The main question, just a few years ago, was when the crypto bubble would burst. Over time, bitcoin gradually earned its place in the minds and portfolios of traders and investors. Competing actively with physical gold and other investment and defensive assets, digital gold emerged as a formidable contender.
In the past year, the merits and drawbacks of bitcoin have been a topic of frequent discussion, encompassing analysis of its rises and falls and presenting views from seasoned Wall Street experts and pseudonymous social network analysts. It's important to note that many predictions from both groups proved quite accurate, despite the ultra-high volatility of this flagship asset. Today's focus is on recalling the 2023 predictions for bitcoin, their forecasts for 2024 and beyond, with a particular emphasis on those specialists who offered specific figures rather than general, vague phrases.
2023: Those Who Hit the Mark or Came Close
Let's recall that the past year was undoubtedly successful for bitcoin. Despite all its highs and lows, BTC/USD, starting the year at $16,515, reached a peak of $44,694 on December 8, demonstrating a 2.7-fold increase. Among the reasons for the coin's bull rally, experts cite the growing network hash rate, anticipation of the Federal Reserve's policy easing, and, of course, the approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the launch of spot bitcoin ETFs and the bitcoin halving in April 2024. It should be noted that all these events began to influence market sentiment only in the second half of 2023. Therefore, the forecasts made in the first half of the year are particularly interesting.
Alistair Milne, IT Director of Altana Digital Currency Fund, made a nearly bullseye prediction by stating, "By the end of 2023, we should see bitcoin at a minimum of $45,000," which he declared already in January.
Mark W. Yusko, the head of Morgan Creek, in February, precisely identified that the next bull market could start as early as the second quarter of 2023, due to favourable macroeconomic conditions. He noted that it was unlikely for the U.S. Federal Reserve to reduce the key interest rate during this period. However, a slowdown or pause in rate adjustments would be seen as a positive sign for risk assets, including cryptocurrencies. Yusko, emphasizing the upcoming halving, pointed out that the digital asset market's recovery usually starts nine months prior to such events, indicating that this rally should have commenced by the end of summer 2023.
Experts at Matrixport, comparing January's BTC quotes with historical data and anticipating a deceleration in the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) growth, accurately predicted that the flagship cryptocurrency's rate might reach $29,000 by summer and $45,000 by Christmas. This precise hit on the target was made evident by their analysis.
Trader, analyst, and founder of venture company Eight, Michael Van De Poppe, released a video review predicting the coin's rise to $40,000 by year-end, a forecast made at the start of March. Similarly, Mike Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital, projected a rise to $40,000, with the caveat that this level would be achieved only when the U.S. Federal Reserve started reducing the key interest rate. Dave the Wave, a trader known for several accurate predictions, voiced the same $40,000 target in May, emphasizing that this was his conservative estimate.
BTC/USD fell below $25,000 in the first half of June, and the market was yet to learn that in just a few days, major financial institutions would start submitting applications to the SEC for entering the cryptocurrency market through spot bitcoin ETFs. Among the contenders for launching these funds were global asset managers like BlackRock, Invesco, Fidelity, and others. At this point, Business Insider took an interest in expert predictions. Let's look at a few opinions gathered from their survey.
Jagdeep Sidhu, President of Syscoin Foundation, believed that despite several crypto storms, the ecosystem's resilience had become evident. The market had recovered from the ashes of FTX, and if inflation in the U.S. decreased, bitcoin could reach $38,000 by year-end, Sidhu stated. David Uhryniak, Director of Ecosystem Development at TRON, along with Benjamin Cowen, was confident that bitcoin would end the year above $35,000.
A consensus forecast from another survey conducted by Finder.com among 29 analysts pointed to a price of $38,488 by year-end, with bitcoin's peak values in 2023 expected to be around $42,000. Naturally, individual expert predictions varied. Overall, most survey participants (59%) were optimistic about BTC, considering summer a good time to enter the market, 34% advised holding existing cryptocurrency, and 7% recommended selling it.
2023: Above or Below the Target
Certainly, not all predictions were as close to the year's outcomes. Another frequently cited target in forecasts was the $50,000 mark, which, according to the analyst known as CryptoYoddha, experts at TradingShot, and former Goldman Sachs top manager and CEO of Real Vision Raoul Pal, BTC/USD was expected to reach. Legendary trader and analyst Peter Brandt, who accurately predicted BTC's 2018 correction, set his sights even higher this time. He believed the coin would reach its previous highs near $68,000 in the second half of 2023, followed by another correction and a new all-time high.
