Bitcoin’s most sustained period of price stability in its history is about to come to an abrupt end, cryptocurrency experts have warned.
Since early September, bitcoin has not experienced any major market movements, trading between $6,000 (£4,670) and $7,000.
This unusually narrow range comes after months of steady losses, falling from a high close to $20,000 in late 2017 – market analysts predict it could be the “calm before the storm”.
Pointing to previous periods of stability, Albright Investment Group founder Victor Dergunov wrote in a blog post that he expects to see prices increase substantially over the coming months.
“This is not the first time bitcoin has seen calm waters. We’ve seen similar periods of modest volatility, and humble price swings,” he wrote.
“Primarily, similar low volatility phenomenon have occurred in the very late stages of bitcoin bear markets [whereby prices fall as investors sell]. Everyone seemingly loses interest, volume dries up, news flow quiets down, and then, when you least expect it, the next bitcoin bull market begins [whereby prices rise as investors buy].”
His comments follow similar predictions by blockchain technology expert Ian McLeod, who told The Independent last week that the cryptocurrency market will “explode” in 2019.
According to Mr McLeod, however, the big price gains will come from one of bitcoin’s rivals, such as ethereum or stellar.
“We can expect bitcoin to lose 50 per cent of its cryptocurrency market share to ethereum, its nearest rival, within five years,” he said.
“Ethereum is already light years ahead of bitcoin in everything but price and this gap will become increasingly apparent as more and more investors jump into crypto.”
Before 2017, bitcoin’s last major price spike came in 2013, when its value rose from below $100 to above $1,000 in the space of just a few months. There followed a brief price crash before a sustained period of steady losses and market stagnation that saw bitcoin trade between $200 and $600 for more than two years.
If bitcoin mirrors this trend, investors may have to wait until some time in 2020 for the next significant price falls or gains.
This lack of market movement would be welcomed by some within the cryptocurrency industry, however, with price volatility often cited as one of the main stumbling blocks preventing bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from being used as a mainstream form of payment.
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