Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency, is made possible by blockchain technology, a method of generating and tracking digital assets and processing transactions. When bitcoin is doing well, other cryptocurrencies are likely to be doing well. When bitcoin is doing poorly, other cryptos are likely also suffering.
Nobody, however, seems to agree on the price of bitcoin in the future.
Why 2022 Has Been a Bad Year for Bitcoin
Over 2021, bitcoin enjoyed a steep rise in its market value. Traders were optimistic that wider acceptance of bitcoin by merchants and big banks would support the price.
However, the promise outran the reality — there was still no way to use bitcoin for much of anything except speculative, risky trading. A decline in the stock market in late 2021, and a fall in highly valued growth stocks, carried cryptocurrencies down as well.
The Risk-Off Trade
By Jan. 1, bitcoin had fallen from an all-time high of $68,789.63 on Nov. 10, 2021, to $47,098. The price declined further through the first half of 2022, as did the stock market. Investors have turned to assets that perform well in a time of a slowing economy, higher inflation and rising interest rates.
As cryptocurrency is still widely seen as a risky, speculative asset, this “risk-off” trade brought bitcoin down to below $20,000 in mid-June. The current price represents a loss of over 75% of the peak value bitcoin reached in November 2021.
Concerns over the high electricity use associated with bitcoin mining and the banning of cryptocurrency transactions by China also weigh on bitcoin’s value.
As of Dec. 21, bitcoin is selling for $16,803. It’s down 64% for the year, with no signs of a sustained recovery in sight.
Good To Know
Robert Breedlove, CEO of Parallax Digital, might be the most optimistic of all analysts on bitcoin. In 2021, Breedlove predicted a price of $12.5 million by 2031, seeing high inflation as the main driver of this run-up. With fiat currency losing its value, the thinking goes, some investors may turn to what they perceive as a safer haven in digital money. However, it should be noted that Breedlove previously predicted that bitcoin would surpass $300,000 by October 2021 — a month that saw a high price of $65,993. Its loss of value in 2022 — a year that saw record inflation — exceeds that of the U.S. dollar by a factor of eight.
Expanding Investment and Payment Use
Nevertheless, as more companies adopt bitcoin as a method of payment, its value could stabilize. Major companies that already accept bitcoin include Microsoft, AT&T, Starbucks, PayPal and Amazon, although you must jump through a hoop or two to pay that way. And Colorado residents can use bitcoin to pay their state personal and business taxes.
As more platforms make room for bitcoin trading, the market should expand among individual traders and investors. Coinbase, Kraken and online investment firms like Robinhood and Webull all allow the purchase of cryptocurrency. However, big, traditional brokerages are just climbing onboard, even though some already make trades on the blockchain.
Goldman Sachs, for example, announced in April that it would give high-net-worth clients access to bitcoin and ethereum. Other brokerages, such as Schwab, Fidelity and TD Ameritrade, simply allow their clients exposure to the crypto market, although Fidelity will allow companies to give their employees the option of investing up to 20% of their 401(k)s in bitcoin, NBC News reported.
For the most part, however, these companies offer trading in coin trusts and exchange-traded funds that hold crypto assets.
What Is the Future of Bitcoin?
The future price of bitcoin depends on whether digital currencies can serve as useful financial assets. There was little support for this concept among financial newsmakers in the early years, but some once-skeptical major investors have come around.
Buffet and Other Now-Believers
Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway company has rewarded investors with tremendous returns over decades, once described cryptocurrency as “rat poison squared,” and he swore he would never touch it. But by purchasing NuBank, a digital “neobank” involved in the crypto space, Buffet has given bitcoin a secondhand vote of confidence.
Lloyd Blankfein, former chairman of Goldman Sachs, has announced that he’s “evolving” on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter, resigned from his job as CEO of that company to run Block, a payment processing leader that is now developing new digital currency applications.
Adoption by these and other corporate leaders could support a reversal in bitcoin’s free fall and bring higher value in the coming year.
What Will Bitcoin Be Worth in the Future?
Cryptocurrency prices are impossible to predict — forecasts literally change by the day. But several analysis sites use formulas based on price and volume data to make educated guesses.
What Will Bitcoin Be Worth in 2022?
As of Dec. 21, the Changelly blog offers a prediction that bitcoin could end 2022 at a maximum of $18,154.65. Coin Price Forecast is less optimistic in that short term, predicting a 2% increase to $17,104 by the end of this year.
What Will Bitcoin Be Worth in 2023?
For 2023, Changelly predicts bitcoin will reach somewhere between $25,5210.82 and $29,789.37. Coin Price Forecast offers a more conservative but still positive prediction for the end of 2023: $17,609.
Is Bitcoin a Good Investment?
Ian Balina, founder of crypto research firm Token Metrics, sees bitcoin in a down cycle due to general investor pessimism on risk assets, but he also sees a benefit from the development of Web 3.0, a new blockchain-based internet. That said, bitcoin is an old-school cryptocurrency, which could give Web 3.0 coins like chainlink and polkadot an edge over the longer term.
More practical uses of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are coming online. Once trading isn’t the only thing you can do with them — except for some digital shopping options — the value of these new assets could increase.
While many experts predict a positive future for bitcoin, it’s important to invest with caution. As the recent market has demonstrated, cryptocurrency is a volatile investment.
Bitcoin FAQAs the largest cryptocurrency by market cap and the one most familiar to the general public, bitcoin attracts a lot of curiosity. Here are some of the questions people are asking:
- What will bitcoin be worth in 2025?
- Predictions for 2025 bitcoin prices will change many times before that year arrives. But as of Nov. 21, 2022, the Changelly blog expects bitcoin to be worth $32,437 by the end of 2025. Coin Price Forecast predicts a price of $32,437.
- What will the price of one bitcoin be in 2030?
- Predictions for the year 2030 are purely speculative because the factors that affect bitcoin prices literally change by the minute, which means analysts must constantly update their forecasts. The current 2030 forecasts from Changelly and Coin Price Forecast range from $57,573 to $406,156.62.
Information is accurate as of Dec. 21, 2022.
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- CoinMarketCap. "Bitcoin."
- Changelly. 2022. "Bitcoin Price Prediction."
- Forbes. 2022. "Massive 2022 ‘All-Time High’ Bitcoin Price Prediction Comes With A Serious Ethereum, BNB, XRP, Solana, Cardano, Luna And Avalanche Warning."
- Coin Price Forecast. 2022. "Bitcoin Price Prediction 2022 - 2025 - 2030."
- CNBC. 2022. "Ex-Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein says ‘crypto is happening’ despite plunge in digital assets."
- TIME Next Advisor. 2022. "Experts Say Bitcoin Could Hit $100,000 In 2022. Here’s What Investors Should Know."
- Colorado Department of Revenue. "Cryptocurrency."
- The Wall Street Journal. 2022. "As Crypto Slumps, Goldman Sachs Aims for a Wall Street Built on Blockchain."