Bitcoin ($BTC) has entered a bullish trajectory having recently hit its highest price level this year above the $38,000 mark. Despite regulatory crackdown on Binance and other industry giants, Bitcoin is proving resilient with optimistic news of the highly anticipated spot exchange-traded fund.
Its next halving event, which is taking place in April 2024, has also been cited as another significant price driver.
Bitcoin price predictions are optimistic after this recent rally and many have suggested new highs are possible.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin was the first ever cryptocurrency with it originally being founded in 2008 from a whitepaper by a person, or group of people using the psuedonym Satoshi Nakamoto. It was launched soon after, in January 2009. Since going live, it has been consistently the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation.
At the time of writing, it has a staggering market capitalisation of $744 billion, making up almost half of the entire industry.
Bitcoin transformed finance with its innovative technology that sowed the seeds for the cryptocurrency industry. By pioneering blockchain technology, $BTC enabled direct peer-to-peer transactions online.
This innovation eliminated the need for intermediaries in financial exchanges, aligning with Nakamoto’s vision of facilitating “online payments… directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution”.
Bitcoin’s inception marked the beginning of a new era in finance, introducing the entire concept of the cryptocurrency market, a decentralised form of money that can be transferred across the globe without the reliance on traditional financial institutions.
How does Bitcoin work?
Bitcoin operates on a blockchain, a type of distributed ledger that records transactions across multiple computers. This ledger is secured through advanced encryption techniques.
In the Bitcoin network, transactions are added to a new block, which is then encrypted and verified by network participants, known as miners. Upon successful verification, a new block is created, and the miners are rewarded with newly minted Bitcoins.
The Bitcoin network uses a proof-of-work model, where transactions are queued and validated by miners. These miners use specialised software and hardware to solve a cryptographic puzzle. The first miner to solve the puzzle gets to add the new block to the blockchain and is rewarded with Bitcoin.
Initially, Bitcoin mining was possible on standard personal computers. However, as the network expanded and more miners joined, the process became more complex, requiring more powerful hardware.
Initially designed as a peer-to-peer payment system, Bitcoin has gained acceptance as a means of payment for a wide range of goods and services.
It is now supported by various merchants and retailers, both online and in physical stores. Major payment providers like PayPal and Stripe have also integrated Bitcoin into their platforms.
However, Bitcoin has come increasingly under fire for its lack of utility compared to other blockchains and cryptocurrencies on the market. This was especially spearheaded after Ethereum’s launch, $BTC’s closest rival.
Ethereum ($ETH) distinguished itself by enabling the development of applications and secondary networks on its blockchain, a feature that led to widespread innovation in the sector.
Some applications have emerged to bring similar decentralised finance (DeFi) use cases to $BTC, but it is still lagging far behind leader $ETH. While Ethereum is ranked first with its $26 billion total value locked (TVL) in DeFi, Bitcoin is placed only 11 with $280m TVL.
Bitcoin price history
Bitcoin’s price has come a long way since its official launch in 2009. CoinMarketCap first started tracking the decentralised asset in July 2010 at the $0.05 price level. At the time of writing, it has gained over 60,000,000% since then.
As the market leader, Bitcoin’s price is often indicative of the wider industry. It saw a significant upward price momentum with the bull market at the end of 2017. While there were numerous different causes behind this surge, the crypto industry did start getting recognised by traditional finance giants. For example, the CME Group announced it would start listing the cryptocurrency on its futures marketplace.
$BTC rocketed to a new price record of $19,345.49 on 16 December 2017. While it eventually corrected from this level back down to the $3,000 level at the end of 2018, its next bull run took place three years later in 2021.
2021 was a bullish year for both the cryptocurrency and the wider industry. $BTC rocketed past the $40,000 mark in January and to a new high of $61,000 in April. The industry was profiting from the rise of DeFi and general venture capital investment.
Then, in June, El Salvador announced that it was making Bitcoin legal tender, which came into force in September. This law meant that $BTC must be accepted as a payment means throughout the country.
Bitcoin surged to its all-time high of $68,789.63 on 10 November. But the crypto hype eventually came crashing down in the following months and years.
$BTC closed the year below the $50,000 mark and stooped to $40,000 in late April 2022.
The collapse of the Terra ($LUNC) ecosystem and the subsequent chaos that ensued saw investors lose trust in the industry. $BTC crashed back to the $20,000 level in July.
Bitcoin drop to $15,599.05 in November, its lowest point of almost two years.
