Bitcoin has made a strong start to the new year after a troubling 2018 and now some of the cryptocurrency's biggest supporters are making bold bets about its long-term potential, hoping to drum up a fresh wave of enthusiasm and support for the bitcoin price.
Bitcoin has spiked this week, up 7% for the year so far though still a long way from its all-time high set more than 12 months ago, as investors look forward to a number of developments on the horizon.
The bitcoin price is now around $4,000 per coin, down almost 80% from its near $20,000 peak, but that hasn't stopped the likes of bitcoin veteran Andreas Antonopoulos and the Winklevoss twins of Facebook founding fame talking up its potential.
Speaking in a Reddit Ask Me Anything Cameron Winklevoss, who with his brother Tyler founded the Gemini bitcoin exchange, said he thinks bitcoin is will remain the number one cryptocurrency and is "most likely the winner in the long term" as "it's hard to defeat network effects."
"We believe bitcoin is better at being gold than gold. If we're right, then over time the market cap of bitcoin will surpass the $7 trillion market cap of gold," Tyler added. "We believe in the long game."
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Bitcoin's market capitalization is far from that currently, however, having fallen from $320 billion over the last year to just $70 billion today, according to CoinMarketCap data.
The twins also said they "are committed as ever" to making a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) "a reality."
Expectations around an imminent bitcoin ETF fuelled investor demand for bitcoin over the last couple of years, helping to propel its epic bull run throughout 2017. Those expectations have been somewhat dampened lately, however, as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission frets over potential price manipulation.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency investors who have weathered the so-called crypto winter are though eagerly looking forward to major global stock exchanges offering bitcoin futures contracts and the highly-anticipated Bakkt bitcoin platform.
Meanwhile, Andreas Antonopoulos, a long-time bitcoin advocate and author, said he also expects bitcoin’s market cap to one day eclipse that of gold.
"I think it will be one of the many reserve currencies that can be used to underpin value on other things. There doesn’t have to be only one anymore," he said, speaking via his YouTube channel.
As the bitcoin and wider cryptocurrency market has fallen in value over the last year, investors have fretted over slow adoption among retailers and consumers, delays to long-awaited institutional investment, and the ever-present threat of tougher regulation.
The GTI Vera Convergence Divergence indicator, which investors use to detect trend reversals, shows that bitcoin is in its longest "buying streak" in six months, it was first reported by Bloomberg.