During an interview on Bloomberg TV on December 3, Mike Kayamori, the CEO of Japanese cryptocurrency exchange and fintech company Quoine, predicted a new Bitcoin all-time high by the end of 2019.
The interview comes following what has been a nearly year-long slump in cryptocurrency prices. Kayamori said the 2018 slump was because “there’s nothing new, no catalyst.” He is expecting a recovery in the coming year, as Japanese exchanges settle in with their new regulations and financial veterans enter the market in greater numbers.
In the interview, Kayamori said many people thought $4,000 was the technical bottom for Bitcoin, but that level failed to hold as support recently.
When asked where the market bottom might be he said:no one knows” and added that “when you look at [historical] patterns and where things are going, I think the bottom is near.”
One sign of a coming bottom in Kayamori’s opinion is the recent shutting of so many Bitcoin mining operations. With Bitcoin prices tumbling, miners have seen their profit margins squeezed tight, leading to many shutting down or switching to mining other coins.
According to Kayamori:
If there’s enough miners going out of business, that [means] equilibrium is near. When you look at how markets overshoot, both up and down, you can probably say it’s close to the bottom.
Another positive development noted by Kayamori is that Japanese regulators are allowing new token listings and approving new cryptocurrency exchanges. The Japanese regulators had previously halted approvals following the Coincheck hack in January 2018 that resulted in the loss of $534 million worth of cryptocurrencies.
Additionally, the Japanese exchanges already in operation are nearing the completion of improvements to business processes demanded by Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) in the wake of the Coincheck hack. The FSA called for improvements to clean up the cryptocurrency industry in Japan.
According to Kayamori, the FSA requirements have had much of the Japanese cryptocurrency industry in a period of “consolidation.” That consolidation will eventually lead to better cold storage of assets and better practices regarding compliance, governance, and asset segregation.
All of this will make cryptocurrencies more attractive to investors and financial industry veterans, and should increase market participation as 2019 gets underway.
Kayamori noted that Japan was the “first global economic powerhouse” to apply regulations to cryptocurrencies. Japan has had a pioneering attitude towards blockchain technology, and he mentioned the country’s acceptance of the newest industry fundraising model Security Token Offerings (STOs), which is a replacement for Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
It also appears that the FSA is working on regulations for ICOs and STOs to help protect investors from fraudulent practices.
Additionally, there are reports the Japanese government is looking for ways to keep cryptocurrency users from avoiding taxes on their profits from trading and investing in cryptocurrencies.
Kayamori isn’t the only one bullish on Bitcoin. Recently Fundstrat’s Tom Lee, a perennial Bitcoin bull, said he feels Bitcoin could end the year at $25,000.
What are your thoughts? Where do you think Bitcoin will be at the end of 2019? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.