With bitcoin valuations steamrolling towards the $15,000 mark, Saxo Bank is forecasting a market peak price of $60,000 for the cryptocurrency followed by a rollercoaster descent back down to $1000.
The forecast is one of Saxo Bank's ten 'Outrageous Predictions' for 2018, which focus on a series of unlikely but underappreciated events which, if they were to occur, could send shockwaves across financial markets.
Chief economist at Saxo Bank, Steen Jakobsen says: “It is important to underline that the Outrageous Predictions should not be considered Saxo’s official market outlook, it is instead the events and market moves deemed outliers with huge potentials for upsetting consensus views.”
Among the ten predictions listed - from loss of independence for the Fed, to TenCent taking over Apple's market cap crown - the most startling of all is Saxo's determination on Bitcoin.
This suggest a peak in 2018 above $60,000 and a market capitalisation of over $1 trillion as the advent of the Bitcoin futures contract in December 2017 leads to a groundswell of involvement by investors and funds that are more comfortable trading futures than tying up funds on cryptocurrency exchanges.
"Before long, however, the Bitcoin phenomenon finds the rug torn out from under it as Russia and China move deftly to sideline and even prohibit non-sanctioned cryptocurrencies domestically," states the bank. "After its spectacular peak in 2018, Bitcoin crashes and limps into 2019 close to its fundamental 'production cost' of $1,000."
Head of FX Strategy, John J. Hardy, who lead the project this year, comments: "We may or may not get any of these right but that isn't the point. Rather, our task here is to stimulate debate and thought on what outrageous direction things may head at major inflection points like those that 2018 will inevitably bring.“
Elsewhere in the crazy world of bitcoin, cryptocurrency exchange NiceHash has reported that the contents of its bitcoin wallet has been stolen in a security breach. About 4,700 bitcoin, worth about $63.92 million at current prices, have disappeared into the ether. The miner has suspended all operations for 24 hours while it investigates the cause of the breach.