The price of bitcoin is once again trading near an all-time high.
After about a month of uncertainty following the rejection of a major investment vehicle, bitcoin prices reached $1,343.59, a new all-time high on the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index on Thursday, breaking the previous record of $1,325.81, set in March.
Yet, even after this modest pullback, analysts are predicting bitcoin prices will continue their steady, upward climb, pointing to factors such as technical progress in the wider cryptocurrency space as well as the growing use of bitcoin in emerging markets as factors pushing its price higher.
But with the price of bitcoin up 200% year-over-year, many are now asking where the digital asset will trade going forward. Analysts largely agreed it's up.
When identifying bitcoin's psychological price level, more than one pointed to $1,500, though there was far from an even consensus.
Tuur Demeester, economist and cryptocurrency trader, for example, emphasized the importance of bitcoin's yuan-denominated price.
"¥8,000 seems [to be] an important psychological level," he said, adding:
"Once we're past that, the sky is blue."
At press time, bitcoin was trading at just ¥7,800 (roughly $1,130), a differential no doubt influenced by the current freeze on certain exchanges services in China.
Elsewhere, traders were even more bullish on prices.
Arthur Hayes, co-founder and CEO of leveraged digital currency platform BitMEX, took perhaps the most bullish approach among analysts polled, asserting that $2,000 could be a reasonable target for the asset.
Likewise, cryptocurrency hedge fund manager Tim Enneking predicted that the cryptocurrency's price will "march to $1,500", but perhaps stop in that range.
Still, Enneking told CoinDesk that bitcoin prices will pause at this level as traders take profits and adopt a "wait-and-see" approach.
Enneking asserted that without such a pause, "it will be too much upward movement too fast to sustain". Marius Rupsys, cryptocurrency trader and co-founder of fintech startup InvoicePool, was also hesitant.
He emphasized that once bitcoin reaches a fresh, all-time high, it is difficult to predict exactly when traders will begin taking profits.
Of course, given that many bitcoin traders identify as long-term bulls, some may simply balk it this question, raising up the digital currency's performance as another sign it's destined to become a viable, and valuable, alternative to fiat options.
Sunflower image via Shutterstock