In late January 2023, the analyst under the pseudonym Plan B predicted that the flagship currency would rise to $100,000 by year-end. Moreover, he estimated that bitcoin could test the $42,000 level as early as March, citing the stock-to-flow (S2F) model he developed, which measured the relationship between an asset's available supply and its production rate. However, as we now know, the $42,000 test occurred only nine months later, in December, and $100,000 remained an unattainable height.
Felix Zulauf, founder of Zulauf Asset Management, speculated that bitcoin would enter a clear bull rally around late spring 2023 and did not rule out the possibility of the asset reaching $100,000 on a sharp upward trend. Credible Crypto experts also issued an optimistic forecast, suggesting that the flagship crypto asset had a good chance of renewing its historical maximum in the $69,000 zone. A CNBC survey among influential industry figures revealed expectations of retesting $69,000 by Tether's CTO Paolo Ardoino, while Marshall Beard, the Strategy Director of cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, pointed to $100,000. Investor and author of the famous book "Rich Dad Poor Dad," Robert Kiyosaki, named an even larger figure, claiming that by the beginning of 2024, bitcoin would reach $120,000.
The market isn't driven solely by bulls. Roaming its expanse, one can encounter bears and even "crypto-gravediggers." For instance, Bloomberg analyst Mike McGlone, in May, anticipated a bitcoin price collapse to a support level of $7,366. This was a stark contrast to his view at the end of the previous year, 2022, when McGlone predicted bitcoin would soar to $100,000.
Strategists from the British multinational financial conglomerate Standard Chartered expected that a liquidity crisis would lead to new bankruptcies of crypto exchanges and companies, resulting in BTC potentially plummeting to $5,000 in 2023. An analyst known as Grinding Poet even declared that "a retest of the 2018 lows is inevitable" and set a new target of $3,150.
2024: Optimism and Super Optimism
Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Jamie Coutts has forecasted a rise in bitcoin's price to $50,000 before the halving in April 2024. Eric Balchunas, a senior analyst at Bloomberg, explained that the SEC's approval of BTC-ETF applications would open up bitcoin to a capital market of $30 trillion. Bloomberg anticipates that the approval will occur very soon, around January 8-10. According to predictions by the analytical firm Fundstrat, this could increase daily demand for bitcoin by $100 million. In this scenario, even before the planned halving, the price of BTC could reach up to $180,000.
Adam Back, CEO of Blockstream and one of the earliest developers of BTC, likened the past few years to a biblical plague epidemic. "There was COVID-19, central banks' quantitative easing, wars affecting energy costs, inflation driving people and companies to bankruptcy," he explained. As 2023 came to a close, the effects of many of these events had diminished, according to Back. "The bankruptcies linked to Three Arrows Capital, Celsius, BlockFi, and FTX... all of that is mostly over. I don't think we're in for many big surprises." Back believes 2024 will be a year of recovery for bitcoin, responding to the upcoming halving in April and potentially reaching $100,000 before the event.
Samson Mow, former colleague of Back at Blockstream and now CEO of Jan3, agreed with this assessment. Experts at Seeking Alpha also echoed a similar figure, suggesting that the cryptocurrency should be valued around $98,000 to keep miners afloat post-halving.
Standard Chartered experts, particularly Geoff Kendrick, speak of a similar outlook. According to the bank's economists, the current situation indicates the end of the "crypto winter." However, their forecast is slightly more conservative, with the main cryptocurrency reaching the $100,000 mark only by the end of 2024. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak also settled on this round figure. Pascal Gauthier, CEO of Ledger, David Marcus, head of Lightspark, and Vijay Ayyar, a top manager at CoinDCX, also anticipate bitcoin's price rise to $100,000.
