ZombieREUTERS/Mike Segar

  • Bitcoin fell below $7,000 on Monday for the first time
    since November.
  • While small investors shared tales of woe on Reddit and
    Twitter, institutional players took more on a long-term
    view.
  • One VC said he still expects bitcoin to hit $50,000 in
    2018.

With bitcoin
trading below $7,000
on Monday
, 64% below its all time high, many investors have
been left wondering whether this is true cryptocurrency carnage,
or if bitcoin has the ability to bounce back. 

Some have taken to Twitter and Reddit to exchange stories of lost
potential, and what it means to see thousands of dollars in
investments evaporate in a matter of days. 

But bitcoin, which increased 1,800% in value over the course of
2017, is known for its volatility. 

Despite consumer fears, professionals in the cryptocurrency
market have much more long-term views when it comes to bitcoin’s
ability to rebound. Holding, or “HODLING” as its known by
aficionados, requires patience and resolve. And despite bitcoin’s
relatively short history, many of these believers are taking
comfort in the fact that bitcoin has never failed to bounce back
from a hard dip, so far.

A $50,000 prediction — if only for a few seconds 

Anthony Pompliano, a former product manager at Facebook, is
managing partner at Full Tilt Capital, a North Carolina-based
early stage investment firm that
is putting all of its next $25 million fund
into
cryptocurrency startups. 

Pompliano said that while his firm focuses on investments such as
cryptocurrency infrastructure and technology instead of the more
volatile digital coins, he sees bitcoin’s crash as a natural part
of the market cycle. He stands by his prediction that bitcoin
will reach $50,000 in 2018.

“I don’t know if it’s for four hours, or a day, or forever. I
don’t know if anyone can call that,” Pompliano said. 

“If you ask most institutional investors, one of the most
valuable aspects of bitcoin is that every time something has
occurred that should kill it, it doesn’t die and it comes back
stronger,” Pompliano added. “I think that element of bitcoin
is incredibly powerful and highly underrated.”

Pompliano said that part of the volatility stems from the same
cyclical market forces
that sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbling
1,700
points in two days. But, he said, bitcoin is traded globally and
can swing dramatically upon news that another company or country
has decided to support it, or ban it. This means that cycles,
both good and bad, happen a lot faster in the world of
crypto. 

“I would say historically, it has proven to be very difficult for
individual retail investors to time markets. So what I have told
people close to me is, if you want to buy an asset, buy it, hold
it and don’t look at it,” Pompliano said. “Don’t try to day trade
highly volatile assets like crypto.”

Invest in the technology, not the cryptocurrencies 

Robin O’Connell, the chief revenue officer at the currency
exchange
Uphold
, was less bullish in his assessment of bitcoin’s
price, but he said that he doesn’t see cryptocurrencies going
away any time soon. 

“Anyone you talk to who says they know whether this is the bottom
is giving you their best guess. Who knows,” O’Connell said. “If
you as an individual believe that crypto is here to stay — and
obviously at Uphold we believe that — then [you believe] at some
point this is going to correct itself.”

While critics of bitcoin often complain that there is nothing to
back up its value, O’Connell disagreed. He said that the problems
it solves, such as international money transfers and
blockchain-based smart contracts, justify the use of
cryptocurrencies and prove their value. 

“Those things are to me the underlying fundamentals of whether
this thing is successful or not — not how many people are betting
that the price is going to go up,” O’Connell said.

As the broader market took a beating on Monday, bitcoin believers
took to Twitter to speak out in defense of their cryptocurrency:

 

Perhaps the most reasonable reaction was that of venture
capitalist Fred Wilson, who has written about cryptocurrency
investments in the past. 

Asked by Business Insider why he thinks the bitcoin crash
happened, whether bitcoin can rebound, and if there are any
lessons that people can learn from the last few weeks of price
drops, Wilson responded with an epigrammatic email:

“1/ I have no idea
2/ I have no idea
3/ easy come easy go”


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