The cryptocurrency, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary in January, suffered a horrific 2018, completely collapsing in price to $3,000 having hit record highs of nearly $20,000 just 12 months earlier. But 2019 has seen bitcoin threatening a return to past glories, with the cryptocurrency undergoing a huge revival that as seen its price more than double to $8,000. Several global banks and technology companies are investing time and money into developing their own cryptocurrencies, which has renewed the interest in bitcoin, with experts enthusing this could just be the beginning of its latest success.
The gains have made bitcoin one of the best-performing asset classes of the year so far. It could very well be the beginning of another steep rise
Simon Peters, analyst at global multi-asset investment platform eToro, told Express.co.uk: “Companies like Facebook and JP Morgan experimenting with their own cryptos and major retailers such as AT&T and Whole Foods accepting bitcoin has got investors excited again.
“The gains have made bitcoin one of the best-performing asset classes of the year so far. It could very well be the beginning of another steep rise.”
Marie Tatibouet, chief marketing officer of cryptocurrency exchange Gate.io, described 2018 as a “year of reflection” for bitcoin, with several large countries now accelerating regulation for the cryptocurrency.
She told Express.co.uk: “There has also been some positive movement on regulation, with countries pushing forward regulation (France, South Korea, possibly the EU).
“Regulation is a huge question mark when it comes to cryptocurrency, and it is one of the main factors in Bitcoin’s volatility. Once regulations are set, we are likely to experience a stabilisation.
Experts have also attributed the rise to what are normally seen as hugely negative political and financial situations.
Richard Snow, financial markets expert from DailyFX, said the escalation in the trade war between the US and China, as well as the subsequent weakening of the Chinese Yuan, has seen investors looking for different hedging opportunities, using towards bitcoin as a way of achieving that.
Investors also point to countries such as Turkey, Argentina and China, which are all closed economies and have suffered wild fluctuations as a result of geopolitical unrest, have turned to bitcoin to get their cash out of the country.
Cryptocurrency experts are confident the latest resurgence could see bitcoin’s price smash through its record high price of $20,000 over the next couple of years - last achieved in December 2017.
Danny Scott, co-founder and chief executive at crypto-exchange CoinCorner, told Express.co.uk: “If history is anything to go by, I have no doubt in bitcoin surpassing the previous $20,000 high in the near future.
“When exactly that will happen is hard to predict, but I would hope to see this within 2019.”
Marie Tatibouet, chief marketing officer at Gate.io, believes bitcoin could surge past $20,000 without actually slowing down.
She said: “Bitcoin typically increases hundreds of percentage points in a couple of weeks, sometimes even quicker.
“When it does surge, sometime within the next couple of years, it is likely to grow past $20,000 without slowing down.”
But cryptocurrency experts have warned bitcoin’s volatile history has shown it is always vulnerable to a huge price crash.
Daniel Wolfe, managing director at cryptocurrency fund Simoleon Long-Term Value, warned “turbulence for bitcoin is a near certainty - do not expect this to be a stable asset for many, many years”.
Mr Dennis added: “At the moment there are too many unseen variables in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a whole, and we’ve seen it’s susceptible to media hype and speculation, which can cause it to be overpriced and lead to another correction.”