Bitcoin $2,100 — Prediction 2017

Bitcoin, Big Red Car — I thought you were a huge skeptic as it pertains to bitcoin. What gives?

Big Red Car here in Steamboat Springs where the temperature is a balmy 15F, brrrr! OK, I’m not really there, The Boss is. Me and the house sitter are in the wonderful ATX wherein we are headed for an afternoon of cruising with the top down. It’s going to be sunny and 75F. Haha, I love the ATX, y’all.

So, I was eavesdropping on a convo between The Boss and one of his confidants.

The Boss says, “I think Bitcoin is going to $2,100 by year end 2017.”

Me, I was flabbergasted as The Boss has always been such a skeptic. Not a hater, just a skeptic waiting for the “killer app” to appear.

Bottom line — the killer app may be bitcoin as a store of value or a “flight to digital safety” type investment.

Why, you ask?

 1. Bitcoin has been around for a long time now and the fear of flying associated with it has begun to diminish. Oh, there are some other digital currencies but bitcoin has the first mover and name recognition advantages. More people know about it.

 2. Bitcoin has had a nice run up in price and some of its negative history is forgotten or forgiven. This proves it can move.

 3. Bitcoin is a finite resource — only 21,000,000 bitcoin ever with 16,000,000 (approximate number) free ranging as of the EOY 2016.

 4. The Chinese are into bitcoin, as miners (creators of bitcoin), owners, traders. There are a lot of Chinese people. In addition, the uncertainties associated with the Chinese economy, the China v Trump impending clash, the artificial price of their native currency, the ability to move bitcoin across borders, the value hedge associated with a renminbi to bitcoin to USD transformation.

[Renminbi is the Chinese currency which is exactly the same thing as the yuan. RMB (Ren Min Bi, Mandarin spelling) is the same as CNY (China Yuan). I have won a bet or two on this subject.]

 5. Bitcoin has become digital gold — a store of value in times of uncertainty. It has the huge advantage of being accessible in the cloud thereby being superior to the requirement to actually physically possess gold. Huge advantage and the real “digital” nature of bitcoin.

All of these factors (and, undoubtedly, some that I have missed) are the reason why a growing demand will overwhelm a finite supply and drive values higher and higher.

Voices in my head

The Big Red Car predicts $2,100 by year end 2017 and is taking steak dinner bets on this prediction.

Pro tip: When you start to hear about dentists recommending bitcoin to their patients as a prudent investment, GET OUT! It will happen.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car and I think bitcoin is going to $2,100 by 12-31-2017.cropped-LTFD-illust_300.png

34 thoughts on “Bitcoin $2,100 — Prediction 2017

  1. Pro tip: When you start to hear about dentists recommending bitcoin to
    their patients as a prudent investment, GET OUT! It will happen.

    Is there a corollary to this? As in ‘when VC’s continue to drone on about the potential and/or encourage discussion around the subject’ how close are we to collapse? Continue to try to drum up new interest to replace the waning interest (ponzi).

    • .
      When VCs talk their book and get stuck on the same page, watch out.

      I see bitcoin as only a trade in the context of digital gold. Still waiting for a “killer app.” It may turn out that bitcoin itself is the only app, killer or otherwise.

      It is going to be fairly short term as the regulators and the sovereign nations are going to enforce their money laundering and other laws.

      As I said, there is a huge amount of brainpower focused on this and they should be creating some results.

      Be well.


      • It is going to be fairly short term as the regulators and the sovereign
        nations are going to enforce their money laundering and other laws.


  2. What?! I am shocked. The last bet you made with me was that bitcoin would not find a killer app in 2017. Now you are letting a little speculative frenzy get to your head?

  3. I think the price will level out at 5% of the world’s top 30 economies combined.

    Italy’s “unseen” economy is 20%ish… nothing to do with China but still about the missing parts.

      • GDP of top 30 countries = 1.71X10^16

        (1.71X10^16)(.05) = 8.55X10^14

        (8.55X10^14)/(16,000,000) = 53,437,500 per bitcoin { no bueno}

        But…. @ 1% of top 30 countries @ full 21,000,000 coins it gets warmer at a price of 407,142.00 per bitcoin but not really. Probably should have included all enconomies.

        • Wow!

