“The 2018 Bitcoin Crystal Ball”

Yitzi Weiner
Jan 2, 2018 · 92 min read
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Did you miss out on the Bitcoin Bandwagon? Own some but want to know if you should sell them or wait? I reached out to 75 Bitcoin experts for their informed predictions about Bitcoin over the next 5 years. The following is what they shared with me.

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Brad Garlinghouse, CEO, Ripple

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Brad Garlinghouse is the CEO of Ripple and a member of the Board of Directors. Prior to Ripple, Brad served as the CEO of file collaboration service Hightail. Previously, he was President of Consumer Applications at AOL from 2009 to 2012 and held various positions at Yahoo! from 2003 to 2009, including Senior Vice President. Brad formerly served as CEO of Dialpad Communications, held management positions at SBC Communications and @Home Network and was an advisor to Silverlake Partners. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Animoto and OutMatch and has held board positions at Ancestry.com and Tonic Health.

2017 has been filled with ups and downs in the cryptocurrency industry — from ICOs to forks to pricing volatility. Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, has some bold predictions for what’s next for the industry in 2018:

Bitcoin and Ethereum will see new challengers. Everyone knows Bitcoin and Ethereum, but other cryptocurrencies that have real use cases and increased adoption will challenge the status quo.

Coins without use cases will scramble to find them. CryptoKitties is just the beginning of what will be a series of ridiculous attempts to find a use case for coins that never had a purpose to begin with.

Investors will have FOMO. As crypto market caps continue to reach record highs, we’ll see investors jump ship from traditional VC funding to focus entirely on crypto funds.

One blockchain won’t rule them all. Blockchain and crypto projects that don’t embrace interoperability will fall to the wayside.

The ICO bubble will burst. Regulators are already cracking down on ICOs, but next year we are going to see people go to jail and community backlash as the majority of ICO projects fail to deliver on their promises (like the laser razor you backed on Kickstarter — it’s not going to happen).

Peter Vessenes, Managing Director of New Alchemy, Co-founder of the Bitcoin Foundation

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Peter Vessenes has deep roots in Bitcoin, tokenization, and blockchain technology. He founded the first venture-backed Bitcoin company, co-founded the Bitcoin Foundation, founded the first company to deliver 65nm Bitcoin mining chips at scale, and holds the fundamental patent for deanonymizing Bitcoin transactions. He was also the first to suggest pooled Bitcoin mining, and the first to publicize the security risks that ultimately took down The DAO. He holds a degree in theoretical mathematics from Brown University.

I believe tokenization will become more relevant and widely used than bitcoin in the next five years. I was drawn to blockchain technology, particularly the idea of tokenization, because I knew it was going to be a groundbreaking development that would have the potential to disrupt industries and the overall economy. I knew it had the potential to be the largest technological shift of this decade. I was intrigued and excited by tokenization’s ability to democratize commerce and finance. I started New Alchemy as a way to further explore the possibilities of tokenization and to aid innovative startups in launching their tokens to best disrupt their industries and bring about the changes needed for the economy to become more inclusive and efficient.

Timothy Tam, Co-Founder, CoinFi

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Tim started his career as an analyst in Goldman Sachs working on statistical arbitrage and algorithmic trading. He then moved to Asia working as a Senior Trader at two hedge funds Nezu Asia and Segantii Capital in Asia, each with over $1.5 billion USD of assets under management.

Over his career he has traded equities, foreign exchange, equity derivatives and convertible bonds in the US and over 10 Asian countries. He has managed daily trading exposure of up to $1 billion at peak and was intimately involved in managing risk during the 2008 global financial crisis trading the highly volatile markets and the unwinding of risk.He then moved to co-founding a hedge fund and was involved in raising $20 million in assets in its first year.

Tim is now the co-founder of CoinFi, the cryptocurrency market intelligence platform with hedge fund-caliber trading tools for real-time news, data, and analysis on the crypto markets.

“Compared to the kind of tools and on-demand financial analysis to which equities traders have access, the cryptocurrency market is drastically underserved. As cryptocurrency heads mainstream — and don’t kid yourself, it absolutely is going mainstream with the recent rollout of futures trading and talk of government regulation — look for an entire industry to spawn around tracking and analyzing the crypto markets. Now that traditional and experienced Wall Street investment bankers are dabbling in crypto, an arsenal of advanced tools, algorithms and products, including derivatives, is probable.

But with a surging market comes a dark side. Over the next five years, expect to see cases of fraud arise that aren’t necessarily new to Wall Street but certainly new to the crypto market. Pump and dump schemes and false “flash crashes” will be common until the government is able to sniff out the culprits.”

Sara Rose, Founder, Dmanna

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Sara Rose Harcus is a former chemist, current Cryptocurrency trader, and perpetual entrepreneur who eats spreadsheets for breakfast. Her data-driven articles have been cited by publications such as CNN Money, Fortune, and BusinessInsider. She is currently endeavoring to reduce the rate of annual Urinary Tract Infections globally by half, through her company Dmanna, whose goal is to minimize UTI occurrences currently affecting 150 million people each year.

Bitcoin, and the blockchain technology it is built on, has the potential to change the world. Like many movements that aspire to this, it won’t get there without encountering its fair share of skeptics, naysayers, and dated economists who think to liken Bitcoin to the Tulip bubble. Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies like it, are not a Tulip bubble. People said the similar things about the Internet.

It’s a currency that can’t be counterfeited, stolen, or traced. Transactions are instant and secure. It would be foolish to think there’s not a place for this technology in our everyday lives. We just haven’t realized it yet. But Disney has, with their implementation of what is now Dragonchain. And finance has too, with Nasdaq Inc. chomping at the bit to launch Bitcoin futures. Almost every bank is implementing blockchain technology. Goldman Sachs invested over $100 million in it. The country of Tunisia’s national currency is built on blockchain.

It won’t be long before we’re using Bitcoin to buy through online payment processors like PayPal. By 2023 you’ll be able to purchase gas at the convenience store with your bitcoins. Maybe in 2027 the naysayers will subside. Bitcoin will be worth over $100k per coin by the time that happens.

Until then, HODL.

Kristoffer Nelson

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Kristoffer Nelson is COO of SRAX (www.srax.com) and founding member of its initiative BIGtoken (www.bigtoken.com). He has diverse professional experience in operations and sales in the media and technology industry. Kristoffer has a passion for developing teams, products, partnerships, and awe-inspiring customer experiences. Previously, he worked as Director of Training for Connexion Technologies, Lead Consultant & Project Manager for Living Full Blast Inc. and Pacific Integral. As COO at SRAX, Kristoffer’s creative thinking and problem solving has helped the company grow its team, sales, and products.

Many compare this to the rise of the internet and web. Late last month (November 2017), Bitcoin hit $10,000. Similarly, in November, 1995, another new and small start up skyrocketed after going public in August. Netscape went public on August 9, 1995 with a price of $28.00. Before the day closed, the price went to $74.75, and closed at $58.25. Netscape broke $100 in November and went on to skyrocket to $174 by the end of the year. This catapulted the Nasdaq and drove massive economic gain for five years.

Bitcoin hitting $10,000 was our Netscape moment. Adam Lashinksy said, “Netscape mesmerized investors and captured America’s imagination. More than any other company, it set the technological, social, and financial tone of the Internet age.” Bitcoin is capturing imagination and driving enthusiasm.

In 2000, the dot com bubble burst and it took years for the Nasdaq to recover. However, we were left with Amazon, Google, AOL, MSN, Yahoo, and many of the building blocks that make up our world today. The Nasdaq again is reaching new highs and breaking new records.

Blockchain and crypto is in it’s infancy. We’re driving up the hype cycle. The bubble will likely burst. But what will come of that is the value human enthusiasm creates.

In addition, ICOs have replaced a large portion of early stage investment vehicles for tech and ecommerce businesses. Deal flow has had a massive slow down for early stage firms, which will need to shift to later stage investments to survive. At the same, the size of ICOs is typically, at least, 5 to 10 times that of early stage investments, for the need for later stage capital has lessened. But the street goes both ways. Given the capital opportunities with ICOs, which require blockchain and token tech, there will be an overall shift to blockchain and token friendly businesses.

Investment vehicles for cryptocurrencies and crypto derivatives will be available for traditional banks and retail investment firms. This will move a lot of capital into crypto while challenging traditional investment vehicles.

James Song, CEO, ExsulCoin

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James Song is the founder and CEO of ExsulCoin, a blockchain technology startup focused on solving the global refugee crisis. He is also the creator of Jezuba, an AI-driven blockchain app delivering free basic education that is currently being tested at the Kutupalong Rohingya Refugee Camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

Previously, James managed the investment portfolio at Faircap Partners, a Myanmar private equity firm, where he currently remains as a senior advisor. He is also the founder of Faircap Angels — Myanmar’s first angel investment group. Prior to his work in Myanmar, James was a principal at Fury Capital, an event-driven special-situations hedge fund, where he applied his extensive analytical skills to uncover deep-value inefficiencies in U.S. securities.

James graduated salutatorian from Harvard University, and received an MSc in neuroscience from University College London. His extraordinary accomplishments and proven track record have been recognized by the World Economic Forum, which recently named him a Young Global Leader.

Bitcoin will be replaced by another, more useful technology over the next five years. Before that happens, in the shorter term, banks will get increasingly involved with bitcoin, and create financial products around them. One of these products will be some type of insurance product that protects traders against losses. Bitcoin’s price will keep going up, maybe to $1,000,000, and banks will make a lot of money selling this insurance product, since they can continue collecting premiums on an asset that seemingly won’t stop rising.

They’ll bundle these insurance products into other derivatives and then make money selling those, too. And then, one day, when no one expects it, bitcoin’s price will rise a bit too high, and no one will want to buy it anymore. No one has ever seen a cryptocurrency panic, and this will be the first. People will lose everything: entire retirement accounts will vanish overnight; bitcoin billionaires will become bitcoin street beggars.

Banks that sold insurance products against bitcoin losses will be forced to declare bankruptcy, but will not go bankrupt. Instead, they’ll off-load the “bad debt” into a structured product, then give all the people they owe money to “shares” of that product. Banks will survive. People will be angry. A state of emergency will be declared. Regulations will be passed and bitcoin trading will be heavily constrained. That’s when people will move onto a another, more useful blockchain technology.

Zack Allen, Manager of Threat Operations, ZeroFOX

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Zack Allen is the manager of threat operations for ZeroFOX in Baltimore, MD. His interests include security research, devops and threat intelligence. He was previously a researcher working for Fastly solving internet scale network security problems. He is a member of SPARSA, his alma mater’s premier security club, the honeynet project and is a contributor to the OWASP CRS project. In his offtime he is an avid climber, runner and tinkers with old PCs at home.

With bitcoin eclipsing $16,000 today, the ordinary person can clearly see the value of cryptocurrency. The problem with this industry is that much like the ordinary person, cryptocurrency exchanges and companies are very new to this space and are figuring it out as much as we are. As the market accelerates at a ridiculous rate, its volatility also accelerates. New cryptocurrencies, new mining operations and new exchanges rear their heads to take market share, but they may not appreciate the risk they carry for their customers.

The lack of consumer protection laws and the rapid creation of companies to handle transactions put the end user at extreme risk. These new companies would have to prioritize operational requirements or usability over security to compete against other companies who are trying to capitalize on the market. Once security is deprioritized, small security decisions can have extreme risks associated with them.

As the crypto market figures out how to deal with cybersecurity issues like with the recent NiceHash hack, it’s important as a consumer to make the right decisions when selecting escrow accounts or exchange websites. Brand prowess or chic-ness of the website should not be anywhere close to the top of any end user’s priority. Do they have a history of breaches or security incidents? Are they part of bug bounty programs? Do they have an email address to disclose vulnerabilities? Is there a security team there?

It will be interesting to see how the crypto market evolves over the next five years given the cybersecurity concerns attached to this currency.

Kevin Kleinman, Founder of Watchhimtrade.com

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I started trading markets in the Summer of 2008 after graduating high school. I quickly knew that I was in the right place and that no formal education would teach me what I was learning every day at the height of the financial crisis. Today, I help traders and investors navigate markets as the founder of Watchhimtrade.com, an educational live trading platform. Having tracked bitcoin since it’s original explosion higher in 2013, I have seen first-hand the uptick in demand for bitcoin related insights and analysis. Our members trade bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, bitcoin related stocks, and many other asset classes. One thing I’ve learned is that where you buy is a lot more important than what you buy.

Here is one piece of advice: once your Facebook friend that you haven’t talked to since high school stops posting statuses about Bitcoin, that is when it will be a better time to buy.

In November 2013 Bitcoin went from $200 to $1000, which isn’t much different on a percentage basis to the move of the last 2 months. What happened next can provide insight into what might happen over the next 5 years: Bitcoin held its value, but didn’t rise in value for about 3 years. My prediction is bitcoin fluctuates wildly between $5,000-$25,000 for the next 5 years, in a way that is similar to what followed after 2013’s rise. If you study price increases like the one bitcoin has experienced, it would be unprecedented for the gains to continue in the near-term.

Functionally, it is likely we see more merchants start to accept bitcoin as payments. When something is worth more than a dollar, there becomes incentive to start accepting that as payment for goods. We will see this start to play out. However, it remains to be seen how effective this will be for merchants after figuring transaction costs and exchange benefits. What will the merchant who sells his goods for bitcoin think of his sale, if 1 day later the price of bitcoin goes down by $1000?

There is a tremendous risk and reward balance that businesses will have to debate when it comes to bitcoin. The decisions these business make, and the technological advances they pursue, will dictate where the currency is in value and what it is being used for over the next 5 years.

