Bitcoin and cryptocurrency have had a jumbled year—fears over a regulatory crackdown have risen, though the bitcoin price has doubled over the last 12 months.
The bitcoin price, which began the year at around $5,260 per bitcoin, soared to well over $19,000 during June before crashing back to trade around $10,000 (where it sits now) amid fears that Facebook's planned cryptocurrency project could cause central banks and regulators to take action against crypto - which has since de-esculated.
Currently, the bitcoin price remains heavily influenced by China and the trade war. As the BTC price has indicated for some time now, the progress of the China/U.S. trade dispute towards settlement.
This trade deal progress is bad news for Chinese demand for secure assets. When the heat goes up at the negotiating table, so will the price of bitcoin. If Trump is going to win next year, then China will want to settle fast but Trump will want to hang tough because he will be able to drive a hard bargain if China is facing four years more of his pressure - which is great news for BTC.
Another looming factor is the upcoming bitcoin reward halving. Historically, bitcoin has put on a good show in the six months ahead of the reward halving.
This time, however, the pre-halving period has begun on a negative note with the cryptocurrency falling by 17.5% in November. The analyst community, however, remains positive about the event:
Charles Hwang, managing member of the hedge fund Lightning Capital and an adjunct professor at Baruch College, expects the reward halving to power bitcoin to new highs above $20,000.
With bitcoin traders and investors looking hopefully towards 2020, one former crypto sceptic-turned bitcoin believer has predicted the bitcoin price could hit $100,000 per bitcoin over the next two years before climbing as high as $500,000 by 2030.
"Between now and 2021, we're likely to see $100,000 bitcoin," Mark Yusko, the chief executive and chief investment officer at Morgan Creek Capital Management.
Yusko, who admitted he was previously sceptic of bitcoin and the underlying blockchain technology that it's built on, pointed to the infancy of the technology as the reason behind his "hyperbullish" prediction.
"It really is about the growth mindset and focusing on the venture capital upside or the asymmetric upside of the asset at this point."
The growth of the bitcoin network, which has developed rapidly since it was created a little over 10 years ago, will help combat wealth inequality, according to Yusko, who oversees some $1.5 billion worth of assets at his U.S.-based hedge fund.
"The government and the elites want to have all the wealth, so they manufacture inflation and the wealth flows to top. And that's why we have the greatest wealth inequality in the history of mankind. Bitcoin helps solve that because now we can opt-out as an owner of assets from that fiat system."
Bitcoins prices reflect the sentiment of the market at large – which is why the current prices are down. However, in the background, everything is coming together - Increased accessibility large markets (such as China) and the upcoming halving lay the foundations for Bitcoin and the rest of the market to see further gains in 2020.