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  • Andrew von Dadelszen


Bitcoin prices currently sit at US$3,800 per coin. Bitcoin investors have seen billions of dollars wiped off this cryptocurrency’s total value over the past year - but some are hoping for a recovery of fortunes in 2019. Its rise since 1st January 2017 (then US$836) has been spectacular, and reaching an all-time high of US$19,127 in December 2017. Bitcoin began 2018 with a value of around US$17,500 per coin. However, by April the cryptocurrency has plummeted to around $6,800 and then continued falling to hit a low of $3,200 in December.

Several factors have been blamed for last year’s slump, which saw the total value of all bitcoins sinking from US$327bn to US$66bn - taking bitcoin from the size from the size of Exxon Mobil to about the size of FedEx. These factors include the announcement in September that investment giant Goldman Sachs was axing plans to launch a cryptocurrency trading desk. A hard fork in the bitcoin network - where the digital token splits to form two new currencies - then triggered mass sell-offs in November, says Forbes.

However, while the cryptocurrency market is currently in a “bearish” state, meaning more declines are predicted, some experts believe the cryptocurrency is set to claw back some of the value lost in 2018.

Sonny Singh, commercial head of bitcoin payment service BitPay, said that he believes the digital currency may bounce back to around $20,000 by the end of the year. But Calvin Ayre, founder of bitcoin spin-off bitcoin cash, suggests the cryptocurrency may “plummet to zero in 2019”. That isn’t to say that the cryptocurrency market will collapse in 2019, but that bitcoin will be superseded by a superior alternative, adds David Thomas, a director at London-based cryptocurrency broker GlobalBlock.

There is very little clarity for the future of Bitcoin. However, given the current global uncertainty, it would be a high-risk strategy to invest more into Bitcoin than you can afford to lose.

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