Here’s Why Bitcoin Price [Probably] Won’t Hit All-Time High Before May 2020

Journalist:
Ben Brown
September 26, 2019

Anyone expecting a new record high bitcoin price by the end of the year is likely to be disappointed.

Based on the previous cycles of BTC price activity, we probably won’t see bitcoin smash back through $20,000 before at least May 2020. The reason is simple:

Bitcoin has never recaptured an all-time high before a halving event

Look at the Coin Metrics chart below, marked with the halving every four years, edited by CCN to mark the price at each event. In the last two cycles, BTC has failed to recapture its previous high before the halving.

In previous cycles, bitcoin has never recaptured its previous high before a halving event. Instead, it carves out a new high about 18 months later. Source: CoinMetrics, edited by CCN.

Rather, bitcoin tends to break its previous high in the twelve months following the halving. And it doesn’t form a new peak until around 18 months after the event.

If the cycle repeats, we won’t see bitcoin break $20,000 until mid-late 2020 with a new record high carved out in 2021.

Of course, past performance is no indicator of the future. But, as a strongly cyclical asset following a predictable stock-to-flow ratio, it’s a thesis to consider.

How the halving event affects bitcoin price

Every four years, Bitcoin executes a ‘halving’ whereby the amount of BTC daily supply is cut in half. Block rewards for miners, which are paid out in bitcoin, are slashed by 50%.

When bitcoin launched, the block reward was 50 BTC. It was then cut to 25 BTC in 2012, then 12.5 BTC in 2016.

Each halving event spurred a huge rally in the bitcoin price as supply decreased.

$42k BTC price prediction highly unlikely

The analysis pours cold water on Pantera Capital’s wild price prediction of $42,000 before the end of the year. Speaking to Laura Shin on her Unchained podcast, CEO Dan Morehead said:

“Graph the price of bitcoin logarithmically and its trend has been to grow at 235% compound annual growth rate. That puts BTC at $42,000 at the end of 2019. I think it’s a good shot that at the end of the year we hit that.”

While bitcoin does have a 235% compound annual growth rate, that growth is not evenly spread. BTC goes through long periods of slow consolidation before spiking rapidly in a short period of time.

If history is anything to go by, the bitcoin price will continue to consolidate until after the May 2020 halving. After that, all bets are off.

This article was edited by Samburaj Das.

Last modified (UTC): September 26, 2019 14:23

Ben Brown

Ben is a journalist with a decade of experience covering financial markets. Based in London, UK, his writing has appeared in The Huffington Post and he was Chief Editor at Block Explorer, the world's longest-running source of Blockchain data. Reach him at benjamin-brown.uk or on Twitter at _Ben_Brown. Email ben @ benjamin-brown.uk.