Bitcoin Hit $20k in 2017 Without Institutions, What’s Next in 2019?
Despite an overwhelming sense of bearishness in both the sentiment surrounding bitcoin and the price itself, there are many developments set to occur in the next 18 months that could kick off another bull run. Improvements to the bitcoin infrastructure seem to be happening at a pace never before seen in the space. However, the price has not responded to the fundamentals… Yet.
Last Time the Bulls Ran, This Time We’re Looking at a Stampede
There is no doubt about it, 2018 has been something of a reality check for many bitcoin enthusiasts. The exuberance of last year’s epic bull market seems to have largely given way to pessimism, and market sentiment surrounding the space is less optimistic than it ever has been in the memory of many participants.
However, as one Twitter user points out, bitcoin achieved its $20,000 all-time high without many of the developments that have occurred, been announced, or are expected to come in the next twelve months or so:
#bitcoin hit $20K last year..
– without Goldman Sachs
– without Morgan Stanley
– without Citigroup
– without ETFs
– without the #lightningnetwork
Relax… the next rally will be bigger than you can ever anticipate.
— Conan O’Bitcoin (@ConanOBitcoin) September 14, 2018
There is certainly a lot to be optimistic about in bitcoin right now. The number one cryptocurrency has grabbed the attention of some of the traditional financial industry’s largest institutions and where once was scepticism, intrigue can now be found.
In the remainder of 2018 and going forward into 2019, there are many events upcoming that could well spark a bull run that will likely dwarf those all before it.
Firstly, there is the Bakkt platform with backing from the ICE, along with Microsoft and Starbucks. The new product is expected to make getting exposure to BTC easier than ever before for both retail and institutional investors. It is set to launch this November.
Likewise, Goldman Sachs are still exploring how to bring both a trading desk and a custody solution to market. These two developments from such an established name will surely inspire confidence amongst other financial institutions that bitcoin is not going to disappear any time soon.
In addition, there seems to be considerable interest coming from the clients of financial heavyweights Morgan Stanley and Citigroup. Both are in the process of launching futures and derivative products surrounding BTC. These developments are thought by many to be capable of bringing stability to the highly volatile asset class. This will in turn make investing in bitcoin more appealing to those with the financial clout to drive prices sky high.
Even the various Crypto ETF’s proposed to the SEC have been given renewed hope through the appointment of Elad Roisman to the position of commissioner. Roisman is known to be supportive of cryptocurrencies and his nomination by President Trump and subsequent inclusion in the regulatory body can only be positive for the digital asset space going forward.
Away from mainstream financial interest in bitcoin, there are also exciting developments underway from a technical standpoint. The Lightning Network continues to make advances and more channels open by the day. The upgrade should allow bitcoin to handle a far greater number of transactions when the next bull run does kick off.
During the 2017 market surge, a lot of doubt was cast over the usability of the bitcoin protocol because fees rocketed at the same time as the price did. This was certainly responsible for many exploring alt-coin markets since they thought bitcoin would remain too expensive for practical use.
There’s a lot going on and any one of these events could provide the catalyst to send prices upwards in a meaningful way. Together, it seems more of a case of when rather than if bitcoin will surpass its current all-time high. Once the ball is in motion, the hype train gets running and, as always, more people get exposed to and learn about the disruptive potential of bitcoin. The future is certainly bright for bitcoin.
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