Five Bitcoin Price Predictions That Did Not Age Well

Predictions that didn't age well

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2018 will be remembered for many things, but Bitcoin bull runs won’t be among them. Despite the best efforts of fortune tellers and tulip-farmers, those rosy forecasts were no match for ICO selling, regulation, security breaches, selloffs and delays.

In fact, as the bear season got longer, the price predictions became even more unrealistic, as crypto values tumbled like a roly-poly panda bear in the snow.

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Here are our favorite near (and not-so-near) misses of the year:

Thomas Lee

Fundstrat Co-Founder Thomas Lee is perhaps the most widely cited crypto market strategist. Lee was bullish before bulls were cool, having left JPMorgan after correctly predicting the stock market bull run in 2009.  His luck ran out this year, at least for crypto, after a series of market calls that never panned out.

The bitcoin bears tried warning him, but Lee wouldn’t listen, convinced that tax selling was to blame for the crypto sell-off in the first half of the year. He reminded the community that bitcoin’s gains historically come from the top 10 trading days of the year, and therefore the No. 1 cryptocurrency had plenty of time to achieve a price of $25,000.  Lee is a believer in price using the fair value and mining cost dynamic, no matter what the cost to his own track record.

Soon, the prediction began to blur and it was more like $20,000, though Lee was still defiant against the critics. It wasn’t until November that Lee lowered his forecast to a seemingly more realistic price target of $15,000, which at the time would have meant a 250% return. Once again, it became clear that this price, too, was out of reach for 2018.

Fundstrat’s Lee has since revealed his days of predicting crypto prices are over, telling Bloomberg: “We are tired of people asking us about target prices.” 

Michael Novogratz

What a difference a year makes. Crypto’s favorite Wall Street trader Michael Novogratz, who these days runs crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital, couldn’t have predicted this year’s bear market, either. Last year he predicted that bitcoin was on its way to $40,000 in 2018. He is also infamous for calling a bitcoin bottom that never materialized, even as the crypto bears continued to taunt his predictions.

In September, he notoriously said, “I think we put in a low yesterday” using the hashtag  #callingabottom. At that time, the BTC price was trading at $6,500. Novogratz eventually ceded control to the bears, saying that the bitcoin price probably wouldn’t reattain $9,000 this year. Novogratz is reportedly looking to 2019 for bitcoin’s new high.

Tim Draper*

We placed an asterisk by venture capitalist Tim Draper’s name because his bitcoin price prediction is a bit more long-term. His outlook for a BTC price of $250,000 by 2022 still has time to come true, but 2018 didn’t do him any favors. The billionaire investor, however, does know how to put his money where his mouth is and recently poured $1.25 million into OpenNode, a bitcoin payment processor.

We’ll keep an eye on this one, but the bitcoin price has to climb 6,500% higher over the next four years.

Ran NeuNer

In February 2018, Ran NeuNer, the host of CNBC’s Crypto Trader, predicted that the bitcoin price would reach $50,000 at year-end 2018. He was so confident in his prediction that he pinned the tweet. NeuNer had to eat his words and by November followed up with another pinned tweet, this time stating: “Bitcoin will not finish 2018 at $50,000.”

At least he knows how to lose gracefully.

John McAfee

John McAfee predicted that Bitcoin would reach $1 million by year-end 2020. He may be compensating for a failed forecast in 2017 when he undershot the market, calling for BTC $5,000 by year-end 2017. McAfee is using a mining-fueled mathematical model to reach his forecast, or drugs. Basically whatever comes to hand, we suspect.

For some reason, we get the feeling he may be trying to compensate for something else.

Turns out the market should have listened to more bearish outlooks like the call by BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes, who reportedly warned the price could fall within the $2,000-$3,000 range. If the market has proven anything this year it’s that bitcoin, and the correlated altcoins that trade along with it, is unpredictable.

The author is invested in digital assets, including bitcoin, which is mentioned in this article.

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