Litecoin, whose own value has also ballooned 11 percent since year-end 2018.

Today’s gains reflect support from the EOS community and could have something to do with Block.one, the creator of EOS, recently providing greater clarity on the roadmap.

Block.one CEO Brendan Blumer addressed some of the community concerns on social media, reminding them in a message entitled “Great Things Take Time” that there is more ahead than meets the eye.

Of course what is important to note in regards to this kind of reaction is that these altcoin projects are putting out positive news, and that is having an effect not only on the coin, but the market in general.

There is positive news being met with results which are driving the market, and this has not been seen for a long period. The bullish market tendencies being seen could be indicative of a change in the sentiment.

What next?

It is still early to call, and quite tentative, but it certainly feels like a bull run could be developing. It may be based off the altcoin news and sentiment, but Bitcoin will play a important role. The major cryptocurrency came $30 short of cracking the $4,000 mark.

If Bitcoin is able to breach that resistance, even if it is through the drive of another altcoin, it could open up a whole new level of potential gains across the market and could possibly start a new bull run.

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