After one of his biggest rallies in history at $ 19,500, Bitcoin (BTC) is set to end 2018 with a decline of 80% from its all-time high.
While Bitcoin enters 2019 with a bearish market status after having suffered a sharp contraction in December, what can investors expect in the first two quarters of 2019?
Several catalysts at the horizon for Bitcoin
In the first quarter of next year, Bakkt, a liquidity provider and cryptocurrency cash managed by the parent company ICE of the New York Stock Exchange, is ready to launch a Bitcoin futures market.
At the end of 2017, CBOE and CME, two major futures market operators in the United States, launched rigorously regulated bitcoin futures markets. But both are cash-settled markets that have a minimal impact on the short-term price performance of digital assets.
According to Jake Chervinsky, an attorney for the defense of the execution and litigation of shares in Kobre & Kim, Bakkt is a physically stable Bitcoin market that guarantees the delivery of BTC to its investors.
The Bakco-regulated Bitcoin market could have a significant impact on the price of the dominant cryptocurrency as it will have an effect on BTC's rolling offering.
Worthy of note is the fact that Bakkt will store and deliver real bitcoins. This means that institutional inflows will reduce supply and therefore (perhaps) increase the price as well. This is different from other regulated futures markets such as CME and CBOE, which only deal in cash-settled futures.
The potential effect on Bakck's Bitcoin price depends entirely on the demand from US customers that the company sees in early 2019.
Although Bakkt has already become an important catalyst for the recovery of BTC in the minds of many investors, Bakkt's demand remains uncertain, and it is possible that due to recent sales, the market does not see an initially expected level of interest.
It is still too early to determine whether Bakkt could contribute to a significant increase in the price of BTC over the medium term. However, the launch of the first physically regulated Bitcoin futures market in the United States is positive for the sector and for the institutionalization of cryptographic assets as asset classes.
Nasdaq is also ready to launch a Bitcoin futures market after the launch of Bakkt, during the period in which the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will announce its decision on the deposit of the ETF (Van-Bekel Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund) .
Will there be an ETF?
As SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce said, the approval of a Bitcoin ETF could take days or years and investors should not wait for it.
"Do not hold your breath, I pay attention to people not to live or die when a crypto or bitcoin ETF is approved." You all know that I'm working to try to convince my colleagues to have a little more of an open mind when it comes to [crypto]. I'm not as charming as some other people, "he said.
Regardless of the ETF, the price of BTC will continue to move based on a cycle. In 2018, the industry has seen some of the most positive developments in recent years, but has had a minimal impact on the price of the asset.
Historically, assets averaged about 62 weeks to recover from a major correction. Analysts generally predict that Bitcoin will gradually recover by the end of the second quarter of 2019.
Shutterstock foreground image. Price charts from TradingView.
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