2016 is shaping up to be a big year for Bitcoin – but of course that has been true of every year since the cryptocurrency’s creation. Bitcoin.com polled its team and asked this simple question: What does 2016 hold for Bitcoin? Here are our answers.
Roger Ver: Owner of Bitcoin.com
The last seven years have seen all the ground work laid for Bitcoin adoption. Tens of thousands of programmers and businessmen around the world have produced easy to use wallets, safe exchanges, and fantastic ways to spend bitcoin. That isn’t to say that there weren’t bumps along the road, but I do think the ecosystem is safer than ever before. Now that all this infrastructure is in place, I think there is a good chance we will see more new users start using bitcoin this year than in the last seven years combined. There is more reason to be optimistic about Bitcoin than ever before, and I think 2016 will be best year for Bitcoin yet.
Mate Tokay: Director of Content
2016 is going to be a great year for bitcoin! Huge companies and important people are starting to see its value! It is possible that we are going to hear more about the blockchain, but we all know that there is no blockchain without bitcoin. I am predicting some amazing killer apps for this year and, even more, investment into the industry than last year! I hope that the image of Bitcoin will change in the eye of the media, and they will start to report on the good happenings rather than on some failed businesses. I truly think 2016 will be a breakthrough for bitcoin.
Scott Fargo: Editor-in-Chief
2016 is going to be an interesting year. I’m thinking that with the reward halving coming up we should see some value increases as we get closer. The true growth will happen in some bouncing movements up as smaller amounts of new coins start to show itself on the exchanges after the halving. Mining is going to evolve as more efficient ASICs keep coming on the network. If Bitcoin value rises in connection with the halving many of the ASICs on the market will still be able to run longer at a profit. This will lead to the hash rate continuing to climb with less of a pause in its growth than some people might anticipate. Bitcoin will continue to be the most secure blockchain with this kind of power behind it. 2016 will also see changes in investment as many of the companies and startups that did not fold should start bringing their products to market. This will lead to more investment as outside interests will see investments seeing fruition in the space. 2016 will be another year of changes as Bitcoin continues to evolve.
Evan Faggart: Senior Editor
I may be a little less optimistic about Bitcoin’s 2016 prospects than a lot of other people in the community. In terms of price, I expect it to grow, but not exponentially like many seem to believe. I am skeptical of how much the block reward halving will actually impact the bitcoin price, mainly because I think some of the economic reasoning regarding the halving-price relationship is faulty. Additionally, I think tension in the Bitcoin community will continue to grow as the block size becomes a more urgent issue. I also foresee a possible fracturing of the Bitcoin community as Theymos continues to use his clout to censor discussions and push his view onto others. However, I think Core development and Bitcoin businesses will ultimately continue to progress during 2016, bringing overall growth to our ecosystem.
The number of bitcoin transactions will continue its upward trend. Meanwhile, the private vs. public blockchain debate will come to a head with many investors realizing the advantages of open-source and permissionless ledgers. This will not stop the banks or financial institutions from implementing blockchain technology for their backend operations, however. As a whole, these developments will “raise all ships” and will increase the legitimacy of Bitcoin and its technology in the eyes of the public. One thing to look out for will be the health of the global economy, changes in the Fed’s monetary policy, and regulatory measures related to cryptocurrency. Any negative developments in the traditional economy should result in a boost in interest in Bitcoin and its price. Expect the price to test Bitcoin’s previous record high.
JP Buntinx: Writer
The year 2016 will be a defining moment for both Bitcoin and the blockchain. Due to the increased focus on both aspects of digital currency, the Bitcoin price will go well beyond the current value at some point this year. Companies will have to step up and show the world why blockchain technology and Bitcoin matter to everyone on this planet. Only by forming a united front can we push adoption to new levels. It wouldn’t surprise me if we see a Bitcoin price of $620 USD per BTC once the block reward halving has taken place.
