Bitcoin investors have nervously watched markets over recent weeks, with some senior figures in the bitcoin community warning confidence has “evaporated.”
The bitcoin price has swung wildly along with traditional markets since the coronavirus COVID-19 began spreading out of China, dropping to lows of under $4,000 per bitcoin from almost $10,000 in early March.
Now, despite bitcoin dropping by some 30% over the last 30-day period, survey results show bitcoin investors were upbeat at the beginning of the year, with most expecting the bitcoin price to soar to over $20,000 per bitcoin in 2020.
The average 2020 bitcoin price target cited by traders and investors was $22,866 per bitcoin, a survey of U.S.-based bitcoin and crypto exchange Kraken users showed, up on bitcoin’s all-time high of around $20,000.
The bitcoin price has fallen by some $2,000 since the survey was carried out, hit hard by the broader market sell-off sparked by the spreading coronavirus.
Bitcoin sunk to lows of under $4,000 earlier this month before bouncing back to trade over $6,000 and remains highly volatile.
The U.S. Federal Reserve and central banks around the world have moved to pump unprecedented levels of freshly-printed cash into the system in response to the coronavirus crisis, with some senior bitcoin and cryptocurrency figures arguing this could result in a surge of interest in crypto.
“As we get used to talk about trillions, a modest $2 trillion market cap of bitcoin will put one bitcoin at $100,000,” the chief executive of the world’s largest bitcoin and crypto exchange Binanace, Changpeng Zhao, said via Twitter, adding it’s “not such a hard to imagine number now, right?”
However, the outlook for altcoins was less rosy with only slight more than half (54%) of respondents expecting a so-called alt season this year.
Traders didn’t see ethereum, the world’s second most valuable cryptocurrency returning to its all-time highs this year, with an average price target of $810—down from ethereum’s all-time highs of over $1,000 in late 2017.
Elsewhere, bitcoin and crypto market sentiment was mixed. A majority (44%) of respondents saw the market as bullish, though 34% were undecided and 22% felt it was in bear market territory.
Bitcoin and crypto traders also failed to find common ground as to what will push the market forward this year.
“Adoption” was cited by 19% of respondents, while bitcoin’s upcoming halving was named by 15%. Political “conflict,” “fear of missing out,” and economic “crisis” were also popular responses.
The survey, carried out in late January, polled some 400 so-called VIP Kraken users, with 41% of respondents describing themselves as “investors,” 40% as “traders,” and 15% as “institutions”—the remainder was made up of “payment processors,” “crypto exchanges” and “miners.”
Meanwhile, nearly 50% of respondents said they expect the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) to approve a bitcoin exchange-traded (ETF) fund this year.
Earlier this year, the SEC rejected an ETF application from New York-based asset management firm Wilshire Phoenix and options exchange NYSE Arca that wanted to mix bitcoin and short-term Treasuries.
The SEC has rejected many applications for a bitcoin ETF over recent years, meaning this latest ruling didn’t come as a surprise, though comments accompanying the ruling suggested the SEC might not green light a bitcoin ETF for the foreseeable future.