Bitcoin (BTC) is undergoing something of a correction with bearish sentiment and price-action awash in the crypto market.
The largest and most popular cryptocurrency often sets the tone for the rest of the tokens on the market and many analysts are predicting a short-term drop for BTC, with the most bearish predictions claiming it could dip to below $20,000.
However, there is plenty of reason to be optimistic that while Bitcoin could struggle in the coming days and weeks – with September a historically poor month for the coin – brighter times are ahead before the end of the year.
This article looks at four major reasons Bitcoin could enjoy a strong end to the year, as well as looking at one potential alternative – Bitcoin BSC – that could outperform it.
The Bitcoin Halving to Spark a Bull Run
One of the biggest reasons to be optimistic about the BTC price in the coming months is that the next Bitcoin halving is only just around the corner.
It is expected in mid-April and all the previous halvings have been the main catalyst for major bull runs in the crypto market, which has operated with a boom-bust cycle since Bitcoin was invented in 2009.
The halving, or halvening, refers to how many new bitcoins are issued by the Bitcoin network every 10 minutes.
For its first cycle, that figure was 50 – it then dropped to 25 in 2012, 12.5 in 2016 and 6.25 in the most recent halving in May 2020.
This halving will see the rewards per block drop to 3.125, cutting the supply in half and driving demand, therefore leading to higher prices.
As the chart (above) shows, each halving has led to significant price action in the build-up and aftermath of the event.
With many crypto investors fully aware that the halving is just over six months away, it could be a good time to stack Bitcoin before the price explodes in the next bull run.
Spot Bitcoin ETFs
Spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) were one of the main drivers of the Bitcoin resurgence in 2023, as the price of BTC almost doubled from $16,550 in January to a high of $31,500 in mid-July.
Major investment firms such as BlackRock, Fidelity, and VanEck applied for them earlier this year, sparking huge volume and interest in Bitcoin.
Spot Bitcoin ETFs allow investors to access Bitcoin without having to buy or store it themselves, with the ETF manager holding custody of the asset. It would also be available for trading on traditional stock exchanges, if it gets approved.
In late August, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) delayed a decision on approval for them, with the next date for a decision coming in mid-October.
Bloomberg analysts believe there is a “75% chance” that they will be launched by the end of this year and former SEC commissioner Jay Clayton said they are “inevitable” – any approval would see an immediate spike in the price of BTC.
Furthermore, analysis from crypto research firm K33, formerly Arcane Research, claimed that the increasing likelihood of approved spot Bitcoin ETFs has not been reflected in the price of Bitcoin.
A report from senior analyst Vetle Lunder read: “I firmly believe the market is wrong. This is, by all accounts, a buyer’s market, and it’s reckless not to aggressively accumulate BTC at current levels.”
Institutional Investment and Regulation
Tying into the above points is that many large institutional firms and financial establishments remain bullish on Bitcoin’s potential for the future.
Spot Bitcoin ETFs and the Bitcoin halving have been major reasons for this bullishness.
Earlier this year, analysis from British bank Standard Chartered predicted that BTC would reach $50,000 by the end of 2023 and $120,000 by the end of 2024.
As well as Spot Bitcoin ETFs and the upcoming halving, another major factor in their analysis was due to supply dynamics – they reason that miners are dedicating more resources to preserving the network and selling less BTC, creating a supply-demand imbalance which will spark bullish action.
“Increased miner profitability per BTC (bitcoin) mined means they can sell less while maintaining cash inflows, reducing net BTC supply and pushing BTC prices higher,” the report stated.
As well as regulating the ETFs, crypto regulation in a broader sense continues to move ahead. The SEC is locked in court battles with a number of cryptocurrency firms and while they appear to have taken an anti-crypto stance, regulation appears inevitable.
In the UK and across Europe, for example, crypto regulation is a hot topic with the early stages of a regulatory framework either in place or on the way.
Regulation is expected to only help the price of top cryptos, as uncertain investors will be more confident when it passes, increasing demand and price.
The growth and development of artificial intelligence (AI) has been one of the biggest hot-button topics of 2023.
Companies, investors and governments are trying to move quickly to get ahead on AI, both in terms of the products they offer and how the technology is managed.
AI has also entered the crypto space in a major way, with AI-related tokens some of the best performers of the year and investors and companies scrambling to utilize the tech.
Bitcoin will be no different and Cathie Wood – CEO of ARK Invest, one of the biggest Bitcoin holders – believes there is huge potential in AI having a transformative affect on BTC.
Wood appeared on a podcast to speak about the potential synergy between Bitcoin and AI and wrote on Twitter: “The convergence between Bitcoin – and AI could transform the way companies organize, causing a collapse in costs and an explosion in productivity. I was blown away by the possibilities these brilliant entrepreneurs are creating.”
ARK Invest also recently published a report suggesting that the investment firm is assessing the significance of AI within investment strategies.
Earlier this year, Bitcoin billionaire Arthur Hayes also talked up the potential of AI to unlock Bitcoin price action, believing that AI will view the potential of Bitcoin above other currencies due to its self-sustaining nature and lack of human interference.
“An AI is unlikely to allow itself to rely on anything that a human government operates therefore only gold and Bitcoin are suitable. A tie between gold and Bitcoin,” he wrote.
ChatGPT, the AI system that has helped spark this move for artificial intelligence, also predicts that Bitcoin could reach $35k to $50k by the end of the year.
Bitcoin Alternative – Bitcoin BSC
While Bitcoin returning to $50,000 by the end of the year would be incredible news for investors, the reality is that there may be greater potential for ROI elsewhere in the market.
With the BTC price currently at $26,200, a $50k BTC would mean an increase of 90%.
Bitcoin BSC (BTCBSC) is a brand new project that could well beat those gains before the end of the year and is offering a price not seen by Bitcoin since April 2011 – $0.99.
Having only just launched this week, and already raised more than $200,000, Bitcoin BSC is a Bitcoin clone that takes the best bits of the original cryptocurrency and improves upon them.
The project is built on the Binance Smart Chain and has a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism rather than the proof-of-work mechanism employed by Bitcoin. That means Bitcoin BSC is more efficient and scalable, has cheaper transaction costs and is also much more eco-friendly.
Importantly, Bitcoin BSC also offers generous staking rewards, with holders able to lock their tokens into a staking pool and generate impressive token rewards.
According to the Bitcoin BSC staking dashboard, more than 100,000 BTCBSC have already been locked into the staking pool, giving a current estimated annualized percentage yield (APY) of over 2,000%.
That figure will dramatically reduce as more tokens are staked but staking not only allows investors to generate returns but also incentivizes holding and reduces selling pressure, therefore increasing price.
BTC20, another recently released Bitcoin clone, saw almost 600% when it launched on exchanges earlier this year and Bitcoin BSC could be primed for a similar performance – especially with the Binance Smart Chain coming with significantly lower trading fees than the Ethereum-based BTC20.
As well as its price being the same as Bitcoin in April 2011, Bitcoin BSC will also have the same circulating supply. Four million tokens have been allocated to an initial presale, with a further 2.125 million reserved for an oversupply round – also priced at $0.99.
That will give the project a 6.125 million supply on launch, 29% of the total suppy, with a further 420,000 (2%) pre-mined BTCBSC allocated for liquidity on exchanges.
The max supply will be 21 million, the same as Bitcoin, with the remaining 14.455 million tokens reserved for the staking pool.
Bitcoin BSC will employ the same 120-year unlocking cycle for its tokens as Bitcoin, giving the project a huge shelf life and further incentivizing holding as tokens are unlocked.