Investor and bestselling author of "Rich Dad Poor Dad," Robert Kiyosaki, believes that the U.S. economy is on the brink of a serious crisis, and cryptocurrencies, particularly bitcoin, offer investors a safe haven in these turbulent times. Kiyosaki predicts that the halving will be a key event, potentially driving BTC's price to soar to $120,000. Markus Thielen, head of research at the crypto-financial service Matrixport, suggests a similar figure of $125,000. Renowned blogger and analyst Lark Davis believes that this event could lead to bitcoin's price rising to about $150,000, or even up to $180,000. Tom Lee, co-founder of Fundstrat, estimates a rise to $185,000.
According to calculations by Dave the Wave, BTC, post the April 2024 halving, will only rise slightly above its previous high of around $69,000 by mid-2024, but could escalate to $160,000 by year-end. Alistair Milne predicts that by the end of 2024, the BTC rate should reach $150,000-$300,000. However, he cautions, "this may well be the peak opportunity for bulls." Analysts from LookIntoBitcoin advise locking in profits when the coin appreciates to at least $110,000.
And finally, let's consider the fresh perspective of Artificial Intelligence (AI): an increasingly integral voice in such discussions. The experts at Finbold consulted Google Bard, a machine learning system, about the likely value of the flagship cryptocurrency after the much-anticipated 2024 halving. The AI predicted that bitcoin would likely reach a new all-time high, attributing this not only to the halving but also to broader BTC adoption and interest from institutional investors. Google Bard specifically noted that after the halving, bitcoin could surge to $100,000. However, the AI also highlighted factors that could limit the cryptocurrency's growth, not ruling out the possibility of a continued crypto winter in 2024.
In contrast, a scenario from Google Bard’s competitor, ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, appears more optimistic. It suggests that the main cryptocurrency could climb as high as $150,000. (Interestingly, the illustration accompanying this article was also created using AI, in this case, Microsoft Bing)
2024: Moderate Optimism and Moderate Pessimism
Consolidating all the aforementioned scenarios into a consensus forecast, with certain allowances, yields a range from $100,000 to $180,000. While this range is undoubtedly encouraging for investors, there are more conservative and even pessimistic predictions.
Analyst PlanB, having missed his target in 2023, significantly lowered his expectations. "Expect $32,000 for bitcoin before the halving," he writes, "rising to $55,000 during the halving, and then, by the end of the year, the main cryptocurrency might climb to $66,000." Arthur Hayes, former CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX, also stated that the first cryptocurrency's quotes would reach only a "modest" goal of $70,000.
A sobering perspective comes from the company CryptoVantage, whose employees surveyed 1,000 crypto investors in the USA. Only 23% of them believe that bitcoin will reach its historical maximum of $68,917 in the upcoming year. 47% think that the coin's price will rise to this mark within five years. 78% are confident that BTC will eventually return to its historical maximum, but at an undefined future date. However, 9% believe this will never happen again.
BBC World analyst Glen Goodman joined the chorus of sceptics. He commented that the $120,000 figure "seems more like a number plucked out of thin air than a realistically grounded prediction." Goodman argues that authors of such predictions favor market bulls and overlook several key factors. The most crucial, according to him, is that U.S. financial regulators are relentlessly targeting the crypto industry with lawsuits and investigations. Against this backdrop, experts from JP Morgan believe that in 2024 the main cryptocurrency will trade around $45,000, considering this price as an upper limit indicating the asset's limited potential.
2025 and Beyond: $1,000,000 to $10,000,000. Who Predicts Higher?
"Looking too far into the future is not far-sighted," a saying attributed to Sir Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during 1940-1945 and 1951-1955. While we might heed the advice of the esteemed British leader, some influencers still dare to make long-term predictions without fearing being seen as short-sighted.
An average result from a survey of 29 experts conducted by Finder.com indicates that BTC's price may reach $100,000 not in 2024, but only by the end of 2025, and could ascend to $280,000 by the end of 2030. An analyst known as Trader Tardigrade believes that bitcoin is following the same price structure as it did from 2013 to 2018. If his model is accurate, the beginning price "boom" could lead to bitcoin rising to $400,000 by 2026.
Venture capitalist Tim Draper, a third-generation venture capitalist and co-founder of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, is optimistic about 2025. He believes that the halving will significantly impact the main cryptocurrency's price, eventually reaching $250,000. Previously, he predicted that BTC would hit this mark by the end of 2022. When his prediction did not materialize, he extended the timeline to mid-2023. Now, Draper has revised his forecast again, stating with certainty that the main cryptocurrency will reach the targeted price by the end of June 2025. According to him, one of the growth drivers will be the adoption of BTC by women, suggesting that housewives using bitcoin for shopping could become a significant factor in the coin's widespread adoption.
