Is 2020 the year for Bitcoin at $20,000?

According to a recent Bloomberg analysis, we can expect bitcoin to return to the heady days of 2016 and hit the $20,000 mark again, writes financial analyst Charles Bovaird.

The Bloomberg Crypto Outlook said, “Bitcoin is mirroring the 2016 return to its previous peak. That was the last time supply was halved, and the third year after a significant peak.”

It also suggests, “Bitcoin will approach the record high of about $20,000 this year, in our view, if it follows 2016’s trend.”

Most predictions about the value of Bitcoin depend on tracking its behaviour in the past. For example the Bloomberg report also notes, “After 2014’s 60% decline, by the end of 2016 the crypto about matched the 2013 peak.”

Naturally, any prediction about the leading cryptocurrency elicits a response from many other analysts. Bovaird remarked, “After this forecast was made, several analysts weighed in, with many stating that while bitcoin may very well reach $20,000 before 2020 is through, it will be for different reasons than the ones outlined in the Bloomberg analysis.”

There are those who emphasise the effect of the halving, which sharply reduced the rate at which new supply enters the market, while others pointed to “expectations of future demand as potentially pushing the digital currency’s price higher.”

There are a few who are firmly behind the Bloomberg prediction, such as Alex Mashinsky, CEO of Celsius Network. He told Bovaird, ““I’ve been talking about this 20k number since January,” saying that there are two key structural factors that should drive the price upwards.

Mashinsky is of the opinion that the halving in May is placing “tremendous deflationary pressure on bitcoin, and at the same time, we see a dramatic increase in the number of new people signing up and buying bitcoin.”

Furthermore, he added, “Increased demand, decreased supply beats out all the noise in the system and that will help us see these new highs in 2020.”

Eric Ervin, CEO of Blockforce capital also supports 20k this year for Bitcoin. He said “the significant amount of fiscal and monetary stimulus and the possibility of rampant inflation on the horizon. If you couple that with the relatively small market cap of bitcoin it becomes easy to see that we are at a tipping point.”

Ervin remarked on the fact that central banks are printing money at unprecedented rates and that this is part of the reason: “The fundamentals are lining up for a potentially explosive rally in the price of bitcoin.”

Others, such as Michael Conn co-founder of Zilliqa Capital, suggest that the big price rise will be supported by other activity: “I feel it will have a chance of approaching the $20k level because of fundamental growth in usage of the peripheral ecosystem.”

However, John Todaro of TradeBlock is less optimistic about $20,000, he said, “It’s certainly possible, but as of now there still remains considerable overhangs across financial markets as well as ongoing regulatory challenges to the space which could limit that trajectory from playing out as before.”

Are crypto exchanges poised for a growth explosion?

What will the financial sector look like in 2030 after spending the decade challenging the incumbent financial services? Leeor Shimron, a Forbes Contributor, believes that crypto exchanges are poised to capture the growth in this space.

To date, crypto exchanges have provided users with a first contact point with an ever-increasing range of crypto assets. Lets’ not forget that the first crypto enthusiasts were retail investors who for the first time were able to access a new asset class before the institutional investors. As a result, most exchanges, such as Coinbase and Binance, were set up to service demand from the retail investor. For example, as Shimron remarks, “In just 8 years, Coinbase propelled crypto to the mainstream serving over 30 million users.”

Follow the Internet’s history

There have been several commentators who have suggested that the crypto story is very similar to the emergence of the Internet. The Internet was a fundamentally disruptive and paradigm shifting technology, and crypto very well may exhibit similar changes, mimicking the growth in Internet usage.

Illustrating this claim, Shimron cites the statistics: “User adoption of the internet reached 10% of American households in 1995, five years after the first web browser was launched. User adoption reached 50% in the U.S. by the year 2000.” Currently, US adoption of crypto is at around 5%, and hasn’t seen the same rate of adoption as the Internet. This is caused by “issues of scalability, privacy, and ease of use,” something that the Internet also had to overcome.

However, if Bitcoin’s growth story follows that of the Internet, it should achieve user adoption of between 20–50% by the year 2030.

Crypto exchange growth

Shimron applies a similar metric to exchange growth. He writes, “To project future exchange growth in the U.S., I assumed 5% user adoption of crypto in the US currently and calculated revenue growth if user adoption reaches 10% (conservative case), 20% (base case), and 50% (optimistic case) in the year 2029.”

The resulting scenarios for 2029 in terms of exchange revenues are: “$1.9 billion in the conservative case, $3.8 billion in the base case, and $9.6 billion in the optimistic case.”

He also remarks that although the 50% adoption may seem far-fetched, there are indicators supporting it, including ample growth potential amongst retail investors and demographic changes over the next decade, with more 18–39 year olds living in cities and being more familiar with digital technologies and virtual goods. These millennials will also inherit $68 trillion from the baby boomer generation by 2030, and they are looking for new ways to generate yield and store their wealth.

So, the future for crypto exchanges is bright, “as new use cases and killer apps emerge,” alongside retail users flooding the market and exchanges capture this growth.

The Ugly Exploitation of 5G Fears

The Covid-19 pandemic has proved to be a fertile breeding ground that has brought together disparate groups, including anti-vaxxers and the anti-5G movement, on any platform they can find to share their conspiracy-based views. One of the most prominent claims is that 5G technology spread the coronovirus, even though 5G is not available ‘everywhere’.

Before that became a widely shared theory, we already knew that those who don’t want to see 5G launched had been pushing out information about the alleged dangers of 5G. We were all about to be ‘wi-fried’ by it, and children would be particularly vulnerable. I’m not here to debate the claims of the anti-5G movement, but I would like to alert people to one of the dangers that this kind of scaremongering can produce: the opportunity to be scared into buying into a health scam.

A Forbes story by John Koetsier illustrates it perfectly. It concerns a ‘5G Bioshield’ that is being sold for $350 per unit. The USB stick boasts features such as “quantum oscillation” and “restoring coherence of atoms” as well as “emitting life force frequencies.”

This is what the company selling it claims on its the website:

“Through a process of quantum oscillation the 5G BioShield USB Key balances and reharmonizes the disturbing frequencies arising from the electric fog induced by devices, such as laptops, cordless phones, wifi, tablets, etc., The 5G BioShield USB Key restores the coherence of the geometry of the atoms, which allows a perfect induction for life forces, by (re-)creating a cardiac coherence, via plasmic support and interactivity.”

It sounds like the answer to all those fears about the health damage that 5G is purported to inflict. It must be a very special USB stick to do all the above, must it not? You’d like to think so for $350.

The expert analysis

But when Pen Test Partners reviewed the stick’s properties, it “revealed nothing more that what you’d expect from a regular 128MB USB key,” states its blog. And they went on to say: “Usually with USB devices, one can look at the properties and it will list the manufacturer and extra information about the device. However, we found that all the default values remained. This is often an indication of cheap, unbranded devices.”

So, basically it is a $6 USB stick being sold for $350. Furthermore, the founders of the 5G Bioshield don’t appear to exist. Koetsier says, “A search for “Dr. Ilija Lakicevic,” listed on the website as one of the founders of the company, turns up nothing on LinkedIn. A search for him on the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics, where the 5G BioShield website says he worked, also turns up no results.”

Have they sold any? Yes. To the city of Glastonbury in the UK, which issued a statement saying, ““We use this device and find it helpful.” It is also worth mentioning that other health protection used in Glastonbury include Shungite, a mineral which is said to have healing powers that one “healing crystal” company says “span the board from purity to protection.”

Whether you agree with the theory that 5G is a health danger or not, I expect you can agree that paying $350 for a $6 product is quite simply — exploitation!