Remember Bitcoin? The cryptocurrency that seemingly came out of nowhere and dominated every media outlet imaginable for a while. Everybody was going crazy, wondering whether they should invest or whether it was all too good to be true. We had our first “Bitcoin millionaires” and then “Bitcoin billionaires”. People who’d taken a gamble on this fancy new digital-age gold were reaping huge profits.
Anyway, if you’re reading this you’re probably wondering whether Bitcoin is still right for you? Well, right off the bat we can tell you that Bitcoin can offer very different things to a vast array of different people – are you one of them?
What is bitcoin again?
It’s actually quite simple to explain what a Bitcoin is and the Washington Post offers a great summary: Bitcoins are a virtual currency in which new coins are created by a slow, complex computer process known as “mining.” Once a person acquires a Bitcoin, he or she can trade it online to anyone who will accept it as payment for goods or services.
Right now, a single Bitcoin is worth about $3614 in U.S. dollars, though that value fluctuates A LOT. There are around 17.4 million Bitcoins now in existence, and once 22 million have been created, all mining will effectively cease. That’s right there’s a finite amount, which goes some way to explaining the huge value per Bitcoin.
Now of course, there’s a whole lot more depth to it than that. The whole thing relies on the blockchain, which is a digital ledger system, and takes a whole lot of time to wrap your head around, but we’ll leave you with this quote for now:
“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”
Don & Alex Tapscott, authors Blockchain Revolution (2016)
What’s next for Bitcoin in 2019?
Well, to put it briefly, a lot! Bitcoin was slowly falling throughout 2018, so there’s a lot of room for improvement. However, when you take into account that in 2013 one Bitcoin was worth about $140 and now it’s over $3,600, it’s hard to be too pessimistic. Here are some of the leading voices in the field of Bitcoin and what they predict will happen this year.
Ex-Goldman Sachs billionaire fund manager and founder of Galaxy Digital, Mike Novogratz thinks we’ll see a big surge this year. He thinks it’s realistic for Bitcoin to hit $20,000. Wow.
GlobalBlock are a little less severe in their prediction, and expect bitcoin to rise to $8000-$10000.
At the other end of the spectrum, Calvin Ayre (founder of Bitcoin Cash and now the face of Bitcoin SV) believes Bitcoin will plummet to zero in 2019. Bold, to say the least.
Tom Lee, has a more positive outlook (very positive indeed!) and believes Bitcoin can reach $36,000! However, he made similarly grand predictions in 2018, which did not materialise, so we’ll take his words with a pinch of salt.
CCN expects a slow grind up to a complete recovery for Bitcoin in 2019, hoping to see a level similar to that of the surge in December 2017, when Bitcoin hit sunny heights.
It’s fair to say everybody has a different opinion, but the general consensus is one of growth, which begs the question, should you hop aboard the Bitcoin express before it’s left the station?
Can i get involved?
It’s a good question and the short answer is yes! Lots of large companies are now adopting Bitcoin, so it’s certainly becoming more mainstream.
The good thing about Bitcoin is that absolutely everyone can get involved. Yes, it’s a bit tricky to get into and you’ll have to experiment to see if it’s a currency that works for you, but by and large Bitcoin is very accessible. It’s especially becoming popular with that tech savvy bunch of millennials we always hear so much about in the media. However, age really doesn’t matter when it comes to Bitcoin, all you need is internet and a computer to get started.
Here at MoneyMagpie we always err on the side of caution. So one thing we would advise is to not pump all your savings into Bitcoin. It’s a notoriously fluctuant currency and while people have made huge profits, there is also the possibility to make substantial and devastating losses. Overall, most people, us included, are pretty positive about Bitcoin. The technology it’s founded on, Blockchain, is being implemented in all sorts of areas and governments in particular are very keen on it. It’s definitely going to be an exciting year for Bitcoin, and if you fancy getting involved in something new, it might be time for you to explore what it has to offer. You might not become a Bitcoin billionaire, but who knows, maybe you’ll make a few bob.