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Bitcoin set for $80k peak, forecasts report

The price of bitcoin (BTC) surged to $64,206.51 on Tuesday, 19 October just 1 percent shy of its April 14 all-time of $64,899. However, a Bitcoin Predictions Report by Finder.com predicts the price could go as high as $80,000 before dropping to $71,415.

The Bitcoin Prediction Report is a result of Finder.com’s panel of 50 fintech specialists. The experts were asked in late September to early October for their thoughts on how bitcoin will perform over the next decade.

The majority of them see BTC hitting $80,021, with over a fifth (23 percent) predicting the price will reach $100,000 or higher. The number is roughly higher than the panel’s end of year prediction back in July and 37 percent higher than the panel had predicted back in December 2020.

The panel’s optimism is not surprising given the recent rise in the price of bitcoin. As of the time of writing this article the price was at $64.028 on the Coinmarketcap index. The rise is attributed to the debut of the ProShares bitcoin-linked exchange-traded fund (ETF) on the New York Stock Exchange.

A bitcoin ETF has long been expected by both the crypto community and investors, many of whom have argued for years that approval by regulators would open digital currencies to more mainstream investors. The ProShares fund is based on futures contracts and was filed under the mutual fund rules that Gary Gensler, the Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman has said provide significant investors protections.

The ProShares fund is the first bitcoin ETF to trade in the US on a regulated exchange. The ETF, which tracks CME bitcoin futures, rose more than 4 percent on Tuesday.

Read also: Bitcoin price hits 5 months high on speculation

Some panelists like Alex Nagorskii from DigitalX Ltd, who predicts BTC will end the year anywhere from $60,000-$99,000, say the approval of a BTC ETF will likely propel prices upward.

“We are expecting an SEC-approved Bitcoin ETF to be brought to market prior to the end of 2021. As such we expect a huge uplift in both the bitcoin price and its dominance in terms of percentage of total market capitalization,” he says.

Nagorskii is part of the 60 percent of panelists who say they are in favor of a BTC ETF, while 22 percent are against it and 18 percent are unsure. Investors like Mark Cuban say they are not planning to invest in a bitcoin ETF or a bitcoin futures ETF.

Iwa Salami, associate professor at the University of East London noted that the approval of an ETF would not only help current crypto investors diversify their portfolios, but would encourage more retail investors to invest in the digital asset.

“Bitcoin ETFs would be a way to give more retail investors the opportunity to invest in this asset class without necessarily understanding the technology or going through the rigors of setting up a cryptocurrency exchange account,”

“It would also help those who lack confidence in holding bitcoin directly, due to risks such as the potential of permanently losing them through the loss of the password of the wallet holding bitcoin and other digital assets,” she said.

Gavin Smith, general partner Panxora Crypto Hedge Fund is part of the 22 percent against a BTC ETF, saying there won’t actually be a need for one in the future.

“An ETF is trying to fill the gap because of inadequate custody arrangements available for bitcoin holdings that made it unfit for certain financial institutions. As custody capabilities improve, the added layer of costs introduced by ETFs becomes less and less necessary.”

Before the bitcoin ETF debut, there has also positive news that drove prices upwards like El Salvador’s adoption as legal tender and Twitter enabling bitcoin tipping for its creator community. The feature allows Twitter influencers to earn money from anywhere in the world without any geographical restrictions. Twitter partnered with Strike, a platform on Bitcoin Lightning Network, which can execute instant international payments at virtually no cost.

“I believe we are in the opening stages of rapid bitcoin adoption that will spread past El Salvador and Twitter and into more traditional areas. As this occurs, the general public will be increasingly exposed to bitcoin and this shift from obscurity into the mainstream will catapult bitcoin prices higher for the next few years,” said Rob Chang, CEO, and director, Gryphon Digital Mining. Chang says BTC will peak at $111,000 this year.

The panelists also predicted higher prices for BTC in the longer term. For example, they predict that by the end of 2025 and 2030 prices will rise to an average of $249,578 and $5,237,082.

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