The year 2015 has ended and investors can now calculate the result of their investment activities. What has Bitcoin brought to us last year? On the first day on the year 2015, January 01, 2015, the price of Bitcoin moved to the level of $313, which is 59.35% less than a year before that, on January 01, 2014, when the price was $770.
During the first two weeks of 2015 the price of Bitcoin dropped sharply to $177. The price then rose gradually to $250 in September and had moved to another top of $300 by the end of October. The maximum price in 2015 we saw in December 2015, when the Bitcoin price was approaching a level of $480. However, on New Year’s Eve investors decided to take their profit and the price of Bitcoin has now dropped to $430.
As we have seen, in 2015 Bitcoin had to deal with a lot of factors that influenced the cryptocurrency’s volatility and price. However, in 2015 the daily volume of transactions reached new levels as Bitcoin approached world famous payment systems, such as Western Union and PayPal. Bitcoin’s transaction fee is relatively lower than most other payment systems. The volume of investments in US Dollar in 2015 increased to $469 million. More than one hundred thousand companies worldwide are now accepting Bitcoin as payment. Therefore, despite all the difficulties that the cryptocurrency had to face in 2015, Bitcoin confidently holds its position and is firmly embedded in our daily lives.
The year 2016
In 2016, with some confidence we can say that Bitcoin will continue to grow. One reason for this is the two-time reduction of new Bitcoin coming into the market. According to the Bitcoin algorithm the reward for confirming one block is reduced twice every four years. And the year 2016 is one such year. In addition, the growing popularity of Bitcoin as a means of payment for goods will lead to an increase in its use. These two factors together will cause increased demand and a shortage of Bitcoin in the market.
According to Tone Vays, Head of Research at BraveNewCoin, the bullish trend of Bitcoin will be restored in the 3rd quarter of 2016, but has not ruled out a rollback to the level of $300. We asked Patrick Dugan from USA - CFO at Omni Foundation about when to expect a recovery of the bullish trend on Bitcoin, too. According to him:
“We're in the eye of the storm of an extremely bullish wave that will eclipse the previous one before going into an even larger triangle consolidation between $600 and $350.”
Let’s now take a look at the major competitors of Bitcoin. In our opinion, they are the US Dollar, Euro, British Pound, Japanese Yen, Chinese Yuan and Gold. This time oil will not be considered due to the collapse of its price.
The US Dollar is the strongest and the main competitor of Bitcoin. Despite December's decline, the Dollar has managed to finish the year 2015 with a growth of 9 percent against other major currencies. Last year, the dollar has shown the maximum growth of the last 10-15 years. According to experts at the big banks, the Dollar will continue to grow in 2016 as well. So, Bitcoin will always feel the pressure of the Dollar.
The second most important currency in the world and the main competitor of the Dollar is the Euro. It has a leading position as one of the major reserve currencies. The Euro is considered to be a funding currency. This means that European banks use this currency to raise funds in order to ensure their core business. Previously, this function was performed by the Dollar. Such status has a positive effect on the Euro and makes it a sort of safe sanctuary. However, forecasts for the Euro price in 2016 are disappointing. By year end, the EUR/USD exchange rates could come close to a level of 0.95.
Since 2006, the Pound returned itself to a status of reserve currency and became the third largest among the world's currencies. An especially noticeable rise in popularity of pounds is seen in recent years. In 2016, the British Pound will be under pressure from the Dollar, due to the reduction of the budget of England and the constant threat of the UK’s exit from the EU. Moreover, the Bank of England continually postpones rate hikes, which adversely affects the Pound. Next year, we will clearly see the decrease to 1.4 and maybe even 1.3.
Japan’s national currency has a status of reserve currency. In 2016, the Yen will obviously continue to decline against the Dollar to the levels of $130. However, there is huge potential in the Yen. As it is the only one of the world's currencies, which in 2016 will be able to provide decent resistance to the Dollar.
In 2015, Yuan fixed its positions as the main currency in settlements with the neighboring countries, and has become one of the most popular currency in the world. In Southeast Asia the Yuan is considered to be the main currency. The global share of RMB settlements also increased. Now, the Yuan is considered to be the fourth most popular currency in the world. However, the IMF has not included Yuan as a reserve currency yet. Rising pressure of Yuan may also put pressure on the Bitcoin. In China, as we know, there are three Bitcoin exchanges, and China has the largest the population in the world. Therefore, Bitcoin traders and users should pay more attention to Yuan movements.
In recent years we have seen precious metals gradually loses their status as safe investment instruments. The attitude to Gold is set to be quite negative and by end of the year it is possible that the price will fall lower than $1,000.
To date we are not considering other cryptocurrencies as competitors. That is a topic for another article. We also believe that the factors that affect the Bitcoin price with the negative and the positive side, will also continue to influence this cryptocurrency in 2016.
This analysis and forecast are the personal opinions of the author and are not a recommendation to buy or sell Bitcoins.