Mike Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital, believes that the demand for alternative financial instruments will continue to grow, with bitcoin being one of these instruments. He predicts that in the long term, bitcoin's price could reach $500,000. Doubling this estimate, Arthur Hayes, former CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX, and Max Keiser, a former trader and TV host who is now an advisor to the president of El Salvador, have both cited a figure of $1 million per coin. Michael Saylor, the founder of MicroStrategy, has a more polarized view, stating that "bitcoin will either plummet to zero or skyrocket to $1 million."
Cathy Wood, CEO of ARK Invest, forecasts a significant increase in the total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies, reaching $25 trillion by 2030, which is an increase of more than 2100%. ARK Invest's baseline scenario envisages bitcoin's price rising to $650,000 during this period, while a more optimistic scenario projects a climb to $1,500,000. Yassine Elmandjra, an analyst at ARK Invest and a colleague of Wood, acknowledged that such a prediction for the coin's growth may seem improbable, but added that it is "quite reasonable" when considering the history of cryptocurrency development.
Larry Lepard, Managing Partner at the Boston-based investment company Equity Management Associates, has also provided a long-term forecast. He believes that over the next decade, the dollar will devalue, and people will increasingly invest in cryptocurrencies, gold, and real estate. Given bitcoin's limited supply, the digital asset will become a highly sought-after investment tool and will benefit from the collapse of fiat currency. "I believe the price of bitcoin will rise sharply. I think it will first reach $100,000, then $1 million, and eventually rise to $10 million per coin. I'm confident that my grandchildren will be shocked at how wealthy people who own just one bitcoin will become," Lepard stated.
The Artificial Intelligence ChatGPT offers a slightly more modest scenario. It suggests that the main cryptocurrency might rise to $500,000 by 2028, reach $1 million by 2032, and escalate to $5 million by 2050. However, this AI prediction comes with several conditions. Such growth is possible only if: cryptocurrency is widely adopted; bitcoin becomes a popular means for capital saving; and the coin is integrated into various financial systems. If these conditions are not met, then, according to AI calculations, by 2050, the value of the coin could range from $20,000 to $500,000.
Funeral Squad for Bitcoin: $0.0000. Who Predicts Lower?
According to Newton's Third Law, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Although this law was formulated in 1689, it seems to apply even to 21st-century cryptocurrencies. If there are those eager to drive up the value of bitcoin, there will inevitably be others prepared to bury it deeper.
Warren Buffett, the billionaire and stock market legend, famously described bitcoin as "rat poison squared." His steadfast partner, Charles Munger, Vice Chairman of the holding company Berkshire Hathaway, is equally critical. Despite turning 100 years old on January 1, 2024 (congratulations to him), he continues to actively oppose this digital "evil."
Munger has called on the U.S. authorities to destroy bitcoin, equating investment in it to gambling. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he stated that the cryptocurrency industry undermines the stability of the global financial sector and argued that BTC cannot be considered an asset class as it holds no intrinsic value. He believes that it should be subject to such stringent regulatory measures that would ultimately suffocate the industry. "It's the dumbest investment I've ever seen," the renowned investor exclaimed. "I'm not proud of my country for allowing this nonsense. It's laughable that someone buys it. It's not good. It's insane. It's only harmful." The billionaire labelled everyone who disagrees with him as idiots and branded bitcoin a "spoiled product" and a "venereal disease."
Steve Hanke, a professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University, has also criticized bitcoin, asserting that the fundamental value of the first cryptocurrency is zero. He has labelled BTC as an extremely speculative asset with no economic value or utility.
Peter Schiff, President of Euro Pacific Capital and a gold enthusiast, believes that "there is nothing more inferior than cryptocurrencies" and that "bitcoin is nothing." He has compared holders of the asset to a cult. "Nobody needs bitcoin. People buy it only after being persuaded by others. Once they acquire [BTC], they immediately try to draw others into it. It's like a cult," Schiff wrote. Back in 2017, he predicted that the coin would soon become worthless. Despite the years that have passed, the entrepreneur has not changed his stance. He recently reiterated that "bitcoin's journey to zero just got a bit delayed. In the end, bitcoin will implode.".