Recent Bitcoin ETF News
A year later and Bitcoin has started to recover. Its price has been bolstered by progress and anticipation of the first ever spot BTC ETF.
Major investment firms, including industry giants like BlackRock and Fidelity, are in line to introduce these spot Bitcoin ETFs. These funds aim to mirror the price movements of Bitcoin, offering investors a more direct exposure to the cryptocurrency’s value without the complexities and risks associated with using crypto exchanges or personal crypto storage.
Despite the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) postponing its decision, there is a growing expectation that these spot Bitcoin ETFs will receive approval in early 2024.
BlackRock is reportedly spearheading this initiative, having engaged in recent discussions with the SEC to iron out the specifics of its proposed spot Bitcoin ETF.
This development was highlighted by James Seyffart, a Bloomberg ETF analyst, who noted, “Looks like BlackRock also met with SEC!”
Seyffart’s comment came in response to similar reports about Grayscale, another financial firm, which had also held meetings with the SEC regarding their spot Bitcoin ETF proposal.
Upcoming BTC halving
Potential ETF approval is not the only thing driving Bitcoin’s recent momentum. The next Bitcoin halving event is expected to take place in April 2024. Bitcoin halving occurs approximately every four years, where it reduces the reward for mining new blocks by half.
Initially, when Bitcoin was first created, miners received 50 Bitcoins per block. However, this reward halves at predetermined intervals, approximately every 210,000 blocks.
The most recent halving, which occurred in May 2020, reduced the mining reward from 12.5 to 6.25 Bitcoins per block.
This mechanism is built into the Bitcoin network to control the supply of new Bitcoins and mimic the scarcity and value preservation similar to precious metals like gold.
Next year’s halving will reduce the mining reward down to 3.12 $BTC per block.
Recent price movement
When looking at recent price history, Bitcoin has recently just hit a new high in 2023. Bullish investors pushed it past the $38,000 level for the first time since May 2022.
At the time of writing, $BTC was trading at $37,908. The largest cryptocurrency was up 2% in the past day and 7% in the previous week. Over the past 30 days, Bitcoin’s price has grown by almost 10%.
Bitcoin price prediction
$BTC’s recent rally has led to some optimistic Bitcoin price predictions for 2023 and beyond. CoinCodex said that there is currently “bullish” sentiment, with an overwhelming majority of 29 out of 31 technical indicators pointing towards buy.
The site’s $BTC price prediction for 2023 said it could hit $40,264 in five days time and rocket to $54,886 in a month. It was bullish in the long term as well. CoinCodex’s Bitcoin price prediction for 2025 anticipated a new all-time high of $177,384
FX Street provided in depth analysis as well. It said: “Bitcoin price could run 5% north to test the $40,000 psychological level amid rising momentum and bullish RSI crossover.”
However, the site did note: “Increased selling pressure could see Bitcoin price fall back below the $38,008 support, or worse, test the $35,487 support. In a more dire case, the slump could see $BTC lose the support confluence between the horizontal line and the 50-day Simple Moving Average (SMA) at $33,912.”
A mixed forecast was provided by Gov Capital. Its Bitcoin price prediction for 2024 said it would climb to $70,405. However, a correction was anticipated. The BTC price prediction for 2025 expected it to drop back down to $67,000 at the beginning of the year. In five years’ time, Bitcoin was suggested to regain momentum and rocket to $246,474.
An incredibly upbeat analysis was given by DigitalCoinPrice, who saw the cryptocurrency averaging out at $75,400 this year. Its $BTC price prediction for 2024 expected to hit $91,000. This upward trajectory was forecasted to continue. According to the Bitcoin price prediction for 2030, the cryptocurrency was thought to reach $389,000.
Should I invest in Bitcoin?
It depends. Many bitcoin price predictions are optimistic after the recent new high this year, DigitalCoinPrice and Gov Capital have both anticipated new all-time highs. However, Bitcoin has proved extremely volatile and you should never invest more than you can afford to lose.
Is Bitcoin a good investment?
Bitcoin is the largest cryptocurrency and is recently on an upward trajectory as anticipation of the first spot ETF is growing. Investors should be cautious and always conduct thorough due diligence.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as financial advice. CoinNews and its authors are not financial advisors or experts. We recommend that you consult a professional financial advisor or conduct thorough research before making any investment decisions. Cryptocurrency investments carry a high degree of risk, and you should only invest an amount you are willing to lose. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of CoinNews or its affiliates.