In this CoinDesk 2016 in Review special feature, CoinDesk contributor Charles Bovaird asks experts for their predictions of bitcoin’s price movements in the year ahead.



While bitcoin prices rose sharply in 2016, climbing to multi-year highs, they will likely push even higher in 2017, according to a panel of experts polled by CoinDesk.

Propelled forward by numerous forces including strong market momentum, rising interest rates and an influx of new money, the digital currency’s price could surge to fresh, all-time highs next year, the analysts asserted.

Bitcoin prices rose more than 100% in 2016, climbing from roughly $430 at the start of the year to $963.14 at around 19:00 UTC on 28th December, according to CoinDesk USD Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) data.

When polled mid-December and asked where they thought bitcoin prices would finish out 2016, analysts pointed to factors such as market dynamics and macroeconomic uncertainty when explaining their year-end forecasts.

They cited many of the same variables when weighing in on what they think bitcoin prices will do in 2017. In addition, they noted an influx of new money, rising interest rates and the way bitcoin has behaved in prior bull markets.

To get a broad range of input, CoinDesk sought input from several market participants, whose comments are included below:

Joe Lee, founder, Magnr

“2017 will be the year bitcoin’s price stabilizes over $1,500. I expect the year to bring fresh new highs since the Mt Gox fiasco in 2013. The progressive growth in market cap shows a slow and steady growth from new money entering the space throughout 2016.

“Further developments planned during the year such as an increase in transaction throughput and blockchain project integrations will see underlying support explode. 2017 will be the year of bitcoin.”

Bobby Lee, CEO, BTCC

“I think 2017 could be a continuation of 2016, in terms of it being a growth year for bitcoin’s price. We are clearly in a bull market for bitcoin now, and my experience tells me that bitcoin bull markets don’t end until the previous high ($1,150 in December 2013) is exceeded, and that the new price is several multiples higher than the previous high.

“In the short five-and-a-half years that I’ve been following bitcoin, I’ve seen this pattern repeat itself three times already.”

Petar Zivkovski, COO, Whaleclub

“With network scalability, a bitcoin ETF, smarter regulation, record trading volumes, increased fiat capital controls by governments around the world, and soaring consumer and smart money interest, 2017 is set to be a spectacular year for bitcoin.

“I’d predict an average price of $1,200 for 2017 and a year-end price of $2,000. Of course, these are mere extrapolations on current sentiment and factoring in some hiccups, but unexpected events are likely to set them off.”

Ryan Rabaglia, head trader, Octagon Strategy

“With the surge in pricing at the tail end of 2016 coming on strong, we’re continuing to be bullish heading into and throughout 2017.

“We believe [bitcoin’s use] as a legitimate alternative investment is going to be a major theme of 2017 … Things are looking up, and the market has and will continue to reflect that. We’re expecting to see prices north of $1,400 by year end.”

Vinny Lingham, entrepreneur and founder of Civic

Bitcoin prices will finish 2017 between $2,000 and $3,000, predicted Lingham, and they might surpass $3,000 during the year. He cited several variables that he considers are driving bitcoin prices higher, including rising US interest rates, a lack of US inflation and liberal use of quantitative easing.

This article is not intended to provide, and should not be taken as, investment advice.

Crystal ball image via Shutterstock

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