Bitcoin, the world’s most prominent cryptocurrency, has been making headlines once again as experts and analysts offer bullish predictions for its future value. Standard Chartered, a leading financial institution, recently stated that the price of Bitcoin could reach $50,000 by the end of this year and soar to $120,000 by the close of 2024. These forecasts are based on the belief that the recent surge in Bitcoin’s price will incentivize miners to hold onto more of the digital currency, leading to a reduction in the available supply. In this article, we delve into the factors behind these predictions and explore the potential implications for the cryptocurrency market.
Standard Chartered initially forecasted a value of $100,000 for Bitcoin by the end of 2024 back in April. However, Geoff Kendrick, one of the bank’s top foreign exchange (FX) analysts, has revised this projection, suggesting a 20% “upside” potential for the currency. Kendrick explained that the increased profitability for Bitcoin miners, resulting from the recent price surge, would allow them to sell a smaller portion of their newly mined coins while maintaining cash inflows. This reduction in supply, coupled with sustained demand, is anticipated to drive Bitcoin’s price higher.
Since the beginning of this year, Bitcoin has experienced an 80% surge in value. However, its current price of just over $30,200 remains less than half of its peak price of $69,000 in November 2021. The cryptocurrency market faced substantial setbacks in 2022, with trillions of dollars wiped out due to factors such as central banks raising interest rates and the collapse of several crypto firms. Nevertheless, the recent collapse of traditional-style banks has contributed to a recovery in the crypto sector.
Standard Chartered’s rationale for the projected price rise lies in the behavior of Bitcoin miners, who generate approximately 900 new bitcoins daily worldwide. These miners traditionally sell a significant portion of their freshly minted coins to cover operational costs, primarily electricity expenses for powering their high-performance computers. However, with the potential for Bitcoin’s value to reach $50,000, miners might choose to sell only 20-30% of their newly acquired coins, reducing the overall supply in circulation.
Another crucial factor in Bitcoin’s potential price surge is the upcoming reduction in daily mining rewards. In April or May of an unspecified year, the number of bitcoins available for mining each day is set to halve due to an inherent supply and issuance mechanism in the cryptocurrency’s design. This measure is implemented to gradually limit supply and maintain Bitcoin’s appeal over time. As the supply decreases, scarcity may drive up demand and subsequently increase its price.
It is worth noting that bold predictions of astronomical valuations have been common during previous Bitcoin rallies. In November 2020, a Citi analyst speculated that Bitcoin could climb as high as $318,000 by the end of 2022. However, the cryptocurrency closed the year down approximately 65% at $16,500. These examples highlight the inherent volatility and unpredictability of the crypto market, cautioning against blind faith in overly optimistic projections.
The future of Bitcoin continues to captivate the attention of financial experts and enthusiasts alike. Standard Chartered’s recent predictions suggest significant price increases, with projections of $50,000 by the end of this year and $120,000 by the close of 2024. The potential decrease in Bitcoin’s supply due to miners holding onto more coins and the impending halving of mining rewards are key factors contributing to these forecasts. However, it is essential to approach such predictions with caution, as past rallies have shown the market’s capacity for volatility. As Bitcoin’s journey unfolds, it will be fascinating to see if these projections come to fruition or if the cryptocurrency market surprises us once again.