Jørn Lyseggen, Founder and CEO of Meltwater

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Jorn Lyseggen, the founder of MeltWater, a global leader in data analytics, recently wrote a book called Outside Insight Navigating a World Drowning in Data that I found incredibly useful for analyzing Bitcoin data. The premise of the book focuses on why external data is the future of corporate decision making, and how leaders can capitalize on the right data insights to make market predictions that guide better, more informed decision making.

I’ve found the concepts of Outside Insight to be helpful when examining trends in Bitcoin. Using MeltWater’s Outside Insight data that tracks the amount of media coverage and social media coverage Bitcoin receives on a day to day basis, I noticed trends such as that Bitcoin’s price in many cases has continued to rise whenever there was a spike in the quantity of news coverage on it. Remarkably, this was the case even when the news coverage was negative. Using external data points such as news coverage quantity to observe trends such as this can be very beneficial to understanding trends and how it can inform decision making.

Charlie Minard, CPA; CryptoCPAs

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I am co-founder at CryptoCPAs which is a tax accounting firm that focuses on cryptocurrency trading. We are the industry leader in accounting for any gains/losses in Bitcoin from a tax perspective.

If lightening network works as planned and scales Bitcoin core accordingly, Bitcoin will likely become the dominant coin and will gain mass adoption. If scaling continues to be an issue, then it is possible for on-chain scaling to become the preferred option and Bitcoin Cash may overtake Bitcoin.

Bryce Weiner, CEO of AltMarket, Inc.

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Bryce Weiner, CEO and Founder of AltMarket Inc., is a renowned expert and innovator in the cryptocurrency space. Bryce began his blockchain engineering career in 2012 by building his own bitcoin mining farm. Now, with over a dozen blockchain networks to his credit (several of which are publicly traded), Bryce is one of the most experienced blockchain engineers in the industry. Bryce is also CEO of Tao Records and founder of the Tao Network, a public blockchain network specifically tailored to suit the needs of music industry applications. Prior to founding the Tao Network, Bryce was a software developer for firms such as Thomson Reuters and Lockheed Martin.

Bitcoin will top $100,000 in the next 24 months, and $500,000 within the next 60. Bitcoin is a “bubble,” but not as is commonly assumed. Bitcoin isn’t backed by a government, which makes it unique and what provides the “bubble” aspect of it’s economics. As a result, in the next five years corporations and governments will begin to custody Bitcoin as a balance sheet asset. As the price of Bitcoin rises, the political landscape may begin to shift as “Bitcoin wealth” begins to explore influencing the offline world. By the end of the next five years nearly every American will own some form of cryptocurrency.

Matt Oppenheimer, CEO of Remitly

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Matt Oppenheimer is the co-founder and CEO of Remitly, the largest independent digital money transmitter in the United States, whose customers transfer more than $4 billion annually. Remitly is disrupting the broken $588 billion remittance industry with its mobile-first money transfer service that is easy, affordable and secure. To date, Remitly has raised more than +$60 million from leading venture capital firms. The inspiration behind Remitly came when Matt was working for Barclays in Kenya and saw how difficult it was to send and receive money overseas. Matt was drawn to the global impact his business could have: remittances eclipse foreign aid in improving global wealth equality and give people who receive them upward mobility. He began working on the problem immediately as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Highway 12 Ventures in Idaho and launched the company from Techstars in Seattle. Matt was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 in the Pacific Northwest and has been recognized as a Puget Sound Business Journal 40 Under 40 honoree for his work with Remitly. He holds a MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Dartmouth College.

Bitcoin will remain a store of value, and we have no idea if it will go up 50x or go down $10. We can’t predict this. The future of Bitcoin is not likely in the payments space, but it is an acceptable store of value and working well for some who invested early on.

Other digital currencies: Bitcoin is the monster in the room, digital currency market cap is so different, currently at a combined market cap of $175 billion with Bitcoin leading the pack at $79.7 billion (Coinmarketcap.com). After bitcoin Ethereum comes the closest to Bitcoin at over $36 billion, but the rest drop below that dramatically. The entire digital currency space is till considered a big TBD — but the rapid growth is interesting to watch.

Blockchain is quite the buzzword used pretty loosely. Similar to how people use buzzwords like Big Data, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence. There are components of those methods already used by companies, but these terms give it a brand.

For what it is and what it does, many companies already use some Blockchain-like methods but most people don’t really know what they’re talking about when talking about Blockchain and it’s not consumer-friendly. Companies are feeling pressured to consider or adopt Blockchain, and those who fall under this pressure will be slow to actually adopt it. Used internally by companies it would be very positive for customers as it would make payments faster and add additional layers of security.

Dr Tim Lynch Psychsoftpc

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Dr. Tim Lynch, President of Psychsoftpc, received his Ph.D. in Psychology of Computers and Intelligent Machines from Boston University. Shortly thereafter, Omni Magazine named him the first Robopsychologist or Computer Psychologist. He was then written up as a computer psychologist, or psychologist who studies how computer interaction effects personality and how to make computer interfaces more user friendly, in the Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, the London Sunday Times, Computer World, and many other publications. As part of his Doctoral Dissertation on the Effects of Computer Use on Personality and Social Interaction Patterns, he created Artificial Intelligence Natural Language software which was the basis of programs used by NIH division of AIDS Research and the United Nations, among others.

Psychsoftpc makes high performance Virtual Reality ready Gaming Computers, GPU Tesla Personal Supercomputers for cryptocurrency mining, Turn Key GPU Tesla Supercomputer Clusters for Big Data & Research & cryptocurrency mining, Virtual Reality ready Professional Workstations and turn key Big Data Hadoop Clusters in Quincy, MA Computers Built in the United States With Traditional Massachusetts Craftsmanship by Psychsoftpc of Quincy, MA USA

Psychsoftpc is an artisanal computer company, so they hand craft all of their machines and subscribe to a Just In Time philosophy. They are constantly evolving their machines with the very latest technology and are often the first to put out machines that take advantage of the latest tech because they don’t stock parts or pre-build machines which have to moved before they can use the most advanced technology in their machines. So while the other guys can take months to put out machines with the latest, fastest tech, the folks @Psychsoftpc can take days. Thomas Friedman in his book Thank You For Being Late says we must constantly adapt to rapid shifts in technology because of accelerating technological change, specifically the impact of Moore’s Law and market forces which are linking the world more powerfully than ever before. Unlike the other guys out there, Psychsoftpc embraces this. They are constantly adapting and improving their machines. They don’t release new model names, just improve the machines they build with the latest tech as it comes out.

Bitcoin will go up and down over the next 5 years while bitcoin mining will become more difficult and require more and more robust and powerful computing technology while blockchain will continue to thrive and find more uses beyond just cryptocurrency. Bitcoin will also face increased competition from other cryptocurrencies but there will be a culling of the herd and many of the newer ones will fall by the wayside as the cryptocurrency market becomes saturated and most lose their value. since cryptocurrency is private and not state sponsored or backed there will always be risk involved in its use.

9 More Bitcoin Experts Predict What Will Happen With Bitcoin Over The Next 5 Years

Mark Jeffrey, Founder & CEO at Guardian Circle & Guardium

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Mark Jeffrey is an award-winning technology entrepreneur with 25 years of experience and three exits. These include The Palace (sold to Communities.com in 1998), ZeroDegrees (sold to IAC in 2004), TargetClose, Mahalo (now Inside.com), and ThisWeekIn. He’s also a published author of nine books, including BITCOIN EXPLAINED SIMPLY (2013) and THE CASE FOR BITCOIN (2016).

Mark recently founded Guardian Circle, the first emergency response system that acts as an AMBER Alert-style warning for your own private network. This free app rewards emergency responders in cryptocurrency with Guardium, the company’s new token.

In my 2015 book, The Case For Bitcoin, I laid out a scenario where Bitcoin would be worth $500K per coin within five years. I still believe that — so I am not surprised at all by the rising price. It is inevitable that it will go even higher — much, much higher. It is simply the best ‘store of value’ the world has ever seen, and more people are understanding that.

Ian Balina of IanBalina.com

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Ian Balina is an author, entrepreneur, speaker, cryptocurrency advisor and investor that uses data-driven analytics to find top performing ICOs.

He leads a global syndicate of investors that invest between $100k-3M in ICO projects. He’s been featured in WSJ, Forbes, HuffPo, INC, Entrepreneur, and more.

He’s been named one of the top 2017 Crypto Trader/Analysts by Coindesk, Crypto Influencer to Follow on HuffPo as well as spoken at high profile events such as Hybrid Summit, ICO Forward, Blockchain 360, and Block CON.

He quit his day job at IBM earlier this year to go full time into crypto currency investing, and started his own Patreon group which accumulated over 1100 patrons (50k/mo revenue) in a matter of a week.

His Youtube channel (27k + subscribers) covers ICO reviews, AMAs with ICO founders, Livestreams, and new Diary Series which covers the his daily grind.

He’s built all this through his obsessive commitment to his engaged audience through his social media profiles and showing people how to start side hustles, make 100k+ in their 20’s, as well as invest in the top performing ICOs.

Over the next 5 years, Bitcoin will reach a global scale of adoption. Innovation will continue to push developers to create mainstream applications. Within five years from now someone from around the world will use Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies in apps like Paypal and Venmo to pay someone. Speculating on price, I think 1 BTC will be over a million within 5 years. The early adopters of Bitcoin will be filthy rich. There will be many more countries where Bitcoin is accepted as an official form of payment. This will also potentially bring more stability to countries that have traditionally unstable currencies. The population will be more confident in a real store of value, not just an inflationary fiat from their government.

Ryan Derks, Owner, Ryan’s Hodl Fund

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I previously worked as a licensed investment manager for 8 years. After 4.5 years of investing in Bitcoin I quit my job this summer and started an SEC registered cryptocurrency management fund. The goal is to remove the major barriers keeping people from owning cryptocurrencies while also doing the due diligence and security to make sure they’re successful.

Bitcoin will continue to rise as more and more people understand the value it provides. When Wikileaks was cut off from traditional financial institutions they went to Bitcoin. When Zimbabwe overthrew their dictator in Nov 2017, that night, they went to Bitcoin(price increase of over 50% due to demand). An rough estimate is 1% of the global population owns some Bitcoin. If that number only increases to 5% globally I would expect a large short-term supply shortage that increases the value dramatically. Also, as Wall Street institutions and their counterparts in other countries get involved, the ways to access Bitcoin will grow significantly. This again will create more demand than available supply.

The more that people realize the benefit of the separation of government and money the more adoption Bitcoin will see. People in countries like Brazil, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and more do not need to be lectured on the benefits of a decentralized, consensus based, asset ledger that is uncontrollable by their government. They have been living the opposite for decades.

Like online dating, Bitcoin has little value if only a few people use it. As weird as online dating was when it first came out it is just a routine part of society now. I suspect we will see a consistent increasing number of businesses and individuals accepting cryptocurrencies as payment for goods and services.

Within 5 years, Bitcoin could easily be above $200,000 per coin. The only thing that stands in the way of anyone using Bitcoin is access to the internet. The only thing, in my opinion, that can stop Bitcoin is Bitcoin itself.

Yasmeen Drummond, Halo VC

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I have been in bitcoin since 2012. I now work with Joey Krug (founder of Augur), who is now CIO at Pantera for their $100M ICO fund as well as their digital asset fund. I recently started my own syndicate called Halo VC, with the intention of creating community around female angel investors who are passionate about healthcare and science. I am passionate about finding ways to improve women’s empowerment and health through blockchain, bitcoin and ethereum.

Women will increasingly gain access to all forms of crypto-currency and in connection with this, women will become more empowered and gain agency through forms of work that is decentralized, community focused and world-changing. Women will come together to work on decentralized projects that service their families, cities and children. Children will start to understand bitcoin and have allowances in the form of crypto currency.

Kayvan Alikhani, CEO, Compliance.ai

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With more than 25 years of experience in startups, tech and the financial industry Kayvan leads Compliance.ai strategy and operations. Most recently, Kayvan led the identity strategy at RSA, and represented EMC on various industry alliances such as the FIDO board. He is well-versed and experienced in the finance sector

In 2018, Financial services companies will take advantage of Blockchain based solutions to address Anti-money laundering perils. Regulations driven by KYC requirements will force crypto-currencies to modify their existing approaches of user anonymity, and to provide visibility and oversight to help foster usage and uptake within global financial markets. Look to FINCEN to collaborate across international boundaries to set forth standardization of KYC requirements, which could then enable using the digital trail as superior replacement to the fiat paper trail, enabling transaction transparency to help tackle money laundering.

Justin Wu, Head of Growth at Coincircle

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Justin is head of growth at CoinCircle, a blockchain startup that tokenizes established companies & enterprises. Outside of blockchain, Justin ran growth of a $3m Kickstarter in 30 days & led SaaS products to $1m ARR in a year. He also shares daily tips on growth hacks & insights on the business side of Blockchain, collaborating with such brands as the Wall St Journal, CES, and NASA.

Bitcoin will exist but won’t be the dominant coin in the next 5 years. It will continue to have an explosive and strong store of value per coin due to scarcity, but it will have strong competition from other next generation cryptocurrencies and other emerging blockchain(s). There could be new structures beyond the concept of blockchain as well. We will see tokens that will achieve greater scalability, and advancements that will allow for high transactions across many real life use cases beyond Bitcoin.