Jamie Redman: Writer
I think the price of Bitcoin will grow exponentially in the coming months due to supply and demand. In my opinion demand will bring the price of Bitcoin to 2013 levels because of difficulty, the halving, and scarcity. I think all of these aspects will be in the limelight this coming year as well as Bitcoin’s killer app. That being in my humble opinion OpenBazaar the decentralized marketplace. Once someone figures out how to create a market that cannot be shut down or ripped off in any way, Bitcoin will go to the moon. I think and I hope all this nonsense in regards to the “almighty blockchain technology” will be curbed by the Bitcoin blockchain kicking royal ass and doing what it’s supposed to do: disrupt the legacy banks and traditional finance goons.
Julio Gil-Pulgar: Writer
During 2015, Bitcoin amply demonstrated once again that it is a sturdy currency. At the end of the year, it was proclaimed the best performing currency of 2015. This stellar performance was achieved during a particularly difficult year, in which, unfairly, Bitcoin’s reputation continued to be tainted. And, Bitcoin prevailed in spite of the dark predictions that were voiced in early 2015. Now, uncertainty looms over the world economy. During the year ahead we will face many challenges: the U.S. presidential elections, terrorism, geopolitical instability in several regions of the globe, slower Chinese economic growth, and the never-ending fall of commodity prices. These challenges may make the future seem bleak. Moreover, global markets’ volatility, the anticipated interest rate increases, changes in the status of the Chinese currency (in October the yuan joined the SDR elite group), as well as unknown future developments may further contribute to a widespread negative sentiment. But, the good news is that scientific discoveries and technological innovations are opening new doors for Bitcoin. Specifically, Bitcoin and its blockchain in synergy with the Internet of Things, quantum computing, and nanotechnologies, promise entrepreneurs and investors unimaginable opportunities to create new business solutions and applications for the benefit of society. So, regardless of the unknowns and challenges ahead, Bitcoin will continue to exhibit unparalleled resilience. This will make 2016 a year of higher Bitcoin adoption rates and greater price stability. Also, 2016 will bring new and amazing Bitcoin and blockchain-based commercial products.
Sterlin Lujan: Writer
In 2016, Bitcoin growth will continue to rise. 2015 was a phenomenal year for adoption and use according to trends, and I suspect to see similar results this year. I believe even more people are becoming acquainted with cryptocurrency, and it is finding adopters in places not usually expected, including people who are not tech savvy. This is also why I see simpler, novel, and streamlined wallets being developed to further accelerate the growth of Bitcoin. The more that Bitcoin becomes usable by the everyman, the more everyone will accept the currency and appreciate its efficiency and efficacy. However, I still suspect that the majority of adoption will occur in third world countries where banking is inefficient or corrupted by local governments, as in Africa and South America. Lastly, I suspect to see a boom in D-App platforms, because developers are grasping the society-shifting power of decentralized smart contracting capabilities, as well as the possibility of decentralized autonomous organizations. 2016 looks like it might be a flagship year for Bitcoin and blockchain technologies in general.
Eric Samons: Writer
Bitcoin has both internal and external challenges to face in 2016. Internally, the fractious block size debate revealed cracks in Bitcoin’s governance structure, and also has resulted in a censoring of debate within the community. Externally, there is the difficulty in gaining mainstream acceptance amid fears of terrorism and criminal activities associated with Bitcoin. But I still believe 2016 will be a bright one for Bitcoin. Why? Because Bitcoin is inherently anti-fragile. It was designed to adapt and become stronger through adversity; unlike government-issued currencies, it does not need to be propped up at the first sign of trouble. Whatever works is what will eventually be adapted, because no one person or organization can run it into the ground. Further, that adaptability will serve Bitcoin well in the marketplace, as features continue to be developed to make it more user-friendly for the average consumer. While I don’t expect the price of Bitcoin to go to the moon in 2016, look for a nice rise. I’ll go out on a limb and predict $600 by the end of the year, and for the block size to rise to 2M. Also look for the number of transactions per month to continue to increase as more and more people discover the advantages of Bitcoin.
What do you think? What does 2016 hold for Bitcoin? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Images courtesy pixabay and the authors