          Warning!!! Mom told me not to talk about sex, politics, or religion. Hmm ….

          Well, on blogs, maybe don’t talk about arithmetic!!! 🙂

          Arithmetic with scientific notation — even worse! :-)!

          “The best people don’t talk about sex, politics, religion, arithmetic, or scientific notation.”!! 🙂

          Mathematical proofs! HORRORS!!!

          Arithmetic and math are such insensitive, unfeeling, non-sympathetic, etc. bludgeons that make all the nice snowflakes run to their safe spaces!!!

          So, more PC to keep us from viewing reality?

          • Ok, maybe no arithmetic ?

            But let’s try and eliminate “zero” from existence except at the origin. Say there exists only “one true zero.” Then operate and prove using “counterfeit zeros” e.g. all the other zeros except at the origin that infinity and all forms of infinity to not exist.

  4. Interesting. But, for owning bitcoin, where is the Buffett moat, barrier to entry, competitive advantage?

    As BRC mentioned,

    Oh, there are some other digital currencies but bitcoin has the first mover and name recognition advantages. More people know about it.

    Okay, if I buy bitcoin, another digital currency could get popular; e.g., maybe it will have a killer app; then bitcoin owners could sell for one of the others or just back to green money or gold, and I would lose.

    To me, when talking big bucks, “name recognition advantages” are small potatoes, awfully thin ice.

    BRC noticed that “Bitcoin is a trade, not an investment” — maybe that is the bottom line of it.

    • .
      Taken in toto, the moat is shallow and very temporal. What is true is there is only going to be 21,000,000 bitcoins and almost 16,000,000 are out there running about.

      In scarcity is found value, particularly, if demand is throttling supply. That is really a way of saying the same thing twice.

      This is a trade, not a long-term investment. The time horizon is driven by the Chinese and the Trump v China three act play.

      As long as there is uncertainty — think North Korea’s ICBM and Chinese lack of cooperation in defanging them — there will be opportunity to hedge that uncertainty.

      For the next year, it is hard to see another cryptocurrency emerging from the oooze and evolving at a fast enough rate to dethrone themn.

      Just a thought.


      • Yes, it looks like you are correct: I saw your discussion of China and guessed that China was a part of the story but didn’t have confidence or understanding enough to take the China role seriously enough.

        But, it looks like you are correct: Really, China is the main pillar of the story, that is,

        The time horizon is driven by the Chinese and the Trump v China three act play.

        which is the main reason the ice is thick right here; there is a big Buffett moat right here for a while

        For the next year, it is hard to see another cryptocurrency emerging from the oooze and evolving at a fast enough rate to dethrone them.

        Good. Plenty clear.

        Ten years from now? No one can know: China could do this and that; North Korea could do several more really dumb things; some Ayatollahs could do something or other. But you covered this:

        “Bitcoin is a trade, not an investment” — maybe that is the bottom line of it.

        Or, there could be more digital currencies, some killer apps, digital currencies designed to have better features, some legal issues, etc. Can’t make 10 year weather predictions.

      • Don’t forget India’s demonetization. They recently, and suddenly, took out of circulation a big part of banknotes. People could exchange them, but there were long queues and some cash shortages. Anytime some government tampers with money, there is a Bitcoin rally. It was the same when Cyprus screwed with people’s savings.

        Bitcoin price has grown more or less steadily for almost 2 years now, this doesn’t happen only because of one or two events:

    • Network effect is Bitcoin’s main competitive advantage. It is not just name recognition. Even if Bitcoin is still a fringe topic, there is already quite an installed base. In 2016 there have been more than 82 million confirmed transactions (that is 226k per day). All those are by people/businesses that already use Bitcoin. Changing people’s habits is very difficult, so I would not disregard that.

      There is also the huge mining capex already in place. It gives the Bitcoin blockchain much more security than any other blockchain. Contrary to what many people say, I consider this a secondary competitive advantage because this is easier to achieve by others. It is just money.

      There are already other coins that could be considered better than Bitcoin because of their features/design/whatever, but reality is that if they don’t grow, they are not better. They need to prove they can scale and that people care about those extra features. I speak from experience (and bias!) because I actively contribute to an alternative project (Dash, 7th my market cap, but still at a mere 115 million usd… peanuts compared to Bitcoin’s 17 billion!).