In the near future, the market in the future will be more open to other cryptocurrencies beyond just Bitcoin as there will be multiple exchanges and gateways that allow for direct purchase of those tokens. We will also see big players such as enterprises and organizations enter the space to tout their technologies & industry positioning as the defacto token for its specific industry. They will be bringing their household brand names with them along with their customer base to attract more mainstream retail investors, Wall St. and beyond. In fact, the best killer apps will be invisible to the masses, where blockchain and crypto might not even be mentioned. We will see more progression into a tokenized world & economy where every action would be exchanged through tokens.

Jameson Lopp, Infrastructure Team Lead, BitGo Inc

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Jameson Lopp is a software engineering team lead for BitGo, an enterprise digital asset security service based in Palo Alto. He is the creator of Statoshi, a fork of Bitcoin Core that analyzes statistics of Bitcoin nodes, founder of Mensa’s Bitcoin Special Interest Group, and founder of the Triangle Bitcoin & Business meetup. In his spare time he waxes philosophical upon the nature of Bitcoin.

Over the next five years Bitcoin will continue to gain mainstream acceptance as a superior store of value. We’ll see similar adoption patterns as we have with most emerging technologies — they will be used first by tech savvy citizens of wealthier countries and eventually as it becomes cheaper and easier to use, will be adopted by a greater diversity of people. As BTC gains a greater reputation than gold, we’ll see a mass influx of value not just from individuals, but also from sovereign wealth funds and central banks that manage currency reserves.

The road to “hyperbitcoinization” will be rocky. The larger Bitcoin grows, the more threatening it becomes to incumbents. We can expect to see more innovative attacks arrive in the form of social, technical, and financial manipulation. It will come down to the community of users to detect and mitigate these attacks — they are what make Bitcoin robust. If Bitcoin weathers the storms ahead, it will eventually emerge as the dominant currency that can withstand attacks from even the most powerful entities.

Irving Gonzalez, Day Trader, Founder of Crypto Royals

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Crypto is a full time job and hobby of mine.

Bitcoin has a low market cap and is not where near a bubble as everyone might claim.

I mean gold’s market cap is at the trillions, while Bitcoin is tiny and only at $300 billion.

I could easy see reach $50,000 to $100,000 per Bitcoin, if nothing drastic happens to it .

I don’t think Bitcoin will be the currency of the future, but will become more like internet social security for millennials.

There are many other cryptocurrencies that have better technology and future applications than Bitcoin.

I like Bitcoin, but I’m not not sold on it remaining the top dog for long.

I’m sold on other coins that can do Bitcoin’s job so much better.

Bitcoin is the first, but not the best.

I view Bitcoin like the first model T Ford ever made.

It was amazing and groundbreaking, but as time passed on we have faster and better options.

I mean would you rather drive a 1908 Ford or getting in a 2018 Lambo?

Another 9 Bitcoin Experts Share Their Predictions About The Fate Of Bitcoin Over The Next 5 Years

Matt C. Pinsker, Adjunct Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University

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Professor Matt C. Pinsker is an expert in homeland security and criminal justice. An officer in the US Army Reserves, he holds a JD and LLM in National Security & US Foreign Relations and is an Adjunct Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). A prolific writer, Matt Pinsker has authored a textbook in national security as well as multiple articles published in peer reviewed legal journals. Formerly, Mr. Pinsker worked as a prosecutor and magistrate, and also practices criminal defense. He has trained countless police officers, federal agents, attorneys, members of the military, and others responsible in the nation’s security.

We can expect to see the use of Bitcoin grow and expand over the next 5 years, and unfortunately, much of it will be for the wrong reasons. Although the impetus of creating a digital currency was legitimate concern about privacy and freeing the markets from government control, that is not what is driving Bitcoin’s ever increasing usage. Cybercrime is annually a half-trillion dollar enterprise and growing. We are seeing online sales increase for drugs, weapons, child pornography, and (stolen) financial information. For those behind this criminal activity, Bitcoin is the most secure payment method because it is nearly anonymous. This enables online marketplaces where people can purchase illegal goods as if they were purchasing children’s toys on Amazon, with little fear of government tracking. As these underground markets continue to grow, so too will demand for Bitcoin.

There is a possibility that Bitcoin could disappear, but that is entirely dependent on governments and hackers, and not its users. As a way to curb criminal activity, governments are looking to find a way to track Bitcoin payments just like they can currently track ordinary transactions. If they are successful, the value and usage of Bitcoin will plummet because, for most of its users, the loss of anonymity will defeat the whole point of Bitcoin. An issue of lessor concern is that Bitcoin could be hacked and stolen from a user’s accounts. Already, North Korea is suspected of being involved in some attempted Bitcoin hacking. This issue already exists with regular funds in financial institutions, and for many people in criminal enterprise (like drug dealers) being robbed from time-to-time is part of the cost of doing business. However, should it ever reach the point that hacking becomes so bad that Bitcoin is unreliable, then its value and usage will plummet.

Caleb Chen, Editor in Chief, Block Explorer

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Caleb Chen believes in a philosophy that is simple and contagious: Decentralization is changing the world, join in or get left behind. Caleb is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he studied Economics, East Asian Studies, and Mathematics. In 2016, he was part of the first class of MSc in Digital Currency graduates from the University of Nicosia. Caleb has has been a journalist and consultant in the Bitcoin space since 2013. He is currently the Director of External Communications at Private Internet Access and the Editor in Chief at Block Explorer News.

Over the next 5 years, I predict that we will see the Bitcoin market cap overtake the market cap of an entire continent. It doesn’t matter what the Bitcoin price is in 5 years. By the end of the next 5 years, the world will have come to accept that blockchain will change the world as much or more than the Internet did. Bitcoin as Digital Currency and a store of value will continue to grow as more people learn about Bitcoin — that is to say that the next 5 years will also be replete with both severe bubbles and crashes. My last prediction is that a country will start utilizing Bitcoin technology for their own Digital Currency in the next 5 years. The next 5 years of Bitcoin are going to be even more exciting than the last 5 years.

Marc van der Chjis, founder and director of Hut 8, a bitcoin mining company, the founder and partner of First Block Capital, a cryptocurrency investment fund, and co-founder and chairman of First Coin Capital, a global ICO advisory firm

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Marc van der Chijs is a Dutch serial Internet entrepreneur and crytpo investor based in Canada. He co-founded Chinese leading online video site Tudou.com in Shanghai in 2004 and helped to take it public in 2011. In 2013 he moved to Vancouver where he joined CrossPacific Capital as a partner, investing in financial technologies, especially in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. Marc started investing in Bitcoin in 2013 and has spoken at many Bitcoin and blockchain companies over the years. Among others he is a founder of First Block Capital, the first fully licensed Canadian crypto asset management company, First Coin Capital, an ICO investment bank, and the FBC Bitcoin Trust, the first regulated Bitcoin investment vehicle in Canada.

Bitcoin will evolve from just a store of value to a medium of exchange over the next couple of years. This will happen because of second layer solutions such as the Lightning Network, that will lead to widespread adoption and to a user experience that is just as easy as debit or credit cards. This will allow hundreds of thousands of transactions per second (much more than credit card networks) and more importantly, it will allow micropayments. Bitcoin will change the way the Internet works because of these micropayments. The advertising model will likely be replaced by a model where you pay very small amounts of bitcoin in order not to see ads, and social networks like Facebook will be disrupted because users will now get paid for their content instead of the social network.

At the same time bitcoin will remain a store of value that will slowly start to replace gold. Millennials will not invest in gold anymore but will opt for bitcoin instead. In 5 years the bitcoin price will be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, so it will lead to a huge redistribution of wealth from the older generation to the younger generation. Bitcoin will change the world!

Brad Hines, Startup Advisor and Investor at www.bradfordhines.com

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Startup Advisor, Investor, serial entrepreneur founder of YumDomains.com and Nerdplaythings.com. Personal finance writer and creator of board games Recollection and Cheechowban. Degree in finance. www.bradfordhines.com/press

Bitcoin may not even be the leading cryptocurrency anymore. In the same vein as how “Friendster” was the social media network recieving venture backing in 2002, and a household name shortly later, now you are hard pressed to find a younger millenial that even knows what it was. So as facebook emerged when the dust settled, some of the other cryptocurrencies are more based on more robust blockchain technology than that of bitcoin, bitcoin is simply the current most-known. It’s possible that bitcoin won’t be the first widely-adopted digital currency, and instead that a so-called altcoin will bear the title (Ethereum, Ripple, Dash, etc.)

Eric Allred, Chief Executive Officer, Blockchain Technology Partners

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Launching multi-strategy hedge fund that will focus on investment in trading, mining, and investing in blockchain technology-related companies. Also, feel strongly about stating I don’t think there are any “true” experts in this industry, would prefer to be referred to as an enthusiast or believer :-)

Goes to the “moon” or goes to zero. Unlike gold it has to compete with other currencies (LTC, DASH, etc.). Unlike the gold rush, the speed and ease at which users can collect information and act on it is faster than ever before which I believe has strongly contributed to the pandemonium. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another currency dethrone Bitcoin. It has severe scalability issues and with the hard forks and fragmentation of the community I believe you could see it lose support long-term.

From the projects I’ve researched the most effective protocols have nodes adding resources to the network as they join the network.

With Bitcoin additional nodes require more resources to be consumed to simply protect a larger network; more network relaying, and keeping a larger network on the same page and synchronized.

To play devil’s advocate, it also acts great as a store of value despite the volatility for countries facing hyper inflation or for citizens that want to protect their money from situations like the 2013 Cyrpess Bail-in.

Bitcoin has become the eponym for cryptocurrency, and every great technology has needed a bubble to get the focus and attention required to go mainstream. I see massive gains, massive bloodshed, and a whole lot of turmoil over the next 5 years for the entire marketplace. It’ll be interesting.

Jonathan Chester, Founder & President of Bitwage

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Jonathan Chester is founder/President of Bitwage and Inwage as well as a contributor on Forbes for all things bitcoin & blockchain related. Jonathan has been in the Bitcoin industry as an early adopter since 2013, running Bitwage, the most popular payroll & invoicing platform built on top of Bitcoin. His second company, Inwage, leverages Bitwage’s 18k workers for IT consulting, IT development and recruitment services to build out ICOs and the projects behind those ICOs for other companies. Jonathan has been featured in Les Echos, Entrepreneur magazine, and Quartz. He has consulted members of the European Parliament, dutch banks & regulators and the California Senate regarding regulation of the blockchain industry. He has spoken at conferences such as Viva Technology, SCAPayments, Transact15, BIP001 and CoinAgenda.

Bitcoin is the best store of value that we have ever seen. The previous best store of value was gold. Why not the US dollar? It is because of inflation. If you wanted to save money for your great great grandchildren, they would likely have more value if you stored the money in gold instead of the US dollar. This is due to the scarcity of gold. Unlike the US Dollar, there is a finite amount of gold that exists. Bitcoin is perfectly scarce. There will ever only be 21 million Bitcoins ever created and, like gold, it does not rely on any particular government to maintain its value. However, unlike gold, Bitcoin is digital. This means it is easier to hold, easier to carry and easier to spend. Try buying something online with gold. While gold may have some value due to its ability to conduct electricity, this is not what drives its 7.5 trillion US dollar valuation. That valuation is driven by its scarcity, its separation from government production and the trust that people have that other people will continue to value its aesthetic qualities. Given that Bitcoin is perfectly scarce, is separate from government production, builds trust through the ability to control your money online without any intermediaries for the first time and is easier than gold to maintain, secure and transact with, it is easy to see that Bitcoin will compete with gold’s 7.5 trillion US dollar market capitalization.

My company, Bitwage, interacts with digital currency exchanges around the world. By speaking with the exchange owners in countries like Brazil, Argentina and Zimbabwe, and watching how local users interact with these exchanges, we have come to see that people in these countries are leveraging Bitcoin as a store of value today. Within the next five years, we will come to see Bitcoin, currently valued at 280 billion US dollars, grow to compete with gold and perhaps become the most valuable store of value.

Brian D. Evans, CMO ShipChain, Inc. 500 Entrepreneur

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Brian D. Evans is an Inc. 500 Entrepreneur, the founder of one of the fastest growing advertising and marketing agencies in America, has been ranked as the 4th most influential business journalist in the world, and the Founder of Influencive. Brian has millions of followers for himself and his brand and is regarded as one of the leading thought leaders in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. Millions of people read his content every month.

We’re at the precipice of a digital revolution that spans the entire globe and every industry on earth. There are no borders to this revolution. Every area and aspect of business and life is being disrupted by blockchain technology. Bitcoin was the one that started it all, and there are exciting times ahead for this wave of disruption. Ethereum spawned a new round of disruptors that will disrupt the Uber’s of the world. This opportunity and technology has allowed for a round of companies that will revolutionize old unsexy industries such as the the freight and logistics industry, thanks to companies like ShipChain. We’re only at the beginning of this blockchain era.

Tom Waters, Owner, Everydaysaleshq.com

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Tom Waters is an electronic payments expert who has helped thousands of entrepreneurs and business professionals scale their companies by reducing costs and implementing growth strategies. He has been evangelizing the value of cryptocurrencies since 2013. His YouTube channel, EverydaySalesHQ, features a fresh and experimental format showcasing lessons in sales, business-building, and marketing. Tom has spent over thirteen years showing businesses how to save money, increase efficiency, and scale their existing business model to operate without constant direct involvement.

His experience in legacy payment institutions has afforded him an inside look at how cryptocurrencies could disrupt a multi-billion dollar industry.

Many people try to measure the future value of Bitcoin through the lens of a financial service analysis. While it might serve several financial benefits, Bitcoin is best described as a messaging technology. But instead of sending texts, e-mails, or computer files, it sends records of transaction data.