Jamie Dimon, the head of the American banking giant JPMorgan, has also heavily criticized digital gold. During a CNBC broadcast, he expressed skepticism about the supposed 21 million coin limit of bitcoin's issuance. "How do you know? It might reach 21 million, and a picture of Satoshi [Nakamoto] might pop up and laugh at all of you," he speculated about the future.
Jim Cramer, host of CNBC's "Mad Money," also focused on the risks. He believes that no one really knows what the major players in the industry are hiding and that there are no guarantees of their honesty with their clients. According to him, any new scandal could cause a sharp decline in bitcoin's value, putting investor assets at risk. Referring to the opinion of Carley Garner, senior commodity strategist & broker at DeCarley Trading, he recommended staying away from virtual currencies.
Discussing the prospects of the flagship cryptocurrency, Dieter Wermuth, economist and partner at Wermuth Asset Management, stated that the economy would be better and simpler without bitcoin. In his view, it makes sense to abandon bitcoin altogether: it could be beneficial for overall prosperity, as investments in cryptocurrency are wasteful and divert funds from overall economic growth. Moreover, bitcoin creates social inequality, facilitates money laundering, tax evasion, and is highly energy-intensive due to mining. Dieter Wermuth even called bitcoin "the main killer of the climate."
Jenny Johnson, CEO of the investment firm Franklin Templeton, which manages assets worth $1.5 trillion, also expressed scepticism about the primary cryptocurrency. She claimed that bitcoin is the biggest distraction from real innovation. The head of Franklin Templeton is convinced that bitcoin can never become a global currency, as the U.S. government will not allow this to happen. "I can tell you that if bitcoin becomes so significant that it threatens the dollar as the reserve currency, the U.S. will limit its use," she stated.
Indeed, Mrs. Johnson's statement did not come out of nowhere. Over the past year, there has been a lot of discussion about regulatory pressure on the crypto industry, legal disputes, and astronomical fines. Gary Gensler, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) compared the current state of the crypto industry to the wild early 20th century. At that time, the agency undertook stringent measures, which he believes are necessary now to intimidate businessmen and keep the industry in check. John Reed Stark, a former SEC official, echoes Gensler's sentiments. "Cryptocurrency prices are rising for two reasons," he explains, "firstly, due to gaps in regulation and potential market manipulation; secondly, because of the possibility to sell inflated, overvalued cryptocurrency to an even bigger fool."
Such statements are not only made by U.S. authorities but also by many other government representatives worldwide. For instance, the European Central Bank declared in December 2022 that bitcoin had lost its relevance. However, the ECB later revised its assessment, noting that cryptocurrency could still serve as an alternative to fiat currency.
It's noteworthy that since the inception of bitcoin, its demise has been proclaimed 474 times. The death counter of the main cryptocurrency is maintained on the platform 99bitcoins. This information resource tallies what are known as "bitcoin obituaries" – statements from notable individuals, news portals, and other media outlets with significant readership, unequivocally asserting that the asset has depreciated or is about to depreciate. In 2021, there were 47 such "obituaries," in 2022 – 27, and in 2023, BTC was declared "dead" only seven times. This figure is the lowest in the last decade, indicating that bitcoin is not only alive but also continues to thrive, despite the scepticism of its detractors.
To conclude this extensive overview, let's look at some interesting statistics. According to research by DocumentingBTC, an investor who put $100 into real gold exactly 10 years ago would now have only $134 in their account. Investing in Google would have yielded $504, Facebook – $818, Amazon – $830, Netflix – $1,040, and Microsoft – $1,111. Apple investors could have seen their investment grow to $1,208. Tesla claims the third spot on the profitability podium with an increase from $100 to $4,475. NVIDIA shares rank second, growing to $8,599. However, had you invested your $100 in digital gold, bitcoin, you would now have an impressive $25,600! This is why bitcoin is often hailed as the best investment of the decade. The conclusion is yours to draw.
Happy New Year!
NordFX Analytical Group
Notice: These materials are not investment recommendations or guidelines for working in financial markets and are intended for informational purposes only. Trading in financial markets is risky and can result in a complete loss of deposited funds.