Unfavourable Outlook Hit Bitcoin as Restrictions Bite

The value of annual Bitcoin transactions is expected to slide further from the latter half of next year following advertising and credit card bans.

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According to a new study from Juniper Research, Bitcoin has not only fallen sharply from its December 2017 peak, but has failed to recover despite the weakness of a number of leading fiat currencies, continuing uncertainty around Brexit outcomes and ongoing trade disputes between the US, China and the EU.

The study claims that if Bitcoin cannot make gains in such favourable circumstances, then it is unlikely to prosper as and when these issues are resolved.

The study, The Future of Cryptocurrency: Bitcoin & Altcoin Trends & Challenges 2018-2023, highlighted the fact that daily transaction volumes had also fallen from an average of around 360,000 per day in late 2017 to just 230,000 in September 2018. Meanwhile, daily transaction values were down from more than $3.7 billion to less than $670 million in the same period.

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Furthermore, the study pointed out that not only were national and state governments imposing additional restrictions on (and conducting criminal investigations into) cryptocurrency exchanges, but that visibility and reach had been severely curtailed by advertising bans introduced by leading social media companies, including Google and Twitter.

It also emphasised the ability of casual investors to buy Bitcoin had been significantly reduced by the decision of many financial institutions to prevent purchases via credit cards.

The study also cast doubts on the longer term prospects for Bitcoin, due both to closer regulatory scrutiny and, ultimately, the rationale behind its valuation.

According to report author Dr Windsor Holden, “Bitcoin has no intrinsic value. Like any asset, it is worth whatever someone is prepared to pay for it, but it has no meaning or existence beyond the confines of the ledger. It is a bubble, and there is a strong possibility that this bubble could burst in the near future.”

Maureen Akello, Kampala

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