For comparison, in the early-ish days of the internet, a new file transfer format called Peer to Peer (P2P) swept the globe. Apps like Kazaa and Napster removed the need for a central file sharing website and empowered the average person to share their data with the world. Bitcoin (in its current form) is to gold in a way that is similar to what P2P was to file sharing. We used to need physical vaults, trusted by central third parties to store and move our gold.

So when people look at the huge rise in price over time, they are simply witnessing the first financial asset to mimic the technology adoption curve we’ve seen plenty of times in recent years. Even though Bitcoin has been around for about 9 years, it’s still relatively low on the adoption curve as a store of value.

If Bitcoin remains solely as a modern store of value and reaches a market cap equivalent to gold, it can rise as high as $500,000 per coin. If you follow the traditional technology adoption curve that has accurately predicted the rise of the adoption rate of Facebook, the Internet, the Telephone and other disruptive inventions, Bitcoin could rise to as high as $100,000 or more within the next five years.

Certain barriers may keep the six figure coin from becoming a reality such as an international collaboration to ban cryptocurrencies, an alternative technology unseating Bitcoin as the dominant store of value, and an existing limitation on how fast transactions can be processed. But the first two are extremely unlikely, and the third is being diligently worked on by some of the brightest developers in the world. My money’s on Bitcoin booming for many more years.

Clay Space, Blockspace Media

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Fascinated by the world of cryptocurrency, Clay has been a member of the bitcoin community since 2014 and used the currency to raise over $1 million in funds for his transmedia project BACK TO EARTH. Outside of the project, Clay Space is an actor, writer, producer, and founder of Blockspace Media, a company utilizing blockchain applications as an interactive layer to power a multi-platform story world. His entertainment credits include Better Call Saul, The Night Shift, and Manhattan, as well as multiple webseries and a feature length film.

Bitcoin has a track record for being difficult to predict, and it will most likely continue to make many “experts” look completely ridiculous in hindsight. I avoid price targets because that sends the wrong idea to newcomers, but Bitcoin is one more step towards a global society. Bitcoin will help to unify people from all ages and countries and ethnicities better than any one government or corporation.

Bitcoin is more than a store of value or a currency. It is a movement. And this movement is creating the framework for the first financial social network on the planet. And when you decentralize finance, you bring the world together in unimaginable ways.

Eric Chen, Student at NYU Stern, Blockchain Analyst at Innovating Capital, Founder of NYU’s first cryptocurrency club

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-Currently running the first NYU Blockchain Club, Blockchain Collective

-Working as a blockchain analyst at Innovating Capital. Helping VCs invest in blockchain startups

-Trading Cryptocurrency since Jan 16 ( Involved in Bitcoin community since 14 ), started with $500 and made enough to travel throughout Europe for 3 months.

-Previously ran a private investment group 2020 capital, trading traditional financial instruments, later decided to transition to cryptocurrency.

-Developed Ethereum Decentralized Applications and contributed to Ethereum Ecosystem

-Previously a high school startup founder

Right now Bitcoin is going on a spectacular run. But this has overshadowed its many issues: As of 12–10–2017, average transaction cost is 109 USD (all time high) and it still takes 1–10 hours to process a transaction. This number will increase as the network grows. The bitcoin core developers has tried to implement a solution to fix this with Segwit2x but the bitcoin community could not reach a consensus on the change. If the Bitcoin community remains divided, the network will be essentially unusable when it scales up.

In 5 years, Blockchain, bitcoin’s underlying technology, will revolutionize our way of life but the change will likely be in the back-end, meaning you might not notice it (like the Voice Over IP revolution). The cryptocurrency market may dominate the financial market but Bitcoin won’t be the number 1 coin, that position will likely belong to its competitors like Ethereum or Litecoin, which has a much stronger developer community and can implement change swiftly.

Yet Another 9 Bitcoin Experts Share Their Predictions About The Fate Of Bitcoin Over The Next 5 Years

Areiel Wolanow, Managing Director, Finserv Experts

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Areiel Wolanow is the managing director of Finserv Experts, an independent consultancy providing advisory and delivery services in blockchain and cryptocurrency. Areiel has led the implementation of distributed ledger solutions for global banks and insurance firms, including Bank of America, HSBC, and Lloyd’s of London (his current client). He has advised financial regulators and central banks around the world on digital currency adoption, as well as advising the UK police force on cryptocurrency-related law enforcement and the ICAEW on the impact cryptocurrency will have on the audit profession. Areiel is passionate about financial inclusion, having delivered solutions in Kenya, Indonesia, and over 40 other countries around the world, and has addressed the G20 on the potential of technology to make capital more available to small businesses in the developing world.

The answer to the future of Bitcoin can be seen by looking at the past. The most common critique given about cryptocurrency is its lack of intrinsic value, but the same is true of all earlier forms of money, and outside its niche value to jewellers and electronics manufacturers, the same is true even of gold. Money has value only because people agree it does. Money is perhaps the strongest, most enduring social contract in human history; people made it for three reasons: convenience, exchangeability, and safety.

These benefits have driven currency innovation since ancient times; each major innovation (coin, paper, card, crypto) has significantly improved all three. Cryptocurrency isn’t yet as convenient or safe as the money technologies it replaces, but is already more exchangeable in some parts of the world, and has the potential to be far more convenient and safe than any earlier form of money.

All previous innovations in money have taken decades if not centuries to reach general acceptance. Bitcoin adoption is likely to take less time than previous money innovations, but there is no reason to believe it will be anything like instantaneous. Also, none of the prior innovations has ever completely eliminated its predecessors. Today’s users of debit cards still use paper currency and coin (and sometimes even gold); users of Bitcoin will likewise continue to use earlier forms of money as well.

Despite the current bubble (and make no mistake, it is beyond all doubt a bubble), adoption of cryptocurrency is inevitable, but it is by no means certain that Bitcoin will emerge as the cryptocurrency of choice. Yet as with most innovations, the first mover to gain critical mass holds a huge advantage. The success of Bitcoin over the next 5 years would be very difficult to bet against.

Trevor Koverko, CEO of Polymath

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Trevor Koverko founded Polymath in 2017 to disrupt the securities industry by creating an open platform that gives businesses access to the blockchain, smart contracts, and token creation technology. Prior to Polymath, Trevor Koverko was a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, blockchain speaker, and cryptocurrency investor. Trevor founded eProf.com, an online education platform, and Digital Assets International, a world-leading tech private equity firm. Trevor graduated academic All-Canadian from Canada’s top business school, Ivey, and was formerly a National Hockey league player, drafted by the New York Rangers in 2005. Trevor played six seasons of professional hockey in Division A and the junior leagues in North America and Canada. In 2015, Trevor’s Oculus Rift-based project became the world’s first VR exit. He has since invested in dozens of blockchain companies and was an original advisor/investor to the $30 billion USD Ethereum project. Trevor is 30 years old. He lives in Toronto but travels to the US very frequently.

“We’re going to see Bitcoin emerge as a payment network. Currently Bitcoin is being used as a speculative asset and store of value. But as scaling solutions like the lightning network emerge, bitcoin’s utility dramatically increase along with its price. The real question is will it be the bitcoin ‘main chain’ that has the courage to adopt these upgrades or will it be another chain like Bitcoin Cash?”

Mike Poutre, CEO of The Crypto Company

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With more than 25 years in the Banking and Corporate Finance industry, Michael Poutre has successfully led companies as CEO and Director, securing funding and executing IPO’s on NASDAQ. He serves as CEO of Redwood Fund LP, and has raised over $100M for venture and banking deals. With a reputation for providing outstanding returns and liquidity to investors, The Crypto Company is set up for success with a leader like Michael Poutre at the helm.

“2018 will be the year institutional investors enter the cryptocurrency industry. Less volatility in Bitcoin will allow continued expansion in alternative cryptocurrencies. We will also see the rise of securities tokens in response to increased regulation. Conservatively, I’ll predict the entire industry to reach a market cap of $5 Trillion by the end of the year.”

Michael Drago

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29 years old. I studied at the University of Cincinnati where I got my Bachelors in Business. I’ve only been investing in cryptocurrencies since late 2016. However the marketcap has seen a 100x growth to date which put myself in a very sound position. I study technical analysis on charts, constantly am reading market trends, incoming news on coins and social media. Combined, all of these are used as catalysts on finding the next 10x coin. I run a public slack channel named “The Apollo Group” where followers can see my entries and exits on the market. I am also on twitter under @CryptoM1KE.

I predict bitcoin to be worth $50,000 by the end of 2018, and by 2022 if market trends follow there is no reason in seeing bitcoin at $1,000,000. The total bitcoin dominance in the cryptocurrency market is around 70% at the time of writing. The marketcap has increased to 450+ billion from 7 billion in early 2017 alone. At this pace combined with the mass adoption in retail & futures being listed there is no stopping this monster.

Shawn Wilkinson, Cofounder and Chief Strategy Officer at Storj Labs

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Shawn Wilkinson is the cofounder and chief strategy officer at Storj Labs, a decentralized cloud storage provider, where he oversees company strategy, vision and architecture of the Storj network. Shawn led the company’s initial token sale in 2014. The company did a second, $30M token sale in 2017, when it migrated from the Counterparty blockchain to the Ethereum blockchain. Shawn was an early bitcoin miner. He graduated from Morehouse College with Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.

Right now, Bitcoin is the current cryptocurrency star and the interest in the platform is largely driven by network effects of being the first and most well established cryptocurrency. But being first in an emerging space doesn’t necessarily mean that Bitcoin will be the winner. The roll-out of Lightning Network is critical for Bitcoin to maintain its dominance and continue its success, especially with the high fees and slow transaction time we currently see. In fact, our team at Storj Labs switched our company’s digital token from Bitcoin to Ethereum due to these issues. In the next five years, either another cryptocurrency platform will beat Bitcoin to the punch, figure out how to scale, and address these issues, which will cause Bitcoin will lose its dominancy, or Bitcoin will roll out Lightning Network first and maintain its leadership. Fortunately for Bitcoin holders, there are many talented developers working day and night on this problem, and we hope they succeed.

Michael Tamez, Financial & Investment Blogger, Sunshine Gold Investments

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Michael is the Investment and Financial Blogger for Sunshine Gold Investments. His goal is to educate people financially, while recommending bright retirement options for financial security. Michael provides expert written articles, Bitcoin and gold-backed investment news, and free investing resources. He strives to empower readers with knowledge and tools to secure their retirement. Learn more at http://SunshineGoldInvestments.com

As You Read This Headline… The Price of Bitcoin is Skyrocketing!

If you haven’t heard or noticed, the price of Bitcoin is skyrocketing over the past several weeks. For the first time in its 7-year history, Bitcoin’s price has risen above $17,000 (as of December 11, 2017).

Two months ago, the price of Bitcoin was $4,830. The current price is $17,200, which reflects a massive $12,370 gain. That’s a whopping 250%increase! There’s no other investment in history that has been able to provide returns like that.

To further understand the ridiculous potential of Bitcoin, let’s compare the current price of $17,200 to its price in 2010, which was $0.21.

Yes, you read that correctly — Bitcoin was worth 21 cents in 2010! And… the price has increased over 8 million percent in just 7 years!

So… if you would have bought a couple hundred dollars of Bitcoin in 2010, you’d be a Bitcoin multi-millionaire today…

The surge beyond $17,000 also pushes Bitcoin’s market capitalization above $250 Billion for the first time ever. In fact, market capitalization is rapidly approaching $300 Billion as you read this article..

Even the inflated stock market (which recently achieved an all-time high as well) has not been able to keep up with the Bitcoin digital currency revolution.

Remember — People Laughed at Predictions of $1,000

At the rate Bitcoin is surging, there’s no telling what the future will hold in relation to its price. After analyzing historical data and price graphs, there’s literally nothing stopping Bitcoin from busting through the $100K mark in the next couple years. And further, with the amount of countries dumping cash in favor of digital currency, the price soar will only continue. And it will continue to soar… at an astronomical pace.

When Bitcoin was under $1,000, people laughed at predictions of $10,000. Currently, with Bitcoin priced at almost $20,000, the same people(again) are laughing at predictions of $50,000 — $100,000.

There are still plenty of opportunities to invest in digital cryptocurrency and will be for many years to come. Let them keep laughing at price predictions. When Bitcoin hits the six-figure mark, you’ll the one be laughing…

Lane Campbell / Humble Advisors

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I am a lifelong entrepreneur

Bitcoins success is largely predicated upon its continued success of being sold through exchanges in developed countries. If governments decide to turn that mechanism of trade off through legislation then the party will come to a screeching halt. The real future will be built on blockchain. I see today’s alt coins as the modern equivalent of railroad companies that laid down tracks that still generate profits over 100 years later. That’s what blockchain companies are doing and it’s why so many people are investing in ICO’s.

Felix O. Hartmann, Founder of CryptoAcademy.us

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Felix Hartmann is a Tech Entrepreneur, Trader, and Dystopian Author. A professional Crypto Currency trader, Hartmann is the founder and head-instructor of Crypto Academy, the premier community and educational platform for active Crypto Traders with more than 3000 members from all continents on earth. From debating Bitcoin back in 2011, to analyzing it in 2014, to running a crowdfunding site that had bitcoin integrations as early as 2015 before ICOs were popular, Felix had observed the crypto community and its staggering evolution since close to its inception. Now he is focusing full time on trading and investing crypto-currencies, while also getting involved in advisory of crypto projects that could change the world.

In 5 years I consider Bitcoin Core to be the dinosaur of cryptocurrencies. At the current point in time, Bitcoin has the primary utility of being a store of value, and a secondary utility of being a transactional crypto currency. Already now its transactional capabilities in terms of speed, cost, and scaling, are wildly inferior to competitors. By 2022, it will likely have died out from a utility standpoint and become a high priced relic. Like a limited edition piece of fine art, I consider it to hold its value far beyond what it is worth now. However the long game is won by superior utility and tech, which I think we will see emerge from alt-coins or bitcoin forks.

