[Reminder]: Bitcoin (BTC) All Time High Price Of $20,000 Happened Without Institutional Investors

The financialization of bitcoin is officially underway, with a growing number of Wall Street firms launching or preparing to launch bitcoin-related products. Bitcoin hit an all time high of $20,000 in December 2017 without institutions – so how high could it go in 2019?

That’s the question asked this past week by Rick D. at NewsBTC.com. Rick brings up an important point: bitcoin survived from 2009 to 2017 without institutional support. The ecosystem prospered, rose, and fell without centralized financial institutions participating. In December 2017, bitcoin hit $20k without institutional support.

Now, with Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and other major institutions jumping on board, there are big questions about what it means for bitcoin.

Institutions that offer bitcoin-related products will buy bitcoin from the market, theoretically driving prices up. The proposed bitcoin ETF, for example, aims to hold 25 BTC for every share purchased. That means every time buys a share of the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust ETF, the fund will purchase 25 BTC at the market rate.

All of this seems very good for bitcoin hodlers who are looking forward to another bull market.

Despite the increased optimism, however, prices haven’t reacted. Bitcoin and crypto continue to be in the midst of a bear market. A few years ago, news of any financial institution even mentioning the word “bitcoin” would have sent prices skyrocketing. When it was revealed online this past week that Bank of America was developing a bitcoin-related derivative product, markets barely budged.

Ultimately, optimists will say that there’s nothing to worry about: bitcoin’s fundamentals are good. Institutional support is growing. Prices are already starting to edge up slowly.

Rick D. at NewsBTC.com is one such optimist:

“Last time the bulls ran, this time we’re looking at a stampede,”

writes Rick in his report.

Rick also mentions a tweet from Conan O’Bitcoin (@ConanOBitcoin).

Conan O’Bitcoin is forgetting a crucial name that could pave the way for the next bull run: Bakkt. Rick mentions Bakkt in his article as one of the names that could kickstart an impressive bitcoin bull run in 2019.

Bakkt, for those out of the loop, is operated by Intercontinental Exchange, the same company that runs the New York Stock Exchange. Bakkt has received support from Microsoft, Starbucks, and other major American corporations and investors. Bakkt aims to launch a crypto on-ramp for institutions, making it easier and safer than ever for institutions to get involved in the industry.

Reasons For A Record-Setting Bitcoin Bull Run In 2019

Rick’s article highlights a number of reasons why bitcoin could set records in 2019 as it gathers institutional support. While markets might remain sluggish to the end of 2017, bitcoin markets could surge in 2019 based on the following stories:

  • Bakkt, which is backed by ICE, Microsoft and Starbucks, is launching a product that will make it easier for institutions to gain exposure to bitcoin; the platform is scheduled to launch in November 2018 and will cater to both retail and institutional investors.
  • Goldman Sachs is exploring how to bring a crypto trading desk and custody solution to market; Goldman Sachs was one of the first Wall Street giants to reveal its involvement with crypto, and others have since followed suit.
  • Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Bank of America, and other financial giants are preparing to launch futures and derivatives products related to BTC.
  • Various bitcoin and crypto ETFs are making their way through regulatory hurdles and seeking approval from the SEC; the SEC has denied all bitcoin ETF applications to date, but many believe ETF approval becomes more likely as more and more institutions participate in bitcoin.
  • The Lightning Network could become more usable in 2019, helping to accelerate bitcoin transactions; Lightning Network is an off-chain scaling proposal that would theoretically raise bitcoin transactional capacity and reduce transaction times, although it hasn’t been tested or used wide-scale yet.

Is This The Calm Before The Storm?

Ultimately, these are interesting times for the crypto community. The market has been hit with some of the best news in the history of bitcoin, including major announcements from Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Bakkt, and others regarding institutional involvement in cryptocurrencies. Despite these major news stories, markets haven’t trended upward. That could change in the near future as some of these anticipated products begin to roll out – including products that could alter crypto markets forever.

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