Weiss Ratings: ‘Bitcoin Will Again Rise Up and Head for New All-Time Highs’

Siamak Masnavi

On Thursday (January 3rd), Juan M. Villaverde, who is a crypto-focused econometrician and mathematician at Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings (a division of independent financial rating agency Weiss Ratings), published their "crypto forecasts for 2019 and beyond."

Villaverde started his report for forecasts report for Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings by pointing out that although 2018 was a "disaster" as far as cryptocurrency prices are concerned, it was also "the year of major progress." Here are a few examples of the achievements made in 2018:

  • "Hashgraph, an innovative approach that takes us beyond blockchain, was developed."
  • "Holochain, also based on a non-blockchain approach, was introduced to the world."
  • "Bitcoin launched its Lightning Network to help speed up transactions."

Next, Villaverde explained that the analysis that resulted in these 2019 forecasts was based a combination of their cycles model (which "helps estimate the timing of major market trends") and their ratings model (which "identifies the coins with the strongest combination of risk, reward, technology and adoption").

Bitcoin Forecasts

  • "Bitcoin will be increasingly used as a store of value." Villaverde says that Bitcoin is on its way to becoming "digital gold" since no other asset offers its combination of security, easy/free storage, and efficient transport.
  • "The price of Bitcoin will rise again and head for new all-time highs." Villaverde argues that although Bitcoin has been pronounced dead by experts several times until now, after every bear market, Bitcoin has bounced back, and that "thanks to the 2018 price declines, most of the weakest hands in the market have departed" while "diehard believers have held firm or even accumulated more Bitcoin." And since adoption has also increased, he believes that we are ready for a "new bull market" in 2019, and that once again Bitcoin is poised to "rise up and head for new all-time highs."

Altcoin Forecasts

  • "Select altcoins will rise from relative obscurity to as much as 20 times their previous all-time highs." Unfortunately, these coins are not named!
  • "A select group of cryptos will compete to build a new kind of internet." Examples of coins aiming to create what he calls "Internet 3.0" are EOS, Cardano, and Holochain.
  • "Another select group of cryptocurrencies will disrupt the world of banking." The two main challengers for this task are XRP and Stellar Lumens (XLM). In particular, he says that if XRP "can manage to chip away at SWIFT’s market share and even replace it in some areas, there’s a chance that XRP could eventually become the world’s No. 1 cryptocurrency."
  • "Bitcoin me-too coins will fade away." Examples of coins that Villaverde believes have "no innovative use case" are Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Bitcoin SV (BSV).
  • "New coins will rocket to the top 10." Two examples of new coins that are fairly obsecure now but could break into the top 10 are Holochain (HOT) and Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR).

 

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pexels.com

U.S. Congressman McHenry Calls Bitcoin ‘An Unstoppable Force’ at Libra Hearing

As far as cryptocurrency fans are concerned, one U.S. Congressman, Patrick McHenry, was the star of the House Financial Services Committee hearing on Libra on Wednesday (July 17). 

Before we talk about what happened at this hearing, and more specifically, how Congressman McHenry managed to endear himself to all blockchain and cryptocurrency fans, it might be helpful to present a very brief biography of him here.

Patrick Timothy McHenry is the U.S. Representative for North Carolina's 10th congressional district. He is serving his eight term at the U.S. congress, where he is currently the Republican Leader of the House Financial Services Committee, "a committee he has served on since he was elected to Congress" (in 2004, when he was just 29 years old).

On Wednesday (July 17), a day after Facebook's David Marcus, who is a co-creator of Libra and the head of the Calibra project, faced tough questions at the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs (aka "Senate Banking Committee"), came the real grilling at a full hearing (titled "Examining Facebook’s Proposed Cryptocurrency and Its Impact on Consumers, Investors, and the American Financial System") of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services.

Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), who had previously implored Facebook to stop working on the Libra project until Congress could understand better the implications of what Facebook's proposed cryptocurrency, started the hearing by delivering a prepared statement, during which she, once again, expressed her "serious concerns with Facebook’s plans":

This venture is slated to be based in Switzerland, which has a history as a monetary haven for criminals and shady corporations. Facebook’s plans raise serious privacy, trading, national security, and monetary policy concerns, not only for Facebook’s over 2 billion users, who will have immediate access to these products, but also for consumers, investors and the global economy.

 Congressman McHenry's gave his opening remarks around 11:00 (Eastern Time). Here were the main highlights:

  • "Washington must go beyond the hype and ensure that it's not the place where innovation goes to die."
  • "Just because we may not fully understand a new technology proposal does not mean we should immediately call for its prohibition, especially when that proposal is just that — a proposal."
  • "The reality is whether Facebook is involved or not, change is here. Digital currencies exist. Blockchain technology is real. And Facebook's entry in this world is just confirmation, albeit at scale."
  •  "The world that Satoshi Nakamoto, author of the Bitcoin whitepaper, envisioned—and others are building—is an unstoppable force."
  • "We should not attempt to deter this innovation, and governments cannot stop this innovation. And those that have tried have already failed."
  • "Instead of a knee jerk reaction of banning something before it begins, my Replication colleagues and I want to first try an understanding. An in turn, based off what we learn, determine whether or not our current regulatory framework meets the demands of this new technology."  

Then, around 15:30 (ET), McHenry began his questioning of David Marcus about Libra; some of his most interesting questions are listed below.

McHenry: Is it a security?

Marcus: We don't believe it is, Congressman.

McHenry: Is it a commodity?

Marcus: Congressman, based on current U.S. law, it might be a commodity, but we see it as a payment tool.

McHenry: Is it an exchange traded fund?

Marcus: It is not, Congressman.

Congressman McHenry repeated his claim about Bitcoin being an unstoppable force during an interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin on CNBC's morning news and talk program "Squawk Box":

I think there is no capacity to kill Bitcoin. Even the Chinese with their firewall and their extreme intervention in their society could not kill Bitcoin.

Sorkin then told McHenry that although it might not be possible to technically "kill" Bitcoin, it was possible for governments to create legislation that made access to Bitcoin illegal for their citizens at fiat on/off ramps such as exchanges (e.g. Coinbase) and custodial wallets (e.g. Calibra), and that would "effectively make it very very difficult for the mainstream to use it." Sorkin then said that's why investors in Bitcoin were worried, which explained the recent drop in price.

McHenry replied:

Yes, so the price has come down to roughly $10,000... But you are talking about something that... people were giving away for free. It's now trading at $10,000... But the essence of Bitcoin is what Libra, Facebook, and corporates are trying to mimic.