All that aside, in the short term (12–36 months), we will see the price of Bitcoin get carried beyond our wildest dreams, championing a new paradigm and concept, taking us closer to mass adoption, while paving the way for those that will ultimately replace it. Bitcoin in a way, will be crypto folk-lore, “the coin that started it all”, but one day be nothing but a memory, and more than likely worth at least hundreds of thousands for its collector value if we do end up living in a crypto dominated world.

Daniel Moravec, Founder of Bitcoin Mavericks

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I’ve been involved in Bitcoin since 2012/2013 have am a professional cryptocurrency trader. At the suggestion of friends and clients, I’ve recently began focusing on building my social influence and have already built a Facebook Group with ~1500 members in only 6 weeks. I also run an exclusive private WhatsApp groups where I give my best advice to close friends and paying members.

We are seeing a lot of interest in the world of Bitcoin this year and have 17x’d since I began publicly reporting on it. This is not the end, its only the beginning. Bitcoin isn’t a bubble because its not simply a speculative instrument, it is an asset that can be transferred quickly, easily, and without interference of government or banks. Its superior to most traditional banking products of today.

Another Group Of 9 Bitcoin Experts Share Their Predictions About The Fate Of Bitcoin Over The Next 5 Years

Perry Woodin, CEO of Node40

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Perry Woodin has been designing and developing web applications since 1995 and first entered the cryptocurrency scene in late 2012. With an ever-expanding interest in the economics of trustless systems, Perry started evaluating the numerous cryptocurrencies being released into the marketplace and decided to invest in Dash and become a Foundation member. In January 2015, Perry teamed up with Sean Ryan to lay the foundation for starting Node40 as a way to automate incentivized infrastructure services and provide financial insight for cryptocurrency customers. Prior to Node40, Perry accumulated over 20 years experience developing and managing web-based applications. He worked as a consultant and was responsible for the development and management of customized metrics for business applications, including running one of the first web-based applications (GalleryDriver) that allowed high-end art galleries to manage their online presence.

2018 will be the year of mass public awareness for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. It is going to be the year when every friend and relative will want to know how much you have and how to purchase it. The topic of Bitcoin is going to be the ultimate water-cooler conversation. And the conversation won’t just be about the staggering price and wild volatility. Starting around February or March of 2018, the main topic of conversation will be about how to report tax liability. People who have Bitcoin will be looking for solutions like NODE40 Balance. Throughout 2018 we are going to see lots of media stories about new Bitcoin millionaires being under investigation by the IRS for neglecting to self report their gains. My big concern over the next five years is what happens to the industry when people begin to realize that Bitcoin is not “a Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” Where will Bitcoin’s floor be when its lack of utility becomes apparent to investors? My hope is that Bitcoin will continue to maintain value as a form of digital gold, and the promise of digital cash will be fulfilled by Dash.

Steve Good, CEO Coinvestors.io

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Steve is a Cryptocurrency expert and digital strategist who has worked in FinTech for more than 20 years. He has worked for companies such as Deloitte and Infosys as well as building and selling his own FinTech firm. He has been responsible for running major IT programs for his clients by delivering a range of IT and digital solutions and services to major Tier 1 banks across the front, middle and back office. Steve is also an accomplished entrepreneur with board level experience working with start-ups and corporations.

I predict that Bitcoin will continue to gain wider adoption and will continue to be viewed as a safe haven currency similar to gold.The miners and developers who work with Bitcoin will have gone through a rough patch somewhere along this 5 year period due to increasing pressure from users around network speed of transaction issues and costs which prohibit microtransactions from being effective. As a result, they will implement a variety of features and functions that will stabilize the platform and make it scalable and usable for a variety of microtransactions. In addition, I expect that there will be a number of countries that will have adopted bitcoin as their major currency around the world. This will create the foundation of trading groups or pacts among nations who work together on Bitcoin as a replacement to USD for trade and commerce.

Steven Eliscu, advisor with DMG Blockchain Solutions Inc. & formerly from BitFury

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Steven Eliscu heads up Corporate Development for DMG Blockchain Solutions. He was most recently Head of Finance at Bitfury, a leading blockchain and cryptocurrency company. Prior to Bitfury, Steve had his own consulting business, during which he was part of a corporate development team that executed a half-billion dollar acquisition. Prior to that Steve was an equity research analyst at UBS for 9 years, during which he covered semiconductor companies with an aggregate market cap in excess of $200 billion. He has also worked in executive marketing and business development roles in the semiconductor and network equipment sectors.

Over the next 5 years:

1) Bitcoin is and will remain at the core of the cryptocurrency ecosystem and stay the largest market cap relative to other cryptocurrencies.

2) Bitcoin market cap will increase by 5–10x

3) In addition to trading and high-value (cross-border) payments, immutability assurance for enterprise blockchains, which could number in the millions, will be a primary application for bitcoin. The technical term is call anchoring

4) Bitcoin will co-exist with central bank issued cryptocurrency from countries such as Venezuela, Russia, China exactly because no government can control it.

5) Transaction fees will become the dominant way miners get rewarded — this is important, as the concern is that as mining rewards from the network decline, the network will be less secure — however, as both bitcoin pricing and transaction fees rise, we expect the opposite

6) Bitcoin will remain a key store of value (digital gold), but new technology will enable crypto to be used as a medium of exchange and unit of account. Tether is a very poor first generation implementation of this. The solution will be more likely based on something like Lightning with instantaneous conversion to and from fiat on either end so that coffee can be easily purchased using bitcoin (with the actual conversion process being transparent to the customer).

Kyle Forkey, CEO Moria (moriatoken.io)

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Kyle Forkey is an entrepreneur and engineer; previously a project manager for a multi-million dollar custom estate contracting company in Wellington, FL. His latest venture is as the CEO of Moria, the world’s first decentralized investment platform for precious metals extraction. He’s also the general founder of Amentum Investment Management, a crypto hedge fund focused on diversity, security, interoperability, and sustainability for blockchain-based protocols and applications. He also founded Ethmint, a firm specializing in equity-oriented ICOs, with an interest in public/private infrastructure investing.

I think in the coming years the cryptocurrency space will experience a sort of enlightenment as to the opportunities block-chain technology affords us. It will grow beyond this box that the term “cryptocurrency” puts it in, and be replaced with a more fundamental understanding of how this technology can benefit society as a whole, well beyond its use as a currency. I do not think Bitcoin will ever be used to buy soda at the gas station, I believe its primary function will be as a front door to block-chain technology itself, and the myriad projects leveraging it in different ways. Most people view the idea of alternate cryptocurrencies as foolish because of the simple fact they think they are all just currencies chasing faster transaction speeds and lower fees. When that is no longer the case I believe we will start to see true adoption.

John C Brandy, CEO Open Mind Generations

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John C Brandy is a financial consultant, running his own service after a dozen years at a regional brokerage and a local wealth management firm. He is a Certified Financial Educator (CFEd®) and knows he can teach you to succeed financially without high cost.

My prediction regarding the future of Bitcoin is that, after an explosive start and a serious pullback attracts the attention of the SEC, that it and other cryptocurrencies will survive and gradually begin to dominate the financial markets.

Greg Pesci, President & CEO Spera.io

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Greg Pesci serves as the President & CEO of Spera, Inc. Spera is a fintech startup that has developed software to help power the Freedom Economy, the worldwide movement of independent workers. This software features payment capabilities that include cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Spera’s blockchain and cryptocurrency technology offering was backed with funding by Medici Ventures, the blockchain-focused subsidiary of retail technology leader Overstock.com. Greg has over 15 years of experience in financial institution and payments law. His educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations; a Masters Degree in Organizational Behavior; and a law degree with honors from Brigham Young University.

1. Shift from Fiat to Cryptocurrency for Domestic and International Payments

There is growing demand for all cryptocurrencies.

Consumers are moving toward payment in crypto in addition to or in place of fiat or cash payment. That trend will only accelerate based on access, spend and ease of transaction, and cost savings.

The fastest migration will come in the international payments space, with cross-border payments being executed on the blockchain surpassing traditional payments by 2030.

2. Cryptocurrency becomes more widely accepted by businesses, ushering in its viability as a consumer currency

You can now use a cryptocurrency to buy a flight on Virgin Airlines, a cable TV subscription with DISH Network, or even pay for your TurboTax software. In August 2017, Overstock announced that it would accept payment with more than 40 Alt coins in addition to Bitcoin, the other largest digital currencies. They have been accepting Bitcoin since 2014.

In the next year, early adopter companies across all major industries will emerge to offer cryptocurrency as a form of payment. In 2018, you will be able to buy groceries, movie tickets, coffee and clothes using cryptocurrency.

This spending power will have a major impact on the willingness of independent workers to accept it as payment, signaling a significant increase in overall cryptocurrency transaction volumes in 2018.

Stephen Holmes, Vice President of xLabs, Virtusa

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Stephen Holmes is Vice President of Virtusa xLabs, where he investigates the application of core disruptive technologies in solving current digital banking challenges, including blockchain technologies and smart contracts.

He is an avid technologist and writes extensively on the implications and opportunities that Bitcoin technologies and Blockchain can have on the future. Stephen also works internationally with Virtusa to promote Blockchain standards, while working with global companies on Bitcoin and Blockchain opportunities.

The curious thing about Bitcoin is the lifespan it may ultimately have. There will only ever be 21 million bitcoins, period. As of December 11, 2017 there are already 16,735,185 bitcoins in circulation. Estimates predict that the final bitcoin will be mined (at current technology progress) by 2040. This means that we only have 23 years to wait for the remaining 4,264,815 bitcoins to be mined.

There have been many predictions of the collapse of bitcoin mining and the impact this would have on bitcoin. However, in a true capitalistic fashion, the bitcoin project has evolved and been fundamentally restructured to reshape mining operations to be cost effective and more profitable as the price of bitcoin has massively grown.

Benjamin Franklin is often quoted for saying “There are only two things certain in life…death and taxes.”. Mark Twain also quipped that, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” For Bitcoin, much press has focused upon its impending death. So far this has been greatly exaggerated.

However, what is most likely the future of bitcoin is the taxation of bitcoins. We have seen recent articles about the cost of mining bitcoins and how this is environmentally damaging. Bitcoin’s current annual electricity consumption is estimated to be 32.56 terawatt hours (TWh). Data from Eurostat shows that in 2015 the Republic of Ireland consumed 25.07 TWh. I predict we will see some form of global “carbon tax” on bitcoin emerge.

What is not so predictable is the competition Bitcoin will soon face. Dubai recently introduced emCash and many other governments are looking at introducing their own cryptocurrencies including Russia, Gibraltar, China and India. Venezuela announced the introduction of its own cryptocurrency to bypass US Financial sanctions. The most popular cryptocurrency in China right now is OneCoin, designed by Chinese company Xunlei.

Aaron Lasher, co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer at Bread

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Aaron Lasher is an early bitcoin investor and co-founder of the popular crypto wallet, Bread, a company on a mission to be the world’s largest decentralized financial institution. Bread has customers in over 140 countries who use the app to store billions of dollars worth of digital assets. In a past life, Aaron was an offshore sailing captain, completing a circumnavigation of the globe from 2006–2008. Today, he never misses an opportunity to use nautical references when discussing bitcoin, drawing from his many encounters with dysfunctional economies in far-off countries.

This is familiar territory to me. I’ve seen the great bubble of 2011, early 2013, late 2013, and now 2017. On every occasion, the price rises, and old bitcoiners like me fall in line agreeing that this is the time bitcoin goes mainstream! And on every occasion, the rally runs out of steam, and we enter a bear market. It’s not a bad thing, and the bear markets always establish new healthy consolidation. But I don’t believe this time is any different. Making predictions is a fool’s game, but I’ll play anyway. End of year price: $24,000. Bottom of bear market after the crash: $3,800. Duration until hitting all time highs again: Not until 2020. Top of the next bubble: $250,000.

You Guessed It, Another 9 Bitcoin Experts Share Their Predictions About The Fate Of Bitcoin Over The Next 5 Years

Jeff Koyen, Strategic Advisor, 360 Blockchain Inc.

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Jeff Koyen (pronounced Coin — you can’t make this stuff up) is an award winning journalist and entrepreneur who has been active in crypto and blockchain as an investor and trader since 2014.

He’s also Strategic Advisor to 360 Blockchain Inc., a Canadian public company investing in blockchain tech and companies with promising futures in the space. One of which is Jeff’s Pressland, which will be using blockchain to fight fake news and be having it’s own initial coin offering.

Interesting facts that may convince you Jeff is not a dry crypto wonk:

• He was editor-in-chief of New York Press from 2003–2005, during its last great heyday of controversy.

• During that time, he did a gazillion media appearances, including an interview on the Howard Stern radio show.

• Anthony Weiner once called for his dismissal from New York Press — on moral grounds.

• If the bubble don’t pop, he’s planning to buy a beach house with his bitcoin proceeds in 2018.

Jeff tries to forget more than most people know about cyrptocurrencies.

Some very smart people are fond of saying that bitcoin’s future is binary: Eventually, it’ll be worth $0 or $1 million. I’m not buying it. Bitcoin’s price will continue to climb — sometimes rapidly, more often steadily. We’ll suffer a few price crashes that’ll shake out the weak hands and make the skeptics feel good about themselves. But once the financial institutions have accumulated enough — and once they’ve created enough crypto-based financial products so they can profit — bitcoin will find its footing as a reliable store of value. Its currency applications will continue to evolve, but the next five years will see other coins and tokens step up as industry-specific currencies. Even then, Bitcoin will serve as an entry point to buying other cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin $100K — and stable — in five years.

