The Digital Currency Group (DCG), a company founded and led by Barry Silbert, held an investor day in Palo Alto, California, where companies could demo their products to investors in the Bitcoin and blockchain space.
DCG is the firm responsible for the Bitcoin Investment Trust, which started trading on the OTCQX back in May under the ticker “GBTC.”
During the event, Silbert gave a presentation where he laid out his predictions for bitcoin in 2016:
TOP TEN PREDICTIONS FOR 2016
- Bitcoin as a currency/store of value re-emerges as theme
- When price starts to increase, flywheel effect begins...
- Wall Street begins to trade bitcoin
- Cross border payments/remittance using bitcoin becomes competitive
- Growth in Brazil, China & Middle East
- Slow progress around private blockchains for financial markets
- Industry consolidation and shake out continues
- Non-financial use cases of blockchain ledger explode
- Banks begin to service digital currency companies
- Bitcoin price on 12/31/16 = higher
Silbert expressed significant optimism related to the price of bitcoin.
“Bitcoin price will be higher,” Silbert said.
At the Inside Bitcoin’s conference in New York City in April, he made a similar claim when he offered one of two outcomes: Either the price would be $0 or it would be significantly more than it was at the time. “It won’t be $230,” he said in April.
His predictions were focused around three main points. First, as the currency/store of value theme re-emerged, the price would start to increase, which would result in the flywheel effect. As a wheel turns, it can easily gain more momentum, resulting in further turning. The fear of missing out propagates an ever-increasing price, which partially contributed to the previous bubble.
Tyler Durden, the pseudonymous Zero Hedge author, has offered a belief that the fear of capital controls in China could push bitcoin into a bubble like never seen before.
“If a few hundred million Chinese decide that the time has come to use bitcoin as the capital controls bypassing currency of choice, and decide to invest even a tiny fraction of the $22 trillion in Chinese deposits … in bitcoin (whose total market cap at last check was just over $3 billion), sit back and watch as we witness of the second coming of bitcoin, one which could make the previous all-time highs in the digital currency, seems [sic] like a low print.”
Despite many in the “rebittance” business believing bitcoin doesn’t make remittance cheaper, Silbert predicted that 2016 would give rise to competitive cross border payments/remittance businesses that use bitcoin. However, while remittance might not be ready for disruption, international B2B transactions might be a use case that bitcoin is ripe to change.
Diving deeper into the finance of bitcoin, Silbert said that bitcoin was a noncorrelated asset. According to InvestorWords.com, noncorrelated assets are, “assets that tend to change in value independent of the core financial markets such as stocks and bonds.”
Fundamentally, Silbert remains significantly bullish on the potential for bitcoin as an investment. With the recent rise in price, there is a growing optimism that the price of bitcoin might finally begin an ascent back to previous-bubble levels. For now, bitcoin entrepreneurs and investors continue to focus on building more products and services that will better utilize the blockchain ledger over time. As Silbert predicts, 2016 should bring many nonfinancial use cases.
Jacob Donnelly is a full-time product manager and freelance journalist covering stocks, business and bitcoin. He runs a weekly digital currency and blockchain newsletter called Crypto Brief.