Mikko Hypponen, a prominent security and privacy expert, TED speaker and Chief Research Officer of F-Secure, predicted the price of bitcoin to be close to US$1,000 by the end of 2016. On Safe & Savvy, F-Secure’s news outlet, Hypponen stated: “Bitcoin value will rise to close to $1000 by the end of 2016, re-fueling criminal interest in botnet attacks using Bitcoin.”
During an interview with Safe & Savvy about major hacking attacks, bitcoin and other trending discussions within the security and privacy communities, Hypponen explained that his team at F-Secure is directing day-to-day operations based on future threats and trends. On December 11, 2015, he emphasized bitcoin as an important tool for criminals and of course, the general population, making the digital currency a crucial part of F-Secure’s research initiatives.
Hypponen went on further to express his plans to hold on to his storage of bitcoin, as he firmly believes the value of bitcoin will continue to increase rapidly in the upcoming years.
Although Hypponen emphasized the importance of bitcoin as criminal money and explained the increasing use cases of bitcoin within the criminal world, the criminal side of bitcoin must be acknowledged as a positive outlook on bitcoin.
Some traders, investors and high profile individuals tend to dismiss bitcoin as a global store of value or digital gold due to its applicability in the cybercrime world. However, it is also crucial to note that criminals always are in search for better technologies and methods to settle transactions with ease in a secure yet efficient ecosystem.
Instead of observing bitcoin as criminal money, users and investors should acknowledge the fact that criminals are considering bitcoin to be more efficient than cash, gold or other forms of traditional assets and money, which makes bitcoin a viable contender to reserve currencies.
Increasing cases of criminal activities is not one of the many factors that pushed the rally of bitcoin price in the past week. As CNBC and other mainstream analysts, research teams and media outlets have reported, the surging price of bitcoin can be attributed to two major factors: increasing demand vs. decreasing supply and tightening capital controls due to currency devaluation.
But, if bitcoin is allowing criminals to settle cross-border transactions without any boundaries, it also means that bitcoin is performing as an efficient currency for the general population and even for the underbanked that are struggling to deal with lack of proper financial infrastructures.
In spite of many requests on social media and online bitcoin communities, Hypponen is yet to offer a prediction for 2017. It is highly likely that Hypponen would prefer not to provide an official prediction as 2017 is a highly anticipated year for bitcoin investors and companies.
There exists a wide range of factors that could push bitcoin price to new all time highs next year and these include the launch of bitcoin ETFs, significant improvement to the bitcoin protocol and emergence of practical bitcoin platforms working to solve real-world problems revolving around payments, cross-border transactions and settlement of assets.
Image from Ted Talks.