Fred Krueger, CEO of TroopMarket / WorkCoin

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Fred Krueger is a serial entrepreneur with a Ph.D. in operations research from Stanford University. Together with his brother Richard, he developed several of the first photo editing tools (Matisse and xRes), which sold to Marcomedia in 1995 (now Adobe). Fred also started and sold iWin, one of the largest game sites on the Internet, to Uproar / Vivendi in 2001, the social Network TagWorld to

Viacom in 2006 and the ad network Adconion to Singapore Telecom in 2015. In 2009 he founded the MMX, a listed company on the London AIM exchange. Overall, he is directly responsible for over half a billion dollars of company created value.

Bitcoin’s price move is 100% connected to the CBOE/CME futures launch. We have a new kind of whale in the waters: Gordon Gecko.

Dr. Michael Yuan, Chief Scientist at CyberMiles

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Michael is the Chief Scientist at the CyberMiles Foundation, a recently ICO-ed blockchain technology development organization that is empowering the decentralization of the online marketplaces (think Ethereum for e-commerce).

The Austin, Texas-based entrepreneur and technologist is renowned in the area of enterprise computing and consumer mobile technologies. Michael has authored or co-authored five books on software engineering, and also has contributed to publications such as Inc., Medium, and VentureBeat, for which he has covered topics like the crypto-economics of scaling blockchains.

Michael earned his Ph.D in Astrophysics from the University of Texas and has been a part of several U.S. government-funded research projects. As a crypto subject matter expert and speaker, he has written project white papers and presented at numerous technology conferences and events, from Bali to Boston. Learn more about Michael and his work at cm.5miles.com.

Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency du jour but, in the future, we could have hundreds of highly valuable currencies, each corresponding to a different underlying network (e.g. an e-commerce network, a peer-to-peer car-hailing network, etc.). Today, we have many valuable national currencies and even more valuable company stocks. It is the same story here.

Let’s say Bitcoin (BTC) is gold and Ethereum (ETH) is the stock market. Those two are uncorrelated as the market has shown. (Ethereum is “blockchain 2.0” — neither a Bitcoin challenger or competitor.) But neither is currently used as a currency, as BTC is a store of value and ETH is a utility token to pay for Etheruem network services.

Like gold or diamonds, the value of Bitcoin is not its underlying utility, but how much people believe in it. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because of that, Bitcoin price will stay up as long as some people in the population believe in the narrative.

For the price of Bitcoin, the threat is a collapse in societal consensus. The only thing, in my opinion, that can challenge Bitcoin’s “internet gold” status is forks of Bitcoin. If executed correctly, a hard fork could replace the original Bitcoin in the future.

Steven Buchko, Co-founder and CEO, Coin Clear

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Like most people, Steven was intrigued by Bitcoin when he first heard about it in 2012 but didn’t do much about it. He began investing in cryptocurrency toward the beginning of this year. After learning about Ethereum and other blockchain projects, he shut down his previous company to go all in on blockchain. He recognized just how revolutionary the technology would be in disrupting almost every major industry.

While preaching the good word about crypto investing, he noticed that the people he spoke with were consistently coming back to him looking for help in getting started. That’s when Steven decided to create Coin Clear (https://coinclear.io) with three of his friends. Coin Clear turns your daily spending habits into cryptocurrency investments. Set your portfolio, choose your type of automation, and Coin Clear handles the rest.

Besides investing and working on Coin Clear, Steven is a lead content writer at Coin Central (https://coincentral.com). He writes weekly articles on Bitcoin and all things blockchain related with a focus on educating people who are new to the crypto space.

No one can predict with more than fifty percent accuracy what the fate of Bitcoin will be in the next five years. Anyone who says that they can is a liar.

Although the current king of crypto, Bitcoin has a fair amount of technical flaws. The network easily becomes congested causing slow transaction times and high fees. This is ironic considering that the quick transactions and low fees have been two major factors that bring people to Bitcoin in the first place.

On top of that, the Bitcoin community is greatly divided. Network scaling issues have forced community members to take sides in a never ending debate without ever agreeing on a unified solution. New Bitcoin forks are popping up each week further adding to the confusion. Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Silver, Platinum, Diamond — who can keep track anymore? Whether the creators believe in the vision of the fork or just see a cash grab opportunity has yet to be seen.

That being said, Bitcoin has a massive first-movers advantage and unprecedented brand recognition. Ask any average Joe on the street, and I bet they won’t even know that other cryptocurrencies exist. This may give Bitcoin enough time to implement scaling solutions like Segregated Witness (SegWit) and the Lightning Network before people completely jump ship to newer tech.

In the end, it’ll be a race for Bitcoin to improve its scaling issues before the general public learns about the other (oftentimes better) coins that exist.

Although it’s near impossible to tell whether or not Bitcoin will still remain leader of the pack (or even exist) in five years, one thing is certain: blockchain technology is here to stay.

Jonathan Chou, Co-founder & CEO Bee Token

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Co-founder and CEO of Bee Token, Decentralized Airbnb. Former lead at Uber, ​Security ​& ​Fraud ​division — ​managing ​device ​tampering ​and ​preventing ​account takeovers. Serial ​entrepreneur, ​helping ​out ​with ​family ​businesses ​since ​the ​age ​of 15 ​that ​were ​eventually ​sold ​to ​Sun ​Chemical ​and ​3M.

Bitcoin will be the medium of all large scale remittances going forward. Bitcoin will remain a source of value and other blockchains more suitable for general or everyday use will surface to the top. Bitcoin… to the moon!

Patrick Gray, CEO of HashChain Technology

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Patrick Gray is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of HashChain, a cryptocurrency mining company. Prior to founding HashChain, Patrick founded multiple companies and saw them through successful exists. His first start-up sold to Xerox for $220 million dollars. He currently owns sCube Inc. a niche IT Service provider that focuses on E-Discovery, E-Licensing, Application Development and IOT. sCube has been awarded “Best Places to Work” by the Albany Business Review, and Mr. Gray is also a recipient of the Albany Business Reviews’ “40 under 40.”

We haven’t seen anything like Bitcoin since the dot.com boom. But unlike that bubble, there’s every reason to believe that Bitcoin can sustain growth in the coming years due to several factors. First, crypto is going mainstream, attracting a wider audience that ranges from middle class Americans using it to purchase goods to emerging economy citizens hedging against runaway inflation; Second, major exchanges like CME, CFE and NASDAQ are (or will be) running futures in Bitcoin which will invite more institutional dollars and further legitimize the currency. Lastly, blockchain is poised to disrupt a number of industries, and as people get more comfortable with the technology, there will be growing acceptance.

Josh Smith, CTO, VEZT

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Seasoned Technologist and Digital Strategist with a significant experience base in Entertainment, Political, Video Platforms, Mobile Development, and Data Science Implementation.

Between the market reactions to the CME Bitcoin Futures, the way the government of Gibraltar has completely embraced blockchain on a fintech level, and the fact that Australia’s Stock Exchange the ASX has announced its intent to adopt Blockchain I think the future of Bitcoin is very bright in 5 years. I am a blockchain CTO not an economist so I won’t speculate on exact numbers but the fact that most exchanges trade altcoins in “Satoshis” which are tiny parts of bitcoin and many traders measure their gains in Bitcoin over USD leads me to believe that as blockchain technology continues to see pervasive adoption, bitcoin will rise alongside it.

Mark Stein

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Investor and in the IT industry for 25 years. Researching and being more and more fascinated by blockchain technology for more than 2 years…. (the magic cutoff date for “early believers”.

Crypto currencies are the first time people can invest into a revolutionary technology. Its like being able to invest into the “HTML protocol” in the early 1990s. Bitcoin has been proven itself as secure and attack resistant and is both the backbone of the much broader blockchain ecosystem and the easiest “entry gateway” to a world of crypto currencies and company investment (ICOs). Except going to “zero” (being completely replaced by something else or the Internet going away…. there is no real limit for a price increase. Projections for $100,000 or $500,000 per BTC are not unrealistic.

20 Final Bitcoin Experts Share Their Predictions About The Fate Of Bitcoin Over The Next 5 Years

Adam Toren, Coinzy.com

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Entrepreneur, Investor & Advisor, Blockchain Enthusiast. 2x Best Selling Small Business Author.

Predicting where Bitcoin will be in 5 years from now is like predicting where the internet would be like in 2001, even before

Facebook, Twitter and Netflix. We’re just getting started and we should see incredible adoption and growth with Bitcoin, altcoins and the blockchain in general. Despite some drops along the way, I can easily see a six-figure price per Bitcoin.

Ofir Beigel, CEO, 99Bitcoins

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The owner of 99Bitcoins — the leading personal blog about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies with over 4 million readers each month. I’m a Bitcoin advocate for the past 4.5 years and an online marketer.

As more people find out there’s an “exit” door from traditional currencies Bitcoin will grow in value. Of course this will probably be fuelled by a lot of speculations, hype and “dumb money” that will cause short term crashes in price.

However history has shown that each time the bubble pops the price drops down to a higher level than before the bubble began, so if you’re into Bitcoin long term you’re ROI positive. In 5 years I expect Bitcoin to be worth no less than $50,000.

Joe DiPasquale, CEO of BitBull Capital

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Joe DiPasquale is CEO of BitBull Capital, the first cryptocurrency fund of hedge funds. BitBull creates a bundle of the best 135 crypto hedge funds for its investors, including access to closed funds and high-minimum funds, for one low minimum and 0% management fee. This reduces risk and volatility while producing outsized returns.

Joe has been a cryptocurrency investor since 2013. He has a passion around education on the cryptocurrency space and produces video interviews with top crypto investors and technologists on his youtube, “Crypto Joe.”

Previously, he worked in investment management, investment banking, technology, and strategy consulting at Bain and McKinsey. In 2006, he founded Regroup Mass Notification, the leading mass messaging solution for large organizations. He completed his BA at Harvard University and MBA at Stanford University, and now lives in San Francisco.

My job is a dream: I speak to top cryptocurrency investors every day, choose the best of the best for our investors and place money with them to manage.

Although Bitcoin isn’t the most advanced cryptocurrency — it lacks fast transaction speeds (like Vertcoin) and smart contracts within its blockchain (like Ethereum) — it is the original crypto. This makes it the most significant one and the most likely digital store of value, which has been shown in the way valuations have risen in 2017.

I am asked every day: “is it too late to invest?” (My favorite are those who have been asking me that repeatedly all year, while Bitcoin has continued its 1600% climb). Make no mistake: crypto investments are extremely volatile, can be speculative, and you should only invest what you can afford to lose. But if you’re afraid you’ve already missed the train, keep in mind: most blockchain projects are in their infancy. There is a lot of undiscovered potential, and most of the growth is coming. Many make the analogy to 1997 or 1999 and the hype around internet investments. It’s important that you choose Amazon, not Pets.com. Yet that choice is much easier said than done.

While Bitcoin has not been without its critics, savvy tech investors including top venture capital firms have seen the value in this revolutionary technology. We at BitBull Capital have aligned with these visionary investors and fund managers to forge the path to the future, and we’ve been providing the returns to prove it.

The crypto industry is moving at light speed; no one knows where Bitcoin’s valuation will be next year, let alone in five years. Hedged strategies like the ones that BitBull’s portfolio funds use do well in most markets, up or down, with the goal of producing the best risk-adjusted returns and outperforming and index.

Dan Gailey, CEO, Synapse AI

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Dan is CEO of Synapse AI, the first decentralized artificial intelligence network built on top of data, machine learning, crypto, and blockchain technology. An entrepreneur, hacker, futurist, and bot expert, Dan has been programming all his life. He was raised by the internet and has a background in electrical engineering, focusing on autonomous robotics, and computational chemistry.

In five years, I could have my own version of cryptocurrency (like Bitcoin) — the Dancoin. And there could be a Susiecoin, a Johncoin and a Terrycoin. Anyone could have their own flavor of Bitcoin.

Bitcoin will be transactional in five years — meaning people will be able to use it to pay for goods and services. Since Bitcoin allows anyone to participate in transactions, we could all create our own cryptocurrency. My sister owes me money for our mom’s birthday present? Great — she can pay me in DanCoin.

The larger point I’m making: Because Bitcoin is open-source, people can take it and make of it what they want. It won’t be what it is now. There will be many type of Bitcoins that aren’t the original bitcoin. Each one will adapt some new feature to solve some particular problem.

At the very least, I predict we’ll have Bitcoins for our savings and checking accounts. But I also expect that people will start making their own coins for a variety of particular uses.

The most unpredictable — yet inevitable — next step is for machines to get access to Bitcoin. Right now Bitcoin is meant for human-to-human transactions, but there’s nothing stopping it from facilitating human-to-machine transactions, or even machine-to-machine transactions.

Craig MacGregor, Chief Engineer, Nav Coin

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Craig is the lead developer for Nav Coin — which is a $150+ million cryptocurrency. Craig comes from an advertising background, and has a passion for building software. He says “building high-tech software that makes a positive impact on people’s lives, to me, feels like having some kind of superpower that I can use to help people”.

Bitcoin has the momentum to remain the biggest cryptocurrency in 5 years time.

While there are still a number of challenges — such as scaling to handle more users, the amount of power consumed, and bureaucracy — the fact that it has first mover advantage gives it a significant step up on the competition. While Bitcoin’s value has exploded in the last year, I do feel that this is unsustainable in the short term; but in the long term I see it continuing to grow.

