The boldest bitcoin price predictions for 2023

A deteriorating macroeconomic climate and the collapse of industry giants such as FTX and Terra have weighed on bitcoin’s price this year.

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2022 has been a difficult year for cryptocurrency. More than $1.3 trillion was wiped off the market value. And the price of bitcoin, the world’s largest digital coin, has fallen by more than 60%.

Investors have been caught off guard by a wave of industry meltdowns, from stablecoin project terraUSD to cryptocurrency exchange FTX, as well as a deteriorating macroeconomic climate. Those who made bitcoin price predictions last year really missed the mark.

But as we approach 2023, some market players have locked their necks in price calls for what could be another volatile year.

Interest rates are rising around the world, affecting risky assets like stocks and bitcoin. Investors are also watching to see how the FTX saga, which resulted in the arrest of company founder Sam Bankman-Fried in the Bahamas, will unfold.

CNBC rounds up some of the boldest price calls for bitcoin in 2023.

Tim Draper: $250,000

Bitcoin bull Tim Draper had one of the most optimistic calls on bitcoin in 2022, predicting that the token will be worth $250,000 by the end of the year.

In November, the billionaire venture capitalist said he extended the timeline for that forecast to mid-2023. Even after the collapse of FTX, he is confident that the coin will pass the quarter million mark.

“My guess is that women control 80% of retail spending, and with only 1 in 7 bitcoin wallets currently held by women, the dam is about to break,” Draper told CNBC via email.

Bitcoin would need to rise 1400% to trade at this level.

Despite depressed prices and drying up trading volume, there may be reason to suspect the market has bottomed, according to Draper.

“I suspect that the autopsy in 2024 will give a positive result.

A halving, or halving, is an event that occurs every four years when bitcoin rewards to miners are halved. This is seen by some investors as positive for the price of bitcoin as it squeezes supply. The next split is expected to take place in 2024.

Bitcoin miners, who use power-hungry machines to verify transactions and mine new tokens, are being squeezed by falling prices and rising energy costs.

These actors accumulate huge piles of digital currency, making them one of the biggest sellers in the market. With miners offloading their holdings to pay off debt, this should remove much of the remaining selling pressure on bitcoin.

This is a good sign for bitcoin historically, said Vijay Ayyar, vice president of corporate development at cryptocurrency exchange Luno.

“Miner surrenders in previous bear markets have typically indicated major bottoms,” Ayyar told CNBC. “Their production costs exceed the value of the bitcoin, so a number of your miners are either shutting down their machines…or needing to sell more bitcoins to keep their business afloat.”

“If the market reaches a point where this miner absorbs enough of the selling pressure, it’s safe to assume we’re seeing a bottom cycle.”

Standard Chartered: $5,000

For some market participants, the worst is yet to come.

In a research note dated December 5, Standard Chartered said bitcoin could fall to $5,000. The forecast, one of the bank’s list of “surprises” being “underpriced” by markets, will see a 70% drop from current prices.

In Standard Chartered’s 2023 nightmare scenario, “revenues decline along with technology shares” and “Bitcoin sales have slowed, but the damage has been done,” said Eric Robertsen, the bank’s global head of research.

“More and more cryptocurrency firms and exchanges are experiencing insufficient liquidity, leading to more bankruptcies and reduced investor confidence in digital assets,” he added.

Robertsen said the scenario has a “non-zero probability of happening over the next year” and “significantly deviates from market consensus or our own fundamental views”.

Mark Mobius: $10,000

Veteran investor Mark Mobius had a relatively successful 2022 in terms of price calling. In May, he predicted that bitcoin would fall to $20,000 when it was trading above $28,000.

He said that bitcoin would fall to $10,000 in 2022. That didn’t happen. However, Mobius told CNBC that it is sticking to its $10,000 price call in 2023.

The investor at Franklin Templeton Investments told CNBC that his bearish case for bitcoin stems from rising interest rates and overall tighter monetary policy from the US Federal Reserve.

“With higher interest rates, the attractiveness of holding or buying Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies becomes less attractive because simply holding the coin does not pay interest,” Mobius said via email.

Carol Alexander: $50,000

Carol Alexander, professor of finance at the University of Sussex, was not far off with her prediction that bitcoin would fall to $10,000 in 2022.

Now, he thinks the cryptocurrency could be set for a profit — but not for the reasons you might expect.

Alexander said the catalyst would be more dominoes from the FTX rollover. If that happens, he expects the price of bitcoin to surpass $30,000 in the first quarter, and then $50,000 in the third or fourth quarter.

“2023 will be a managed bull market, not a bubble – so we won’t see the price overshoot like we did before,” he told CNBC.

“We’ll see one or two months of stable trend prices interspersed with range-bound periods and possibly a few short-term crashes.”

With traders evaporating trading volume, large holders known as “whales” will step in to support the market, according to Alexander. According to fintech firm River Financial, the richest 97 bitcoin wallets account for 14.15% of the total supply.

The collapse of FTX was a blow to the cryptocurrency, but not a knockout blow, says the analyst.

Some investors have given up trying to predict the price of bitcoin. For Antony Trenchev, CEO of cryptocurrency platform Nexo, the recent events are a wake-up call.

Bitcoin was “on a positive track” with increasing institutional adoption in early 2022, but “several major forces intervened,” he said.

Trenchev once predicted that bitcoin would reach $100,000 in early 2023. Now he tried to predict the price.

Laith Khalaf, a financial analyst at AJ Bell, said attempts to predict the price of bitcoin are futile.

“This time next year we could be sitting here talking and it could be $5,000 or $50,000, which wouldn’t surprise me because the market is very strongly driven by sentiment,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe.”

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