In a panel debate at Blockchain Live 2018 in London Wednesday, experts came to head over whether there is, in fact, any way of accurately predicting Bitcoin price and that of other cryptocurrencies.
Speaking on the panel was Jemima Kelly, Alphaville reporter at the Financial Times, Jane Lippencott, business development at CoinFi and Origin X Capital, and Lisa Cheng, founder of the Vanbex Group.
A “fool’s game” vs the “FUD is real”
Kelly stated outright that she believes 100 per cent of Bitcoin price predictions fail, and the only way they succeed can only be attributed to luck. ”Everyone knows predicting future prices is a fool’s game,” she said, pointing out that the vast majority of the time, predictors have incentives themselves whether they are betting long or short on the value.
She also described her interpretation of a mismatch between the value and usability of cryptocurrencies, saying that one does not have any relation to the other. There are also problems with the mentality of Bitcoin investors as Kelly sees it: ”Why are you hodling if you can use it? You don’t want the value to fluctuate loads.”
Lippencott corrected her by saying that hodling is no different than holding cash or storing it in your bank account, only that “it’s just a cooler term”. In terms of Bitcoin price, the business development expert thinks that negative speculations have a lot to do with bear markets: ”FUD is real and it influences the price.”
Cheng, on the other hand, thinks that the lack of crypto fundamentals ultimately leads to unsophisticated analyzers who are responsible for bad predictions. She made note that the early Bitcoin investors account for a large share of the market and they do have incentives to swing the price by publicizing forecasts.
”Education is necessary before investment,” Lippencott agreed.
Mass adoption – are we there yet?
One of the topics that caused most contention between the panel was when the question was raised regarding the timeframe for Bitcoin mass adoption. Kelly, for one, thinks that this already happened, peaking at the top of the bull market in December last year. Lippencott refuted, saying “mass adoption is blockchain”, adding that once blockchain becomes part of peoples daily lives, which she sees as inevitable, Bitcoin will finally reach its full potential.
Cheng also sees the present as far from peak adoption levels and believes right now we are in a trough. While she agrees that speculative interest may have fallen now, the approval of an ETF will make an impact and she expects Bitcoin to reach USD 9,000 by December.
”Why not say 20K or 100K? We don’t know, we can only speculate,” challenged Lippencott.
Another area that Cheng sees as important to wide-scale cryptocurrency usage is the release of the first state-backed version, though she does not believe Venezuela’s Petro counts: ”When a country creates their own cryptocurrency we will see mass adoption. The Petro is extremely problematic and cannot be used as a case study. ”
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Image Courtesy: Amelia Trapp/ Blockchain Live 2018