Bitcoin has survived multiple bubbles, attacks, high fee’s, transaction backlogs and attempted take-overs, but it’s still here and it’s still growing. I think it’s fair to assume that it will still be around in 5 years time and will still be one of the top valued cryptocurrencies in the market.

Spiros Margaris, Advisory Board Member of Glance Technologies, VC and Founder of Margaris Advisory

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Spiros Margaris has more than 20 years of national and international experience in investment management/research for family offices, UHNWIs, HNWIs, institutional clients and innovation and technology management. Co-founder of an innovative financial software company based in New York which brings accountability to investment advice through an objective, proprietary tracking and rating system. Founder of one of the first expert websites (innovative search engine) based in New York.

He is ranked:

Ranked №1 Global Fintech Influencer

Top 100 Fintech Influencers and Brands by Onalytica (July 2016) ​

​Ranked №2 Banking Expert by Klout among 39K experts (July 2017)

Ranked Worldwide №2 Fintech Expert (№1 WEF) to Follow in 2017 (May 2017)

​Ranked №1 Fintech Influencer in DACH (Germany, Switzerland, Austria)

Fintech Switzerland (December 2017)

​Ranked №3 Fintech Influencer

Top 20 Influencers in Fintech by JAX Finance (Feb. 2017)

​Ranked №3 Banking Influencer

Banking Influencer among 33'000 banking experts by Klout (May 7, 2017)

Ranked №10 Blockchain Influencer

Top Overall Blockchain Influencer by Right Relevance (Oct. 2016)

​​Ranked World’s №4

Top 20 FinTech Influencers by JAX Finance (Mar. 2016)

​Ranked World’s №5

Top FinTech Influencers and Brands by Onalytica (Dec. 2015)

Bitcoin is not going anywhere. In my view, it is clear that the cryptocurrency market cap will be a lot higher in five years — and I mean by a lot. In particular, people keep asking me if the Bitcoin price still has the potential to go much higher. I believe yes because digital currencies are continuing to go more mainstream. If investors can live with the very high volatility of digital currencies, then I believe in the next five years we will see a multiple of today’s prices for most major cryptocurrencies and of course also for Bitcoin.

Piotr Piasecki is Decentralization Manager at iComplyICO

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Piotr Piasecki is Decentralization Manager at iComplyICO (iComply Investor Services Inc.), a AI enabled regulatory technology (regtech) platform that automates compliance procedures for digital securities such as initial coin offerings (ICOs), enabling them to be securely utilized as efficient financial instruments. Piotr wrote a Master’s Thesis on Bitcoin in 2012. He previously served as a Senior Developer for Factom and a Chief Scientist at Provable. A long-term Bitcoin and Ripple expert, Piotr received the first Bitcoin Foundation grant, published a paper in the first blockchain Ledger Journal and is the moderator of the /r/Bitcoin subreddit.

“First of all, we’ll probably see the continuation of the trends we have seen in Bitcoin in the last few years — increase in consumer awareness, adoption, probably more price increases. We will see more companies starting to adopt Bitcoin as a payment method and possibly as a backend for the services they are developing.

We will also see a lot of innovation in a few key areas. Second-layer solutions will come in to allow for secure transactions and with lower fees. This would finally enable Bitcoin to be a true competitor to both traditional banking and much newer services like PayPal.

At the same time, we can expect other major improvements to the Bitcoin protocol be implemented — ring transactions, mimblewimble, etc. Those will extend the core functionality of Bitcoin, allowing for more secure and more anonymous transactions to take place on the chain.

We will likely see a number of companies try to go down the route of projects like Bitcoin Gold and attempt to fork Bitcoin for personal gains. It is very unlikely any of such forks will ever be as prominent as Bitcoin or even Bitcoin Cash.

At the same time, it will be interesting to see how Bitcoin will fare against Ethereum and other high-profile competitors. This competition will hopefully drive development and encourage core developers of all platforms to work hard implementing innovative and useful improvements to their respective platforms.

Five years is a really long time in the blockchain space. It is possible that we might see Bitcoin become an important “hard asset” in the vaults of some banks or governments in that timeframe. We’re nowhere near being able to compete with gold yet, but Bitcoin might start gaining some recognition in that space in the next half-decade.”

Rebecca Devaney, CEO, Hunter Creative Labs

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Rebecca has been a tech entrepreneur for twelve years, first in EdTech, then in HealthTech, and Now in InnoTech. Her guiding principle is that the greatest joy is reducing other people’s suffering, whether on an individual level or globally. Her current company, Hunter Creative Labs, is a social impact innovation lab that helps people create more intelligently for the Information Age. Rebecca is an unabashed humanist who believes, with the tools of the internet and human longevity, we can now create a world in which everyone has access to a meaningful life. Hunter is a manifestation of these beliefs. We leverage interdisciplinary intelligence, focus on globalization, harness the impact of the individual, and try to create leaders rather than dutiful followers. This is the promise of the Information Age. Whether it is designing systems of quantum cryptocurrency, or shaking up the social impact investment paradigm, Rebecca is trying to lead her meaningful life.

For Bitcoin to survive in 5 years, its early adopters will have to be loyal in the face of increasing innovation speed and diversity. In addition to the reality of ‘new coins’ — 1500 at last count — there will be two major technological developments that will revolutionize cryptocurrency over the next 5 years.

The first development is quantum computing, which was first mentioned by the Nobel Prizewinning Physicist, Richard Feynman, in 1981. Feynman asked why we would build binary computers — based on 1s and 0s — when we could create a computer 100M times faster by utilizing algorithms. Fast forward 26 years. By 2018, Google will achieve quantum supremacy, which means they will have created a ‘quantum’ computer faster than the best ‘classical’ computer. Metaphorically, classical computing to quantum computing is the equivalent of running to flying. To extend, Blockchain is like running a relay — its value is in the interdependence of the runners. It’s still not ‘flying.’ To survive, Bitcoin will have to become a quantum system based on physics.

The second technological development is Artificial Intelligence; our “biggest existential threat” according to Elon Musk. Currently, there is a facial-recognition software in Russia whose creators no longer understand how it works. Similarly, a chess AI in Japan — no idea how it ‘wins.’ As science fiction becomes reality, we will have to set universal ethical/regulatory standards for how AI manifests. Check out Asimov’s laws. Bitcoin will become mindfully iterative AI.

Quantum and AI aside, the true value of cryptocurrency stays the same. In five years, Bitcoin will ONLY maintain market share because it serves the populace and democracy. The worth of decentralized currency has now been proven, but Bitcoin being the future ‘gold standard’ of decentralized currency remains an unknown. Go Bitcoin go!

Nick Spanos, Co-Founder, Zap Project

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Nick Spanos is co-founder of Zap.org, which works to solve one of the biggest challenges in the blockchain industry by providing an open marketplace for oracles that can provide smart contracts with access to off-chain data).

One of the earliest adopters of bitcoin and blockchain, Nick founded the Bitcoin Center NYC in 2013 (across from the NYSE), and serves as CEO of Blockchain Technologies Corp.

Bitcoin is the people’s declaration of monetary independence.

When the printing press or the computer were invented, only a few people had them and they were easy to control. Now everybody has them, and the time has arrived for the legacy financial system.

People are liberating themselves from the banks and putting their economic power back into their own hands. This is going to accelerate into the coming decade.

The industrial revolution changed the world. This is an information-calculation-computation-communication-crypto-economic revolution, that’s changing the world right now.

We’re living in a transformative moment, and Bitcoin and Blockchain are the center of the next wave.

Bubble or no bubble (it isn’t), up or down or sideways, you’re missing the point if you’re not on board.

Joe Pindar, director of strategy, CTO office at Gemalto

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Joseph is a founding member of the B-IoT Consortium, an industry initiative working to build a shared blockchain-based Internet of Things protocol. A fifteen-year veteran of the Information Security industry, Joseph’s focus has always been on securing systems and catching bad guys. His current areas of focus include: blockchain, IOT, UX, and the way habits are formed.

Outside of the B-IoT Consortium, Joseph is the Director of Strategy in Gemalto’s CTO Office (IDP), working with product teams to develop new services and meet customer needs with simplified security solutions.

Prior to Gemalto, Joseph held senior security and technical roles at SafeNet, NetApp, and in UK government. Joseph holds a MEng degree from the University of Sheffield, ISCS2 CISSP certification, and is a regular contributor to ISC2 thought leadership webinars covering topics around blockchain, IOT, and emerging regulations.

• Despite nay-sayers (like me) the price of Bitcoin will never come down. The absence of sell-side pressure means that retail investors will push the price of bitcoin to stratospheric levels forcing trading in futures contracts to be suspended.

• More governments will announce plans to regulate bitcoin by controlling the transfer of $ / £ / Y into bitcoin via MSBs and exchanges.

• There will be a major bitcoin ‘outage’ caused by extra-long transaction processing times resulting from China temporarily disconnecting power to major mining farms.

• A major investigation will be launched, targeting over $100M in unpaid taxes relating to Bitcoin gains.

• Bitcoin will not make the transition to a currency as settlement times remain too long. Alternative crypto-CURRENCIES with shorter settlement times are developed.

• 95% of current ICOs will have failed, leaving bitcoin, ether and a handful of others with the continued value.

Hervé Larren, Co-Founder & CEO, Global Crypto Ventures

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Hervé Larren is the co-founder of Global Crypto Ventures, a leading mining company that produces Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin and Dashcoin. Prior to his involvement in cryptocurrencies, Mr. Larren founded several companies in the internet, including Accurate Reputation, the online reputation management firm.

Mr. Larren started his post MBA career in the venture capital industry where he made investments in entertainment, technology and media.

Prior to his venture capital experience, Mr. Larren had extensive experience in building and commercializing successful luxury brands in Europe and the U.S. He spent most of his career at LVMH Moet Hennessy — Louis Vuitton first in Paris and then shortly thereafter moved to New York City to join the US Headquarters. During his years managing global brands, he was involved in the largest product launch of the history of Moet Hennessy, as well as the launch of the most expensive champagne ever produced. Prior to LVMH, Mr. Larren held positions with the Pernod Ricard Group in France, Spain, Russia and Canada.

Mr. Larren completed 5 years at Harvard Business School’s President Seminar, his MBA at Columbia Business School, and his bachelor’s degree in International Business and Finance from Concordia University in Montréal. While earning his French Baccalauréat with Honors from the Lycée Pasteur in France, Hervé was elected by his peers as school representative reporting to then Mayor Nicolas Sarkozy.

Mr. Larren grew up in the wine industry, where his grandfather invented the wine filter, and lives between Los Angeles, New York City and Paris. He is the father of two daughters.

Bitcoin’s mainstream adoption will likely take a mere decade.

Previously, extreme changes in monetary policies and financial ecosystems took multiple decades or even centuries for people to adopt. The replacement of gold with paper certificates of ownership, which the world now recognizes as fiat money or cash, took more than 400 years to be broadly deployed and accepted.

The next evolution of money emerged upon the introduction of credit cards. Although the fundamental concept was based on an existing financial and monetary structure in cash, mainstream adoption took more than 50 years.

In stark contrast, Bitcoin has been growing at an exponential pace, which analysts failed to predict, and is currently the best performing currency in the world. At the start of 2017, the price of Bitcoin averaged at $1,017 and its market cap was at $16.3 billion. By the year’s end, Bitcoin had grown 17 times over, and the market cap is now at $284 billion.

As mainstream media coverage continues to generate widespread public interest, more people are seeing the benefits of using digital currency as store value, or “Gold 2.0,” and a means to transfer assets. This will undoubtedly lead to even more investment in the ecosystem on both an institutional and individual level.

New laws recognizing Bitcoin as legal tender in several countries, such as Japan and the Philippines, have also played a key role in businesses adopting the cryptocurrency as a method of payment. Most notably, Japan’s Bic Camera announced last summer that it would provide a Bitcoin payment option, which resulted in nationwide media coverage and rapid industrial growth.

Over the next 10 years, we’re going to see broader adoption of Bitcoin and other digital currencies that are based on a shared, borderless cryptographic ledger for financial independence and privacy. With some governments like Venezuela already aggressively pushing to replace cash with a different digital currency system — one with complete surveillance — the race for “The People’s Currency” is well underway.

Edwin Dearborn, CMO e-Chat

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Edwin Dearborn is the CMO at e-Chat and CEO at Premiere Lead Systems. He has taught sales and traditional marketing topics in the executive coaching field for more than 25 years. Edwin is a well-known figure in the world digital marketing as hundreds of CEOs, CPAs, doctors, local small business owners and entrepreneurs from across the country completed professional courses led by him.

The Bitcoin buzz has been so rapid and thunderous that it has captured the attention of the most skeptical of the global, financial giants. The writing’s on the blockchain wall and they now want in.

First to market, like Bitcoin has experienced as the global leader in cryptocurrency, has its glories as well as its perils. Blockbuster was first to market, and was then taken over by Netflix. AOL rapidly lost market dominance to Google. The examples are many.

So, the question is this: Can Bitcoin remain “King of Crypto” while Wall Street and global governances use their power, money and influence to take away that away from them?

At some point, Bitcoin will be forced to play ball with them in some manner or die a horrible death through government regulation, smear campaigns, and superior financing of their competitors.

Governments and the big banks will not rest easy, nor lie down quietly. Around the globe, fiat currencies are beleaguered in terms of value and belief. Adoption of cryptocurrency just may be an avenue for Wall Street and Big Banks to breathe some life, excitement, and trust back into their systems and brands.

