"Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful," legendary investor Warren Buffett once said.
Perhaps now is the time to be greedy in the crypto market as the battered bitcoin (BTC) could soon find relief and rally to $63,000 by March 2024, when the cryptocurrency is likely to undergo mining reward halving – a programmed code aimed at reducing the pace of supply expansion by 50% every four years.
That's the latest forecast from Markus Thielen, head of research and strategy at crypto services provider Matrixport, which has $10 billion in assets under management.
The positive prediction is based on the assumption that bitcoin will repeat the bullish price action seen in the lead-up to the July 2016 and April 2020 halvings. On both occasions bitcoin ran into bullish winds 15 months ahead of the halving and, in the halving month, traded 39% higher from where it changed hands two years ago.
So if history is a guide, bitcoin could see a change of fortunes starting next month and rise to $63,160 by March 2024 to trade 39% higher than the March 2022 price of $45,538.
"Prices started to rally 15 months before the next halving (November 2022) and they tend to finish 39% from where they traded 24 months prior. This would imply that bitcoin trades around $63,160 (March 2022 at $45,538*(1+39%) = $63,160) by March 2024," Thielen wrote in the latest edition of Matrix on Target note.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. That said, history often rhymes and the macro outlook could improve in the coming months. Federal Reserve officials recently hinted at a slower pace of monetary tightening from December. Besides, there are signs of China softening its stance on crypto, according to Thielen.
"The timing of Hong Kong potentially legalizing retail crypto trading in order to become a crypto hub right after China's Party Congress, which is held only twice every decade, signals that China is changing its stance towards crypto," Thielen noted.
"Russia has also changed its stance in light of the economic sanctions. President [Vladimir] Putin and China are seeking an alternative to the USD system. Together with Saudi Arabia, which desires to join the BRICs nations and is keenly interested in upgrading their economy into Web3, a new multi-year crypto bull market might be starting," Thielen added.
Bitcoin has seen three reward halvings to date. Prices soared from $8,800 to $69,000 in 18 months following the third halving dated May 12, 2020.
The fourth halving was initially slated to happen in May 2024. However, with the hashrate or computing power dedicated to mining blocks surging during the bear market, the reward halving is now expected to take place in March 2024.
After the event, the per block reward paid to miners will drop from 6.25 BTC to 3.12 BTC, bringing the cryptocurrency's inflation rate down to 1.1%. Bitcoin miners solve complex algorithmic problems to mine blocks and verify transactions in return for rewards paid in BTC.
The cryptocurrency's fixed monetary policy of halving supply expansion every four years contrasts with the ever-increasing fiat money supply. That has motivated many, including business intelligence firm MicroStrategy, to adopt bitcoin as a reserve asset.
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