The price of Bitcoin
is in the midst of a spring rally, rising back above $9,000 on Wednesday for the first time in six weeks.
Despite this new lease on life, the bigger picture for the No. 1 digital currency remains much the same; namely, that the specter of regulatory uncertainty will continue to weigh over the entire cryptocurrency sector. Furthermore, Bitcoin remains 50% off its December 2017 high, which was just shy of $20,000.
However, sentiment in the digital currency industry has flipped quickly, begging the question: Have crypto traders become too bullish?
“I do think that the excitement has rushed back into the market rather quickly,” said Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at eToro. “This could definitely be a sign of over-exuberance, but it is also an indication that the overwhelming market consensus believes the value will be much higher in the long term.”
That overwhelming market consensus was in further evidence in a recent note from New York-based research firm Fundstrat. The report, titled “More conclusive signs Bitcoin bottomed,” included a survey conducted at an institutional lunch of about 30 investors, where 82% of respondents said they believe that Bitcoin has bottomed. Not a single person said they see it ending 2018 under $8,000.
“We see this survey as further evidence that institutional investors have become net buyers of crypto — reversing the 90 day selling we saw since early December. We see BTC reaching $25,000 by the end of the year,” wrote Tom Lee, managing partner at Fundstrat Global Advisors in an April 24 note.
However, MarketWatch readers aren’t so convinced. In a Twitter poll that racked up about 1,600 votes, 35% of voters said they believe Bitcoin would finish 2018 below $9,000, while 25% see it closing above $20,000.
Where will the price of Bitcoin be at the end of 2018?
— MarketWatch (@MarketWatch) April 24, 2018
MarketWatch readers might be on their own on this one, though.
“Current market activity indicates that the major cryptocurrencies are set for another considerable surge in price gains in the near future,” wrote Nigel Green, founder and CEO of deVere Group.
If optimism wasn’t high enough, the survey conducted by Fundstrat found that 40% of respondents believe John McAfee will win his bet that Bitcoin will reach $1 million by 2020. That may seem improbable, but the… unusual parameters of the bet have even the biggest skeptics hoping he wins.
Read: Bitcoin $1 million! Cybersecurity legend John McAfee ramps up NSFW wager
Take a MarketWatch reader survey (and help improve our site!).
Fundstrat’s technical strategist Rob Sluymer says the change in optimism is not surprising. “It’s always the case in this space. Monstrous moves in price drives sentiment, which can flip quickly,” said Sluymer.
Whatever the case, the mid-April surge got its first test Wednesday when Bitcoin hit a wall ahead of its 200-day moving average, reversing 10% in a matter of hours.
“This is a real litmus test for Bitcoin. If it can hold and trade sideways it’s a good thing,” Sluymer added. “But if we start to get below the mid-April lows [$7,800 to $8,200] people will become very nervous.”
For the nonbelievers in the popular digital currency, Bill Harris is the current spokesperson. In a post for Recode, the former PayPal CEO
called Bitcoin a scam and described it…