Nejc Kodric, CEO, Bitstamp

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Since starting out in 2011 with little more than some basic computer equipment, €1,000 and a love of technology, Kodrič has been instrumental in developing Bitstamp into one of the most trusted and highest volume bitcoin exchanges in the world. He spearheaded the approach to become the first fully licensed virtual currency exchange in EU, which was granted in 2016, setting the benchmark for the Bitcoin industry’s continued consolidation and strength.

With an interest in promoting economic empowerment and technology, Kodrič has been a featured speaker at several conferences including Techcrunch, Bitcoin Foundation, MoneyConf, Deloitte Conference: Future Challenges, ICT Spring Europe and FundForum International, and was awarded Best Virtual Currency Start-up at The Europas in June 2014.

We believe that the current situation will normalize soon. With fear of missing out (FOMO) the prevailing mood, the situation is hectic right now, but this will have little bearing on where we end up. Although, in principle, this does not hinder bitcoin’s long-term goals regarding adoption, it puts tremendous pressure on the infrastructure in place. However, we must to keep pace with this acceleration in growth, which is a good thing because it means we are laying very strong foundations for the future.

As mainstream adoption continues to become an increasingly likely reality, traditional financial institutions are becoming incentivized to ride this wave too. They see the industry continuing to grow and are positioning themselves to capitalize on the changing landscape we are witnessing, and to provide all the services that regular users are familiar with in this new context. Indicators to support this view include the decision by Nazdaq to join CME and CBOE by introducing bitcoin futures trading, as well as several other projects that have yet to be announced.

Wei Ning Huang, Co-founder and CTO of COBINHOOD

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Before joining COBINHOOD, Wei-Ning gained 3 years of work experience at Google. He is a full-stack Engineer who has experiences in wide areas of technologies including embedded systems, kernel to back-end and web application development. Wei-Ning is also an early adopter of the cryptocurrency technology, he started trading Bitcoins more than five year ago, and is an active trader on major cryptocurrency exchange.

Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency currently. Despite its popularity, the technology behind Bitcoin is relatively old and slow. In my opinion, cryptocurrencies like Ethereum which support smart contract and allow user to write Dapp will be much more popular and useful in daily life. Graph-based cryptocurrency such as IOTA and hashgraph which can provide higher TPS will also suppress Bitcoin. My prediction is that as the general public know more about cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin will become less popular and eventually be replaced by Ethereum or other newer technologies. Cryptocurrencies will become part of daily life, and most payment solutions will use cryptocurrency-based technology behind the scene without the user even knowing.

Sarva G. Mada, CEO and co-founder of Pocketinns

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Sarva G. Mada is the CEO and co-founder of Pocketinns — a cryptomarketplace and blockchain-based ecosystem where buyers and sellers have full control. Sarva comes from a background of over 12+ years as a financial industry veteran with hands on managerial, project planning and implementation experience with IT related startups and Fortune 500 companies. His expertise primarily lies in the areas of online marketplaces, travel, hospitality & financial technology. A self-described crypto crusader, Sarva acts as a blockchain & startup consultant for scalable organizations.

Analysts refer to it as a bubble while others argue that this is just the beginning. Various market gurus predict a $1 million decline or a total market crash, expected within the next 5 years. This is without a doubt nothing less than a revolution with massive disruption. We’re seeing ICOs attempt to literally replace venture capitalists while emerging crypto and blockchain-based businesses working to out-disrupt innovators like Airbnb, Uber and Amazon in their own spaces. Bitcoin is surely here to say and the family of altcoins poised to take off.

My prediction for the long term growth of the price of BTC is expansion into the $200K-$250K range within five years. By end of year, my team predicts the price will be in the ballpark of $23,000 per coin. What I’m sure of is that the upswings and volatility of the currency will keep increasing especially with the opening of CME futures trading — a service that will likely impact altcoins as well. We’re seeing Ripple, Litecoin and Monero growing substantially while BTC’s main rival, Ethereum, has hit an all time high of $844 as of this note.

The revolutionary blockchain technology upon which Bitcoin is built is here to stay, however it’s difficult to tell which cryptocurrencies will emerge as winners in the long run. We’re set to see the market mature and traders become savier as other disruptive coins — like our very own PINNS currency — are slated to go live. For now, fasten your seatbelts ladies and gentlemen, we’re in for a long ride.

Dan Novaes, CEO and co-founder, Current

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Dan Novaes is a co-founder and the CEO of Current, an incentivized, blockchain-enabled streaming ecosystem that lets people choose how to stream and pay for their media. He has been profiled in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Bloomberg TV for his entrepreneurial achievements, and he has amassed a social media following of 1.2 million. He’s had two prior exits from companies generating tens of millions of dollars in revenue. Dan has been investing in the blockchain space since 2013.

In five years — and even sooner — the technology behind Bitcoin (blockchain) will encroach into our daily lives. Soon, nearly every aspect of our lives will be touched by blockchain technology, incentive-based behaviors, and so on. The next Facebook or Netflix will encompass this model.

People often ask what they can use Bitcoin for. The way I look at it is: It’s a store of value. We don’t use gold to pay for things day to day; we treat it like a commodity.

I can only speak for myself, but I am long on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Over time, the Bitcoin futures will allow us to better calculate the true current value of Bitcoin in the market. The total market cap of Bitcoin is only $400 billion, while Apple is at nearly $1 trillion, and gold is nearly $8 trillion. I think there is a lot of room, and I believe the long-term value in five to 10 years will be astronomically higher than we are seeing today.

Robert Oscanyan, Competitive Intelligence Manager, Jive Communications

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Robert has spent the last 7 years working in market intelligence ranging from health care to worker productivity and communications software. When he’s not keeping his finger on the pulse of market trends and moonlighting as a crypto enthusiast, he keeps himself busy with his six children — or rather, they keep him busy.

While nothing is certain (and I would doubt anyone who claims otherwise), Bitcoin’s price will likely continue to grow in value due to its liquidity and the growing number of business accepting it, but increasing transaction costs and speeds could hamper that growth. Once/If the Lightning Network gains significant traction with exchanges and businesses, it could really boost the value over the next five years as people become more educated about cryptocurrency in general and begin to use Bitcoin for smaller transactions. Speeds and costs are going to be an ongoing debate and Bitcoin will see increasing competition from alternative cryptocurrencies who are built on the same open-source platform, but offering varying levels of anonymity, transaction speeds, and transaction costs.

We’re going to see more regulation from states, the federal government, and other countries — a recent example is the taxation of like-kind exchanges for cryptocurrencies in the proposed GOP tax bill. As politicians become more educated on cryptocurrency, they’ll quickly see that not all tokens built on blockchain technology serve the same purpose and we could see specific regulation targeting Bitcoin that will not apply to other blockchain systems.

Raphael Rottgen Finance Consultant at Toptal Chief Data Scientist & Head of Research, Q2Q Capital

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With expertise in cryptocurrency and blockchain, Raphael serves as a Finance Consultant at Toptal, an exclusive network of the top freelance software developers, designers, and finance experts in the world. Top companies and start-ups choose to work with Toptal for access to the top blockchain developers, engineers, programmers, coders, architects, and consultants for their mission critical software projects (https://www.toptal.com/services/blockchain-development ).

Raphael is a partner and Chief Data Scientist & Head of Research of Q2Q Capital, a digital assets investment firm. He has spent all of his professional life in finance, working for firms such as JP Morgan, Greenhill and Deutsche Bank, focusing on M&A and equity long-short investing. He has also been a Fintech entrepreneur in Brazil. After recently going back to university for a master’s degree in Computer Science, specializing in artificial intelligence, he developed a strong interest and started investing in cryptocurrencies, a field where his expertise in both finance and computer science comes in handy. He also holds bachelor degrees in Finance and Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, and the CFA and FRM charters.

In five years’ time, if we look at Bitcoin and other cryptoassets, I suspect we will see a multi-trillion Dollar asset class, fully supported by financial institutions, properly regulated by governments, and well researched by both industry and academia. Most importantly, millions of people will naturally and regularly invest in it, using a wide-range of professionally-managed passive and active investment products, for purposes ranging from short-term speculation all the way to college fund or retirement planning. It will have become a standard asset class to consider for portfolio inclusion, alongside traditional asset classes such as equity, bond or commodities. Finance students, CFA, and CFP candidates will learn about it as part of their curriculums. If certain conditions are met, including low volatility and transaction fees, one or more cryptocurrencies may even become an alternate means-of-exchange in daily life.

Sure, this vision may look overly optimistic today, given the high volatility of cryptocurrency prices, few investment products available, cryptocurrency exchanges that often do not function, and regulators running behind. However, consider how far we have come since an obscure white paper (the original Bitcoin paper) was circulated in specialized computer science circles in November 2008. This is especially true this year, e.g. with the recent launch of Bitcoin futures on CBOE and CME, and with several private banks allowing clients to trade certain cryptocurrencies directly from their accounts. At over US$300 billion total market capitalization for Bitcoin and over US$600 billion for all cryptocurrencies, there is now a significant vested interest in the space, and many smart people are working hard everyday to ensure that this asset class keeps improving and will survive. Arguably, it may already be too big to fail.

There will surely be hiccups, maybe even significant ones, along the way, but as the old saying goes: what does not kill it, makes it stronger.

Michal Mikolajczyk CEO at VIKING GARAGE Full-stack engineer & Warsaw Community Leader at Toptal

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Michal holds the Blockchain Specialization and is an entrepreneur and a senior engineer at Toptal, an exclusive network of the top freelance software developers, designers, and finance experts in the world. Top companies and start-ups choose to work with Toptal for access to the top blockchain developers, engineers, programmers, coders, architects, and consultants for their mission critical software projects.

His company VIKING GARAGE gives access to better motorcycle rentals, from local owners, so people can ride and make money on existing bikes.

Additionally, Michal volunteers as Community Leader for Toptal in Warsaw. Working with people is what brings him the most satisfaction. He is a self-learner, who gained engineering experience while working on numerous international startups. He was nominated to the Webby Award, and won many other awards, including the Pixel Award (twice).

Michal is interested in the rise of cyber-physical systems, and their applications to real problems. He leads the collaboration between Toptal and VIKING GARAGE and received a Toptal Open Source Grant for his Blockchain/IoT project: https://github.com/blockchain-IoT/blockchain-IoT-core/, to create open source prototypes of Smart Contracts and embedded systems, to support decentralized renting of different types of machines, e.g. motorcycles, so that everybody can enjoy the ride.

The future of bitcoin and blockchain technology in general, is about the change of focus from the initial problem, to the solution. The initial problem was: how to prevent double-spending of electronic money, without any trusted third party? The invented solution, bitcoin, was a system which allowed to achieve consensus over a transaction ledger, in a trustless environment.

Double-spending was not an issue when dealing with traditional cash, because it is very difficult to copy physical money or pay for two purchases with the same cash. With electronic money, it would be easier. Transactions with physical cash are direct between the two parties, but online transactions, always pass through banks, or financial services, like Paypal. Those are the trusted third parties, who guard the integrity of financial systems, and also benefit from it and control it.

The invention of bitcoin brought a decentralized, democratic solution, to create and keep a common history of transactions, where every participant is equal. In other words, no longer is there a need for governance over the integrity of assets and transactions. The next generation of blockchain-based technology, like Ethereum, extends that solution from simple numeric transactions, to any kind of agreement. The foundational change is that people will not need banks, brokers, or other agents, to make secure and irreversible transactions.

As the technology matures, automated Smart Contracts will regulate more of the operations, which used to require external control. That new form of agreements, already now allows for safe money transactions, and soon will alleviate the intermediaries form controlling the exchange, lease and sharing of other goods and services, leading to a decrease and leveling in prices. Transparency of the transactions comes included and honest, hard work is favored. Central institutions and companies, which take a superior role, will become obsolete.

Jonathan Sterling Senior Software Engineer, (GS)² Software Engineer at Toptal

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With expertise is in cryptocurrency and blockchain, Jonathan serves as a Software Engineer at Toptal, an exclusive network of the top freelance software developers, designers, and finance experts in the world. Top companies and start-ups choose to work with Toptal for access to the top blockchain developers, engineers, programmers, coders, architects, and consultants for their mission critical software projects

Jonathan has been using Bitcoin since 2013, and is the cofounder of a startup that creates algorithmic trading bots to provide liquidity to cryptocurrencies. He has written about cryptocurrency for numerous reputable finance blogs, like Toptal, and has spoken about Bitcoin all over the world

Prior to this, he worked at Jagex Games Studio, Sky, and William Hill as a software engineer in the UK, then moved on to freelancing via Toptal, while traveling. Before talks, he usually likes to introduce himself as “an irrelevant nobody from nowhere” as he encourages people to think critically about what he says rather than just accept it as truth as it’s “from an expert.”

As someone actively involved in the crypto world, I caution you against listening to anyone that tells you they know where the price or technology will go. Personally, I do not know, and what follows is purely speculation.

I feel that, given the competition, the current price of Bitcoin is largely driven by speculation rather than the underlying technology. Bitcoin is a slow, inefficient, expensive database, but with the added benefit of censorship-resistant value transfer: a fancy way of saying you can send money to anyone and nobody can stop you. In that sense, Bitcoin offers an efficiency to some of the unbanked of the world, but with the current price of transactions, the majority of the unbanked can’t afford to use it, which makes me seriously doubt its long-term potential. If Lightning Networks finally make it onto the mainstage and work, disaster may be avoided, but even then it is far from certain. For the efficiency Bitcoin offers for illegal transactions, there are now far better alternatives (such as Monero). It’s really hard for me to see how Bitcoin can hold on in the face of such competition from faster, cheaper, more private cryptocurrencies. I see the current price as propped up by the ecosystem that Bitcoin has built up around it over the years, but as other cryptocurrencies build similar ecosystems, the crypto giant may be toppled.

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