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).


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The Swiss Warm to Crypto Investments

The Swiss are shifting more focus to cryptocurrency investments. This is according to a survey taken on behalf of Migros Bank, which revealed that a growing proportion of Swiss residents are invested or actively looking to invest in cryptocurrencies.

The survey which was conducted by market research institute Intervista showed that 7% of savers between the age of 18-55 already hold cryptocurrencies such as ether and bitcoin. Even more encouraging was the finding that 7% of those aged between 30 and 55 plan to extend their crypto portfolios in the future.

Unsurprisingly, the survey found younger participants to be the most bullish on the long term prospect of crypto. According to 13%, aged between 18 and 29, cryptocurrencies will become more "important" in the future.

Less extraordinary were the results of the older generation. Per the survey, respondents aged over 55 were much less likely to own cryptocurrencies, and only 0.5% thought that it was a worthwhile long term investment. 

Switzerland Ups the Ante on Crypto Regs

This uptick in demand for cryptocurrency comes just after Switzerland imposes more stringent crypto regulations. 

Jumping off recommendations issued within both the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) guidance and the EU's 5th anti-money laundering directive (5AMLD), the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, or FINMA, recently opted to tighten their travel rule.

The rule, which requires crypto firms to disclose customer information for transfers above $1,000, was initially set by FINMA at a threshold of $5,000 (5,000 CHF) but has since lessened to just $1,000 per the FATF and 5AMLD directives. 

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