Bitcoin has fallen to $9,100 after holding its ground at $9,300 during the early morning hours. This marks another subsequent drop since the currency rose to $9,800 over the weekend.
At press time, analysts are relatively mixed regarding where they think bitcoin is heading. North Island Chairman Glenn Hutchins, for example, believes that the top spot in the crypto arena – currently held by bitcoin – may be grabbed by another digital asset in the future.
“What we should be talking about is something called the bitcoin protocol, which is the technology we’ll use to enable the internet to move value around the world at the speed of light the way we do everything else today,” he commented. “The bitcoin currency they are all talking about is an input on that process, but it is not the end. They are all focused on that because they think about it from a trading perspective, and that’s the object that looks like it trades.”
Hutchins further compared bitcoin to a type of metal, and said that adhering to bitcoin was the equivalent of choosing “copper rather than gold.”
“I think it is more like copper,” he stated. “Like industrial metals used to drive an outcome. Bitcoin could turn out to be Betamax to another currency’s VHS and, in other words, you could have something like XRP or Ethereum or Litecoin that becomes the token that is used… The token of exchange at the heart of the math solution that leads the technology will be there – different tokens will be used for different applications.”
Despite the negative hype, many remain bullish about the coin’s future, particularly the research staff at Fundstrat led by analyst and crypto-investor Tom Lee (no stranger to our price articles). Recently, the team released a report discussing newfound growth in the bitcoin mining arena. Processing power is consistently referred to as “hash power,” and the team suggests that this will grow by 350 percent through 2019. In turn, this could hike the price up big time.
“We believe the current path of hash power growth supports a BTC price of about $36,000 by the end of 2019, with a $20,000 – $64,000 range,” explains Sam Doctor, head of data science research at Fundstrat.
As we’ve mentioned, bitcoin has undergone a series of small, yet noticeable drops in the past week. Doctor believes they may not stop right away, though this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. He says that as the price continues to fall, bitcoin miners are more likely to hang onto their stashes to breakeven for operating costs, then sell as the price gets higher. This will lead to larger profits and jumps in the currency’s price.
“The primary net sellers, in our view, are bitcoin miners, and the rest are transactions between investors,” Doctor added.
Bitcoin mining has attracted a huge following over the last two years, with Chinese ASIC developer Bitmain garnering over $4 billion in revenue in 2017 alone.
“The release of the next generation of rig hardware should trigger a new round of capex as well as hash power growth, which could accelerate if BTC prices appreciate,” Doctor explained.