Bitcoin has been sliding amid a lack of capital inflows, raising questions about the future for bitcoin in the long-term.
Some analysts argue the nascent market has a long way to go before reaching maturity, as seen in traditional markets, where smoothed volatility and liquidity are important factors. While others imply scarcity inherent in its algorithm is the main factor for bitcoin’s perceived value, now and in the future.
A poll conducted by Alex Kruger, a macro cryptocurrency analyst, shows the majority of Crypto Twitter participants think bitcoin (BTC) will ‘eventually’ mature and settle into a wide price range, resembling the traditional commodities markets in real-terms.
To drive home what he meant, Kruger said “something that settles into a range in real terms still trends in nominal terms due to inflation, as most commodities do.”
But timing is always the question and BTC could be faraway from that level of maturity, where it ‘settles’ into a defined range as the budding market of cryptocurrency moves into its 10th year.
Willy Woo, a crypto on-chain analyst and trader, said the price of BTC still had some ways to go in discovering a price ceiling.
“Anything between a [market capitalization] of $10 trillion to $100 trillion is fair game,” Woo said.
BTC’s market capitalization, a measurement of total coins in circulation multiplied by its spot price, stands at $204.4 billion, down from its yearly peak of $233 billion witnessed June 27, according to information provided by Messari, a cryptocurrency data provider.
Kruger said volatility is likely due to the lack of total capital in the space right now. As the market cap increases, the impact to BTC by large market participants, aptly named “whales”, is likely to be less impactful in shifting price.
That is a sobering fact for retail investors as volatility tends to be the most attractive aspect to cryptocurrency trading.
For institutional investors, it would be a welcome change.
Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on public blockchains, said BTC resembles a commodity more than any other asset class, but also said that volatility isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
“The lack of a supply response to a demand shock all but ensures it is likely to remain volatile for the foreseeable future,” Cater said.
BTC’s halving, an event where the reward for mining new blocks is halved, meaning miners receive 50 percent fewer BTC for verifying transactions, is set to trigger on May 14, 2020.
In macroeconomics, scarcity tends to be a fundamental driving force that increases the value of an asset, much the same way that diamonds, oil and gold functions based on the supply and demand from speculative investors.
Oliver von Landsberg-Sadie, CEO of BCB Group, a regulated financial services enterprise for digital assets, said Kruger’s second scenario, in which scarcity continues to drive prices higher is likely to remain a constant forever. He also said global cryptocurrency adoption was a long way from mainstream adoption but said the markets continue to march on, regardless of price.
“I can tell you with great confidence that global adoption at established brands is growing steadily and purposefully,” Landsberg-Sadie said.
How far along BTC’s market cycle is, is yet to be determined, but if traditional economics prove true, BTC could be highly valued in the very near future.
Disclosure: This author holds no cryptocurrency at the time of writing.