      • Bitcoin has been amazing. Maybe some people have made a lot of money investing in it.

        But to me, so far, broadly, just for Bitcoin, it looks like people mostly are using it to get around restrictions on moving money across national borders. So, soon, if not already, relevant governments will regard such uses of Bitcoin as illegal.

        Then, who are the highly motivated users? Apparently now those users are some Chinese who have some money, relatively a lot for China, and want to get that money the heck out of China and into some safe place, maybe into US dollars in the US. My guess, then, is that this situation in China is the main reason for the popularity, strength, etc. of Bitcoin now. Then the rather powerful central Chinese government may come down really hard on uses of Bitcoin in China. So, Bitcoin looks like a short term thing until the Chinese situation changes. If the Chinese were serious enough to abort babies 2, 3, …, then they can stop Bitcoin. Last I heard, in China, if a bureaucrat gets accused of cheating, then they can get stood up and shot. If the Chinese government regards using BItcoin as illegal, then some people can get shot and Chinese Bitcoin usage seriously slowed.

        For digital currencies in general, I have to believe that they won’t go mainstream because too many powerful governments will regard digital currencies and most of their uses as illegal and stop them. E.g., digital currencies could be seen as a main tool for tax evasion, money laundering, funding of terrorism, hiding assets, etc., and the US has applied enough pressure to the financial system to stop a lot of such things. IIRC, if anywhere in the US someone makes a deposit or withdrawal of $10,000+, then a report if filed with the US Treasury or some such. Foreign banks have been told to behave and not be part of funding terrorism. No doubt some drug dealer with a few hundred pounds of US cash will have a tough time getting it deposited in UBS. So, if the US, etc., don’t like digital currencies because of such uses, then the US, etc. can come down really hard on digital currencies.

        Then digital currencies will be something like the dark web that will stay small and risky and where nice, honest people won’t go, at least not with their money.

        To me, other than the Chinese situation that might stop at any time within an hour, digital currencies are a sand castle on the sea shore waiting for high tide.

        • I agree that Bitcoin eliminates friction and red tape. That friction is usually caused by governments, but not always (for example, credit card companies are hesitant to pay a merchant after the purchase if customers are abroad because the risk of charge back is high… with Bitcoin, that is non reversible, that is solved).

          As for making it illegal, that is easier said than done. Governments can tamper with the fiat to crypto contact points (which is a lot), but nothing more. I believe that torrenting is less used now than a few years ago, but that has not happened because it is illegal to download movies, but because there are cheap and better legal options (Netflix, Amazon…). Online gambling is illegal in the US, but sill going strong because people find ways to do it. Drugs are illegal in most of the world and they are still a huge business… and some are getting back to legal status in many parts of the US! What I’m trying to say is that legality is a territory based concept that can change, but the world is more and more international each day, so rules that can’t be easily enforced are not very effective.

          One last comment about the US coming down hard on digital currencies. There is a ton of VC money invested in the space (I don’t have data handy, but I believe in the low billions). The government is powerful, but those people are not gonna surrender easily if the government changes their position.

          • Here is a shorter explanation why I am skeptical that Bitcoin or any similar digital currency will have much of a future:

            Bitcoin and similar digital currencies are attractive for illegal activities, e.g., money laundering, funding terrorism, the illegal drug industry.

            As we have already seen from the war on drugs and the war on terrorism, for the dollar, the US has made big efforts to have nearly all dollars held in accounts in banks that are highly regulated. E.g., the cash economy is highly regulated since any deposit/withdrawal of $10,000 or more to/from a regulated bank results in a report to the US Federal Government.

            So, if digital currencies get too active for illegal activities, then we can expect that conversion of large amounts to/from dollars will be made illegal and difficult. E.g., going between Bitcoin and money in Citi, Morgan-Chase, a brokerage account, a mutual fund, etc. will be difficult.

            The IRS might tell US businesses that they have to be paid in dollars, nothing else, not milk bottle caps, gold bullion, Cracker Jacks toys, secret decoder rings, Monopoly money, bottles of laundry detergent, packages of cigarettes, or digital currencies.

