Many members of the crypto community believe that Bitcoin (BTC) has already found the bottom and now is set to rise again; however, economist and independent investor Tuur Demeester argues that for the rest of the current year we could see Bitcoin trading sideways or with a downward bias.
Demeester added that the jaw-dropping Bitcoin rally to $20,000 the crypto world witnessed in 2017 actually started as early as August 2015, from under $200 level, so the market needs some time now to cool off and absorb this 30-month historical move.
While maintaining a bullish stance on Bitcoin’s longer-term prospects, Demeester considers 2018 as the year demanding great care and caution.
“I think chances are high for this year to be remembered as a shakeout year: a lemon market in altcoins, regulators catching up, and infrastructure growing pains,” he wrote.
The respected economist and crypto investor provides five key reasons for that.
1 – Miners are to blame. Growing Bitcoin mining hashrate amid declining prices makes the process all too expensive. Those who failed to upgrade their equipment faced a profound decline in profitability and were forced to get rid of their coins on the back of decreasing profit margins and prices.
“With profit margins under heavy pressure, it’s not unlikely that miners are and will stay responsible for a significant amount of selling in the market,” the expert writes.
2 – Trading volumes are well below the levels seen last winter and spring, which adds to the potential Bitcoin blues.
3 – Retail interest is fading away. Demeester refers to the findings of the Gallup survey conducted last quarter and showing that less than 0.5% of US investors were considering buying Bitcoin in the near future. Besides, Google search trends and merchants data are not supportive either.
4 – Institutional investors involved with cryptocurrency, are engaged in speculative trading, which means that they will be happy to take on both short and long positions;
“Institutions who are known to be long-biased, such as mutual funds and pension funds are not ready to invest because they’re not yet comfortable with the available custody solutions,” Demeester adds.
5 – No Bitcoin ETF as of yet. Demeester believes the first Bitcoin ETF won’t be approved this year, which might upset those waiting for this move next month. But when it eventually happens, the market may go ballistic as it will make the asset much more accessible for retail investors. He reminds that after the launch of the first gold ETF, the gold price rallied by 350%, and hopes something similar might happen to bitcoin.