Cryptocurrency market predictions often have a “pie-in-the-sky” feel to them, but skeptics who have dismissed the asset class have missed out on some incredible gains.
While Bitcoin is up “only” 110% over the past year (as of Dec. 20), other cryptos have posted unbelievable numbers. Solana, the fifth-largest crypto by market cap, is up nearly 11,000% over the past year, while Shiba Inu, which may soon crack the top 10, is up an unfathomable 46 million percent.
Whether these types of gains will continue or vanish is anyone’s guess, but those who mocked the rise of these cryptocurrencies have missed the opportunity of a lifetime.
Here are some of the most prominent and widespread predictions for what the crypto market will look like in 2022, according to various experts.
Beyond Bitcoin: Looking at Some Crypto Financial Jargon
Bitcoin Will Hit $100,000
Just like “$1 million” is often tossed around in the financial press as a good target for a retirement nest egg, you’ll often hear “$100,000” as a price target for Bitcoin. Some pundits see Bitcoin reaching $100,000 in 2023, but others predict a six-digit price as soon as 2022.
According to Kate Waltman, a New York-based CPA specializing in crypto, “The most knowledgeable educators in the space are predicting $100,000 Bitcoin in Q1 2022 or sooner.”
There are certainly factors that could support a higher Bitcoin price, including greater acceptance by businesses and increasing demand from Bitcoin ETFs. But some pundits think a price target of even $100,000 is too modest. According to Forbes, a panel of 50 cryptocurrency experts sees a Bitcoin price of $250,000 by 2025 and $5 million by 2030.
More Countries Accept Bitcoin as Legal Tender
El Salvador made global headlines in September when it became the first country in the world to accept Bitcoin as legal tender. Many crypto bulls now see more countries taking the plunge and accepting Bitcoin as legal tender in 2022.
According to BitMEX CEO Alexander Höptner, “By the end of next year, we’ll have at least five countries that accept Bitcoin as legal tender. All of them will be developing countries.”
Global investment manager VanEck also sees the value of Bitcoin as a currency for certain emerging countries and predicts that at least one will adopt Bitcoin as legal tender in 2022.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH): How’s It Differ From Bitcoin and What’s It Worth?
More Digital Asset Companies Will IPO in 2022
Coinbase made waves in April as the first cryptocurrency exchange to go public.
According to investment manager VanEck and others, more digital asset companies will work their way to the public markets in 2022. Newly listed companies may include anything from digital asset miners to payment companies and other crypto-related businesses.
Bitcoin Mining Will Become More Sustainable
One of the knocks against some cryptocurrencies in general and Bitcoin, in particular, is that their production consumes too much energy.
Investment manager VanEck predicts that sustainability-focused mining companies will continue to grow their market share in 2022.
For example, Stronghold Digital Mining, which listed in the fourth quarter of 2021, uses a coal mining by-product to generate the power needed to mine Bitcoin; and, according to VanEck, other ESG-focused companies are likely to thrive in the space going forward.
Ethereum Will Overtake Bitcoin as the No. 1 Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin always has been the big dog in the arena, as the first and largest cryptocurrency, but Ethereum has been rapidly catching up. As of Dec. 20, Ethereum’s market cap sits at about $456 billion, not that far behind Bitcoin’s market-leading $875 billion. That gap has decreased significantly in 2021, as Ethereum gained about 500% over the past year vs. Bitcoin’s gain of “just” 110%.
Crypto hedge fund manager Rahul Rai, among others, feels that Ethereum could overtake Bitcoin as the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency as early as mid-2022.
Ethereum (ETH): What It Is, What It’s Worth and Should You Be Investing?
The Bottom Line
Crypto is an exciting, explosive, speculative area of the market, and its future can’t be predicted with any certainty. Compared with the stock market, which is based on more predictable cash flows and earnings trends and still can’t be forecast with any degree of comfort, the crypto market is still the Wild West.
Yet, in many ways, predictions and beliefs in the crypto market can manifest into reality. Bitcoin was made up out of thin air by a still-unknown founder, yet it is now accepted as legal tender by at least one country (El Salvador) and is being accepted as payment by a growing number of merchants.
Dogecoin, which was literally created as a joke, now has a market cap of $22 billion, and the crypto market as a whole broke the $3 trillion market cap level in November.
So, whatever you believe about crypto in general, there’s no denying that the asset class is gaining in both size and popularity, trends that seem likely to continue into 2022.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Experts Predict What the Crypto Market Will Look Like in 2022