Bitcoin Will Reach New Record High in 2019, XRP Could Compete with SWIFT: Weiss Ratings

As Tom Lee has learned by now, predicting the future of cryptocurrency is usually a worthless pursuit. If we can’t predict financial markets with any degree of accuracy, what makes us think we have a grasp on the future of a nascent technology that has challenged our traditional view of money? Still, these limitations haven’t prevented researchers, rating agencies and even major financial institutions from trying to come up with answers.

With this in mind, we stumbled upon the latest cryptocurrency forecast from Weiss Ratings, a Florida-based rating agency. Weiss rose to prominence in the blockchain world last year when it became the first rating agency to evaluate and score cryptocurrencies based on their technical infrastructure. As we reported last January, the first set of ratings weren’t pretty.

Bitcoin 2019: New Record High

Weiss’ boldest prediction is that bitcoin will reach a new all-time high this year. Their rationale isn’t too dissimilar from the one echoed by bitcoin’s most ardent supporters: namely, (1) BTC has experienced bigger downfalls before only to emerge stronger each time; and (2) BTC will see increased adoption as a store of value.

Read: Bitcoin Price Hits New Yearly Low; Now is Best Time to Buy, Says Weiss Ratings

Flipping this argument around, it may be more useful to look at bitcoin’s yearly lows to determine where prices could end up in the future. As it turns out, bitcoin has printed higher yearly lows in six of the last seven years. This observation was recently laid out on Twitter by @1stCrassCitizen:

Bitcoin’s yearly lows:

  • 2012: $4
  • 2013: $65
  • 2014: $200
  • 2015: $185
  • 2016: $365
  • 2017: $780
  • 2018: $3,200

The author has speculated before that the current downtrend in crypto prices may stretch out several years as altcoins face their existential crisis and bitcoin finds new adopters in institutional circles. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that bitcoin is headed lower; it simply means we may have to wait much longer for a new ceiling to emerge. (The 2017 crypto boom was perpetuated by an influx of retail traders and laymen accessing the market for the first time. A look at Google search trends and other metrics suggest interest in bitcoin/cryptocurrency has declined sharply among this large cohort since the bubble burst.)

XRP Disruption

Ripple has made significant inroads into the traditional payments arena and its xRapid/xCurrent technologies are being piloted by banks, wire transfer services and other market players. Against this backdrop, Weiss speculates that Ripple’s XRP could be on a collision course with SWIFT, the massive payment network underpinning the global banking system.

According to Weiss, if XRP “can manage to chip away at SWIFT’s market share and even replace it in some areas,” there’s a chance it could become the world’s largest cryptocurrency.

XRP flipped Ethereum in the market-cap rankings several times last year. The company has been hit by several lawsuits from disgruntled investors claiming it is a security. Ripple has hit back by forming its own political advocacy group in Washington.

Rise of Obscure Coins and the Fall of Bitcoin Wannabes

Cryptocurrencies that try to mimic bitcoin – i.e., bitcoin cash, bitcoin SV and Litecoin – are likely to fade over time, making room for more obscure coins like Holochain and Hedera Hashgraph to climb the market rankings. According to Weiss, these are “non-blockchain distributed ledger projects that could become the new trust layer of the internet.”

Bitcoin’s look-a-likes, on the other hand, lack innovation and will probably be dumped in the future.

In terms of market-cap rankings, we have seen Litecoin decline steadily within the top-ten while bitcoin cash has had a firm grip on the no. 4 spot. Bitcoin SV has become the no. 9 coin by market cap following the Nov. 15 hard fork.

Just a reminder: these aren’t my predictions nor do they necessarily reflect the views of the Hacked team. We are simply giving you additional food for thought following a highly volatile two years for crypto. Things are about to get much more interesting.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Author:
Chief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi