Bitcoin had a groundbreaking year in 2017. Its value rose at a rapid rate from $900 in January of 2017 to $6,300 by October. More recently, it has reached the $10,000 mark towards the end of November. There are those who believe that Bitcoin’s meteoric rise will not stop anytime soon and that Bitcoin could be trading at $55,000 within the next five years. Chris Kline, co-founder, and COO of Bitcoin IRA predicts Bitcoin will be the best high-growth investment in 2018. He is not the only one, as other leaders in the industry predict the cryptocurrency to surpass its rise this year come 2018 completely.
These industry leaders predict that Bitcoin will start growing in adoption all over the world. In fact, Bitcoin is already officially a method of payment in Japan, with over 260,000 retail stores and food establishments accepting cryptocurrency. This precedent appears bound to spread to other countries. Looking at the success Bitcoin is having in Japan, it seems only a matter of time until other first-world governments seek to adopt the cryptocurrency as payment. There has been talk of Amazon accepting Bitcoin; if this happens, it seems that Bitcoin’s place in the US marketplace will be firmly established.
Bitcoin is built with blockchain technology that is rapidly expanding, but Bitcoin is not the only player in the expanding “alt coin” space. Currently, there are 1,200 variations of cryptocurrency available on the market, each looking to solve unique problems using the blockchain technology, but Bitcoin appears to remain the current flagship altcoin currency..
The continued success of Bitcoin in 2017 is likely due to an increase in accessibility to Bitcoin. Initially, Bitcoin was launched as a peer-to-peer currency system. Now, the process of buying Bitcoin and storing it (relatively) safely has made buying cryptocurrency easier and more accessible to the public. Sites, such as Coinbase.com, are delivering a one-stop shop for all kinds of cryptocurrencies, allowing people to buy, sell, trade, and store. It is hard to say whether such sites are safe from hacking; which is a risk with these online marketplaces.
Back in 2011, the value of Bitcoin was less than two dollars. In six years, the value has increased over 4000%, or 670% every year on average. While the market for any currency can rapidly change in either direction, particularly an emerging market, certain experts have predicted Bitcoin reaching over $33,000 by the end of 2018; an increase of over 175% from their potential closing number this year. It will be interesting to see how the market for Bitcoin develops over the next twelve months.