Bitcoin and crypto markets have been on a downward trend since bitcoin hit a year-to-date high of over $13,000 per bitcoin set in late June.
The bitcoin price, now a little over $8,000, has bounced wildly over recent months as crypto trader and investors search for direction, try to guess the mood of regulators, and struggle with “dismal” bitcoin trading volumes.
However, bitcoin’s biggest bulls have come out in force to reassure investors bitcoin is far from dead (though that could change)–and all point to different reasons for why they see bitcoin going higher.
Bitcoin investor and venture capitalist Tim Draper, who has previously called a bitcoin price prediction of $250,000 per bitcoin “conservative,” has predicted that the likes of the bitcoin Lightning Network, designed to make smaller bitcoin transactions quicker and cheaper, will be the catalyst for the next bitcoin bull run.
“I think bitcoin payment processors are really going to open the floodgates,” Draper said, speaking during a Q&A session at the Malta AI & Blockchain Summit earlier this month and reiterating he expects the bitcoin price will reach a quarter of million dollars by 2022 or 2023.
“It’s because of Lightning Network and OpenNode and maybe others that are allowing us to spend bitcoin very freely and quickly, so that it’s not just a store of value but it can be used for micro-payments; it can be used for retail, it can be used all over.”
Bitcoin’s Lightning Network has long been touted by some as a potential game changer for bitcoin and crypto payments, though adoption has not come as quickly as some had hoped.
Elsewhere, Changpeng Zhao, the chief executive of the world’s largest bitcoin and crypto exchange by volume Binance, said he expects the bitcoin price to rise simply as the bitcoin industry grows.
“If you look at the fundamental technology and a longer term view, across a five year or ten year horizon, we’re very confident the industry will get bigger and when the industry gets bigger the prices will go higher,” Changpeng Zhao, who’s often known simply as CZ, told Bloomberg, a financial newswire.
“If you look at the short term view, bitcoin and cryptocurrency is a smaller market cap instrument so there will be higher volatility,” CZ added, attempting to explain away bitcoin’s recent downward trend.
Meanwhile, bitcoin and cryptocurrency analyst Tom Lee has said bitcoin will need to pass $150,000 per bitcoin, a rise of over 1,600% from current prices, before a long-awaited bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) could work.
Lee, who founded strategy research boutique Fundstrat Global Advisors, thinks that though “demand for an ETF is monstrous,” the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) “needs to punt the ETF until crypto becomes bigger.”
According to Lee, a significant increase in the bitcoin price will increase investor confidence in bitcoin and crypto–but proper regulation and oversight will be needed.
“Institutions aren’t going to touch crypto if they think the SEC isn’t doing a good job,” Lee reportedly said, speaking at the Blockshow conference in Singapore last week.