Bitcoin prices have been cruising in a summer ralley that’s helped catapult the world’s most popular cryptocurrency well over $7,000. This is the most bitcoin has been worth since early June, following what was a sluggish spring. But is this spike here to stay or is bitcoin, once again, flying too close to the sun?
Some technical analysis has suggested a pullback may be on the horizon, but Josiah Hernandez, chief strategy officer of Coinsource — a bitcoin ATM provider — tells Inverse that the cryptocurrency is due for a bull market.
As of 1:30 p.m. Eastern, the cryptocurrency is priced at $7,529, a more than $1,000 climb from its July 16 price, according to CoinMarketCap. Hernandez says that enough work is going into bitcoin’s scalability and mainstream adoption that the market could see prices higher than the 2017 all-time high.
“The level of adoption, in terms of usage, that occurred during the last bull market that limited the upside because it hit capability limits,” says Hernandez. “In fact, the capacity has been increased to the point where it can now handle that, I see upside being higher than it was before.”
The Coinsource executive is hardly alone in his bullish stance on the cryptocurrency. Arthur Hayes, CEO of Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange recently told CNBC that bitcoin would reach $50,000 by year’s end, though not without the potential for a downturn before then. Hernandez wouldn’t give a concrete price prediction but he says a major market upswing hinges on two blockchain scaling solutions.
He believes the Lightning Network and SegWit are two pivotal improvements that will usher in mainstream adoption. Both of these upgrades have increased the transaction speed and capability of bitcoin blockchain, allowing more people to use it and bringing down transaction fees.
Hernandez says this type of innovation will soon take bitcoin from being a virtual asset you “hodl” to a common form of consumer currency. But making this switch will be left up to companies and individuals to carve out routes towards making the public more comfortable with the cryptocurrency.
“The next bull market will be fueled by convenience,” he says. “Right now if I have a bitcoin in my wallet I can’t [use it to add] any actual value to my day-to-day life, outside of having a bitcoin debit card. But I think creating rails that are easily accessible and have a good user experience will enable people to become more comfortable with using it and investing it.”