After a poor performance in 2018 when Bitcoin lost 80 percent of its market cap, there were tentative signs of recovery in December. The cryptocurrency’s value rose from $3,183 on December 15 to a high of $4,705 by December 20, before beginning 2019 at $3,826.10. There was another spike in the first week of January as it rose to $4,040.99 last weekend, only to plummet to $3,620.85 this weekend.
This could be a make-or-break year for Bitcoin, which generated a media frenzy in late 2017 after its value skyrocketed. Many investors jumped on the bandwagon, then spent large chunks of 2018 cursing their luck as its value eroded. It remained volatile throughout the year, making it a risky proposition for sports bettors seeking to take advantage of the ease, speed and anonymity it offers. Huge price fluctuations could wipe out winning margins by the time the bettor came to cash out, so many were nervous about utilizing its undoubted benefits in fear of the undoubted drawbacks.
Many commentators wrote obituaries for Bitcoin and indeed the entire cryptocurrency movement throughout 2018, but an increasing number of establishments continue to invest in it. It is not just sportsbooks and tech firms getting involved in crypto, as Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Apple, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Toyota, Shell and Walmart are all exploring it in one way or another. As always, there are advocates declaring that Bitcoin will be soaring once again by the end of 2019, and doomsayers claiming it will have died.
Economist Nouriel Roubini, dubbed “Dr. Doom” in some quarters of the press, said: “”Blockchain is the most over-hyped – and least useful – technology in human history. No asset class in human history has ever experienced such a rapid boom and total utter bust and implosion.’ He predicted the value of Bitcoin would be “close to zero’ in due course.
However, Mike Novogratz, founder and chief executive at The Galaxy Digital, claims it will see an all-time high before the end of 2019, meaning it would hit the $20,000 mark. Sonny Singh, chief executive at BitPay, is also anticipating a price of $20,000 by the end of the year. David Thomas, director and co-founder at Global Broke, said: “If we look at previous trends, it takes on average around 67 weeks for Bitcoin to recover and proceed to new all-time highs. If you follow this logic, then Bitcoin would be heading towards U.S. $20,000 in the second quarter of 2019.’
But in a more measured fashion he added: “With positive news, ETFs and regulation, we believe Bitcoin will recover to the U.S. $8000 to $10000 levels during 2019, which given where it is today would on balance be a decent year.’
Perhaps the most notable projection for anyone in the gaming industry comes from Calvin Ayre, the controversial and charismatic founder of Bodog. Ayre, who is now a billionaire thanks to his exploits in iGaming, is backing Bitcoin Cash SV to thrive at the expense of Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash, a rival cryptocurrency to Bitcoin, forked off in two new chains: Bitcoin Cash ABC and Bitcoin Cash SV. The latter is short for Satoshi’s Vision, referencing Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. It currently has a market cap of $1.48 billion, making it a lot smaller than Bitcoin’s $164.2 billion, but Ayre is convinced that Bitcoin Cash SV is the right horse to back.
When asked for his projections on Bitcoin, he said: “I’m afraid I am predicting it to go to zero value as it has no utility, it does not do anything and they intentionally are anti-scaling.’ But he added: “Bitcoin, the technology and economic model, are alive and well with Bitcoin and it is going to have an amazing year.’
He said he thinks it will usurp all of Bitcoin’s market cap, so it might be worth taking a look at. In the meantime, it is advisable to proceed with caution when using any cryptocurrency for wagering purposes, due to the rapid fluctuations it can face. It is often worth quickly changing any winnings back into fiat currencies such as dollars if you bet with crypto for your sports picks.