Bitcoin Price Forecast 2017
After years of volatility, the Bitcoin price forecast is finally on an upward trek through 2017 and beyond. In just five years, the Bitcoin price (BTC price) rose from a few cents to over $1,000, which should give you some sense as to how much money early investors made. But don’t worry, our Bitcoin price prediction 2017 shows that there is still more room to the upside.
There is still a lot of disagreement about the future of Bitcoin. Some people think it is the ultimate iteration of money, while others argue that it is doomed to failure. But, instead of looking at what people are saying, let’s take a closer look at what people are doing.
Companies are investing heavily into blockchain technology, which is what underlies cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. There was over $1.4 billion worth of investment into blockchain tech during 2016. Actions speak louder than words. People are voting with their pocketbooks, and it appears that they feel more positively about blockchain than they admit in public.
As the forerunner of blockchain tech—not to mention its public face—there’s every reason to believe that Bitcoin prices will lead these advances. It’s no wonder we’ve seen Bitcoin value skyrocket from $570.00 to $1,133.00 in just a few months.
To be fair, much of that bullishness was driven by China and India. The implementation of capital controls in those countries triggered a surge of demand the likes of which were predicted years ago. We warned that any monetary restrictions by overzealous governments would create the conditions for a Bitcoin price surge, but few were willing to listen.
That being said, perhaps we should slow down for just a second. Not everyone is intimately familiar with the ins and outs of blockchain and Bitcoin. So let’s rewind to the most fundamental of questions: What actually is Bitcoin?
What Is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that, when mined from the original source code, can be used to make friction-less payments. It uses the double-ledger system and operates independent of any central bank.
Or at least that’s the technical definition of Bitcoin. It might as well be written in Greek. To simplify it, we must understand that Bitcoin is not just one thing; it serves two purposes. The first is centered around the idea of blockchain technology, and the second around the idea of money.
1. Bitcoin as a Platform
The first thing to know is that Bitcoin is powered by computers around the world. There is no central authority. People join the network to solve math puzzles that unlock, or rather “mine,” Bitcoins from the original code. Once the Bitcoin has been released, it can be transferred from one place to another in an instant. No transaction costs, no wait times.
This where blockchain comes into the picture. Every Bitcoin transaction is recorded publicly and listed simultaneously on the network’s servers. No one has the power to change the numbers or rig the system in terms of Bitcoin price prediction, because the system is decentralized. What makes Bitcoin so easy to move across borders is that your funds are spread across the network.
2. Bitcoin as a Currency
Traditional money—be it the pound sterling, the U.S. dollar, or the Chinese renminbi—is governed by a central bank, a central authority. These central banks issue money whenever they feel it is necessary to stimulate the economy, but doing so can have consequences. Namely, hyper-inflation and the loss of purchasing power.
Imagine this: there are 100,000 notes in circulation, each worth $20.00. The central bank is facing an “economic crisis” so it prints another 100,000 notes to boost the money supply. Is your $20.00 note still worth the same amount? Economics says no.
This sleight of hand by central bankers is how prices spiral out of control in the real world. Bitcoin is immune from such manipulations, because no one can change the original supply—there are a fixed number of units being unlocked at a steady pace. Investors should be relieved that this safe haven exists, because fiat money is a ticking time bomb.
In any case, now that we’ve sorted out definitions, let’s get down to our Bitcoin price forecast. What does the Bitcoin price prediction chart say about its value in 2017?
Bitcoin Price Prediction: The Macro View
Both micro and macro analyses of global economic trends suggest that the Bitcoin price could reach $2,500 before the end of 2017. There are numerous tailwinds that are driving this trend, some of which I will discuss below. But the bottom line is that tremendous growth lies ahead.
The big-picture dynamics about the Bitcoin price prediction are clear enough for anyone to read.
China’s endless series of stock market crashes has created uncertainty about the country’s economic future. Many people want to move their funds offshore, but there are stringent capital controls in place to prevent them from doing that.
Why? Because if enough people are short on the yuan at the same time, its value will collapse. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) simply refuses to let that happen, so it clamps down on innocent civilians instead.
While this may be a sad commentary on the state of civil liberty in China, it is actually the best thing to happen to the Bitcoin price prediction in a long time. There was a minor bump after the first stock market crash on June 12, 2015, but the Bitcoin price really took flight after the second crash in late August. I’ve marked both events in red on the chart below.
The Bitcoin price exploded through the remainder of 2015 and 2016. China’s move to jail short-sellers only added fuel to the fire. Investors were terrified by these shows of authority, because it suggested that government forces were willing to over-regulate how people spend their money. It is nearly impossible to put those concerns back in the box.
Something equally strange happened in India. Without any significant warning, the Indian government declared that 500 rupee and 1,000 rupee notes would no longer be accepted as legal tender. In other words, they said that money wasn’t valid. The “demonetisation” of those bills was supposed to hurt money launderers and black market criminals, but it ended hurting average people as well. (Source: “India’s Demonetization Is Causing Bitcoin To Surge Inside The Country,” Forbes, December 22, 2016.)
There was a short window during which the government would exchange 500 rupee and 1,000 rupee notes for a fraction of their worth. What do you think the government did when it collected those notes? They burned them. Piles and piles of money, torched simply because the government decided it was the best way to tackle corruption. It’s madness, but it helped the Bitcoin price forecast.
Three of India’s leading Bitcoin exchanges registered huge surges in demand. In fact, there was a surge in local prices, from $757.00 to $1,020.00 as Indians clamored for ways to safeguard their purchasing power. You can see the spike in demand in the chart below.
As you can see, there is a clear correlation between capital controls and the Bitcoin price prediction. Extrapolating this model through 2017 leads us to a Bitcoin price forecast of $2,500.00, which should be possible, given the trend of ever-tightening monetary control.
Bitcoin Price Prediction: The Micro View
A micro analysis only strengthens our belief that Bitcoin can reach $2,500.00 before the end of 2017. There are numerous indicators which, when pieced together, reveal wider adoption of Bitcoin technology.
For instance, the online retailer Overstock.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSTK) became the first company to trade its shares via Bitcoin. It is a grand experiment of sorts, but one that could prove the currency’s viability as more than a speculative commodity. (Source: “Overstock Begins Trading Its Shares Via the Bitcoin Blockchain,” Wired, December 15, 2016.)
There’s also the fact that businesses have had enough time to understand how and why blockchain technology can change the world. It has become a central theme for conferences on economics, finance, and technology. The elite business leaders and global thinkers that attend these events have absorbed that information and carried it out into the world.
Why else are 90% of banks working on blockchain technology? It’s not a coincidence.
(Source: “Join The Blockchain Party,” Accenture Plc, last accessed January 20, 2017.)
It’s not a coincidence.
But some critics point out that increased adoption of blockchain technology shouldn’t necessarily boost our Bitcoin price prediction. After all, there are competing digital currencies that have emerged in recent years, and bank investments into blockchain suggest that the banks want proprietary tech.
All I would say in response is this: being first is what matters.
A lot of great businesses have failed to make it big because they arrived too late. That’s why none of the Bitcoin imitators are likely to supplant it from atop the industry. It’s also why our Bitcoin price forecast is through the roof this year.
Bitcoin has had eight years to seep into the public consciousness, not to mention build a market cap of $10.0 billion. In the market of digital currencies, Bitcoin is far and away the market leader. It is in a winning position by virtue of being the most recognizable, the most trusted, and the most stable.
That’s why we remain bullish on our Bitcoin price prediction.