As 2016 draws to a close, bitcoin prices continue to show strong, upward movement.
Depending on the media outlet you prefer, bitcoin is either "storming", "surging" or "creeping" its way back up to $1,000. In the past month alone, bitcoin has surged more than 33%, rising from $732 on 29th November to an annual high of $977.35.
At press time, bitcoin was up nearly 5% for the day's trading, capping off a seven-day period in which it saw 20% gains.
Should bitcoin prices breach $1,000 (the first time since January 2014), the digital currency could benefit from a handful of new tailwinds. The simple act of rising above $1,000, analysts say, is likely to generate greater visibility and therefore a flow of new money into bitcoin.
Surpassing $1,000 could also make this price a new support level.
Should bitcoin fall back after surpassing this point, the decline could motivate market participants to step in and buy the currency, thereby setting a price floor at $1,000.
But bitcoin prices will reach $1,000 soon enough, according to cryptocurrency hedge fund manager Tim Enneking, who told CoinDesk he expects the digital currency will start out 2017 at this price.
Enneking emphasized the importance of a "Santa Claus Rally" in 2016, meaning bitcoin's gains before and after Christmas.
Arthur Hayes, co-founder and CEO of exchange firm BitMEX, provided an almost identical prediction
"I am calling for $1,000 to be breached by the 31st of December 2016. The price corrected to $860 and was back above $900 in one day. That is a very healthy pullback," he told CoinDesk, adding:
"We will make a run for $1,000 before year end."
In an opinion piece issued yesterday, investor Vinny Lingham suggested the same, stopping short of any year-end price predictions but issuing a rosy 2017 projection.
"I expect to be within the $3,000 range by the end of next year, as I have previously forecast," he wrote.
Still, not everyone was convinced they could make a call.
Cryptocurrency fund trader Jacob Eliosoff emphasized that he believes the bitcoin and ether markets are likely to correlate through the year's end. While he acknowledged bitcoin is likely to pass $1,000, he didn't rule out that another cryptocurrency could attract attention through stronger gains.
In particular, he suggested a strong rise in long struggling ether prices, as an example, may be enough to move the market's attention elsewhere.
Further, he emphasized that "no one should bet too much on timed predictions" when it comes to cryptocurrencies.
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