4 Blockchain pros on where the coin is headed next
- Bitcoin has jumped over 60% so far this year, paring losses from a brutal 2022.
- Insider spoke to four crypto experts about what’s next for bitcoin in 2023.
- A blockchain executive said bitcoin cannot reach record highs until US inflation is under control.
After a tumultuous 2022, bitcoin is up more than 60% year-to-date, and the total value of the cryptocurrency market is well over $1 trillion.
The industry has seemingly bounced back since the fall of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX in November, along with a string of other industry bankruptcies including centralized lender Celsius, brokerage Voyager Digital and hedge fund Three Arrows Capital earlier this year.
While it can be difficult to predict bitcoin’s moves, experts told Insider that there are a few things to watch this year to get a sense of where the world’s largest cryptocurrency is headed.
First, bitcoin cannot claim another all-time high until the macroeconomic environment clears up, Charmyn Ho, head of crypto insights at digital asset exchange Bybit, told Insider. The crypto traded at a record high of $67,566 in November 2021, per Messari.
“However, a possible headwind is the potential recession forecast to hit the US, Europe and other major economies due to a stubbornly inverted yield curve,” Ho told Insider. “Couple this with a bunch of other uncomfortable macro factors – like inflation – many investors would rather stay on the sidelines.”
“This contributes to the most sideways price action we’ve seen,” Ho added.
However, an important technical event for Bitcoin’s network, the halving, could significantly push the token’s price up. Although the halving is expected to happen in April 2024, Ho says that bitcoin could break before the event.
“Bitcoin halvings are significant because they halve the production of new bitcoins on the network,” Ho said. “This limits the supply of newly minted coins, and thus leads to a price increase if demand persists.”
“Litecoin, which is due to halve this year, is up about 90% since its low in Q3, 2022,” Ho said. “Therefore, if we take that as a guide, it is possible that we could see a similar 90% move from Bitcoin’s Q3, 2023 price, which would provide a rough target of around $60,000.”
Jagdeep Sidhu, president of the Syscoin Foundation, expressed similar optimism about the halving.
“Although we have faced some storms recently, the resilience of the crypto ecosystem is still evident. From the ashes of FTX, the market has bounced back, demonstrating its inherent capacity to absorb shocks and evolve,” Sidhu told Insider.
“As we approach the next Bitcoin halving and crypto dominance appears to be peaking, we are in for some exciting developments in the crypto world.”
If inflation cools in the US and there is regulatory clarity around digital assets, another crypto executive told Insider that bitcoin could reach $38,000 by the end of the year, a 41% increase from today’s trading levels.
“My base is that bitcoin will trade in a range between $25,000 and $32,000 for the rest of 2023,” said Tim Shan, COO at decentralized crypto exchange Dexalot. “However, if we see inflation remain high, I think bitcoin could trade back to this year’s lows.”
“The short- and medium-term driver is still inflation, and specifically US inflation. I think core inflation has been quite sticky, but will continue to ease in the US, leading the Fed to taper for the rest of the year,” Shan added.
David Uhryniak, who works in ecosystem development at blockchain infrastructure provider TRON, is confident that bitcoin will end the year “significantly higher” and could end 2023 above $35,000.
“Right now, smart traders are waiting for greater validation of which way bitcoin and the rest of the market will move next before committing serious money,” Uhryniak told Insider. “By Q4, much of the uncertainty that has shadowed the market all year should have subsided. Things like concerns about the Mt. Gox coins being liquidated or the US government selling its stockpile of BTC confiscated from black markets.”
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