          • Precisely that dollar/cash hyper regulation could lead to a wider bitcoin/digital currencies adoption. In many countries in Europe we are already forbidden to make payments above 1000 EUR in cash and bank alternatives don’t always work well (reasonably priced electronic transfers take one day to clear, checks may not have funds, bank guaranteed checks are expensive).

            You are right that some governments could try to regulate it, but doing so in an effective way is not easy or even possible. Moreso, if they managed to, I still think it would have advantages for many people, not just criminals. The dollar is the preferred currency for terrorists and drug dealers around the world, it is over regulated… and yet people still use it.

            I don’t know, maybe I’m just naive, but I don’t see that full prohibition scenario as really feasible. I guess time will tell!

          • Basically what you said seems okay to me except for just ‘scale’:

            Or Google search

            annual revenue McDonald’s restaurant

            shows that the average gross revenue per McDonald’s restaurant is $2.6 million a year.

            From whatever understanding I have of US small and medium business, a lot of the houses in nicer neighborhoods, full tuitions at private schools and colleges, 30 foot pleasure boats, luxury SUVs, etc., are from entrepreneurs who own and operate several such retail businesses — McDonald’s, pizza carryouts, gas stations with convenience stores attached, etc.

            So, suppose some guy runs a dozen McDonald’s. So, that’s monthly revenue of, right, the $2.6 million.

            He needs to deposit this revenue in a local bank so that he can pay employees, various taxes, rent, suppliers, maintenance services, insurance, legal, etc. I suspect that each quarter his accountant will want to see his bank statements, bills, etc., and the IRS will want to see at least the summaries they have in mind unless the IRS wants to do an audit at which time likely they will want to see much more.

            Now essentially all this $2.6 million a month is just from what the restaurants received at their point of sale terminals, that is, metal coins, green folding money, or credit card payments, and all of that is denominated in US dollars.

            Then, if a lot of that $2.6 million is denominated in Bitcoin, likely US banking regulations will cause his bank not to accept the Bitcoin money as a deposits; his accountant and the IRS will be bigly unhappy, etc.

            Maybe he could accept Bitcoin for a little of his revenue, say, $1000 a month, and use it to pay his local independent auto mechanic for, say, detailing of his wife’s luxury SUV or four new tires for the SUV’s full-time four wheel drive, etc. So, there could be something of a small scale, underground, Bitcoin economy — IIRC there is now a relatively small scale all cash economy. Some examples are front yard lemonade stands, teenage boys getting paid for grass mowing or leaf raking, a plumber who comes at 2 AM to unstop a plugged up toilet, etc.

            Sure, for $1000 or so a month, the McDonald’s restaurant entrepreneur could accept Bitcoin, but the $1000 a month is small potatoes compared with the $2.6 million. Besides, if the $1000 a month in Bitcoin is not properly reported, recorded on the point of sale terminals, etc., then he can be in legal trouble.

            That is, it has occurred to 99 44/100% of such retail entrepreneurs that really they could take much of the green cash revenue, stuff it into their pocket, and use it, say, for dinners and tips at high end restaurants, for him, his wife, and another couple as guests, with wines, $1000 an evening, all in cash. Yup, and such occurs to the tax collection people of the IRS and local governments, etc. Doing very much of that can lead to IRS audits.

            And I have to believe that such an entrepreneur might get approached by a dealer in illegal drugs who has $1 million a month in green cash as drug revenue. So, the drug dealer gives the restaurant entrepreneur, say, $200,000 a month in green cash that the entrepreneur just combines with his restaurant cash revenue and deposits in his bank account. Then with that $200,000 in the banking system, the entrepreneur writes the drug dealer a check on his bank account for, say, $160,000, that is, 80% (I don’t know a realistic figure) of the $200,000. That is, the restaurant entrepreneur gets paid $20,000 for his trouble.

            Then the drug dealer has a check for $180,000 he can deposit in the usual financial system and can use to buy, from a high end dealer, a new sports car for himself. The entrepreneur tells his accountant, wink, wink, that the check for $180,000 was for some business strategy consulting services so is an ordinary business expense paid from ordinary pre-tax revenue.

            The accountant and the banker, not being extremely stupid, might drop a dime into a phone booth (or would have when there still were phone booths) and call the local FBI, IRS, etc. about suspicious money movement.

            IIRC, such moving cash around is called money laundering and is quite illegal.

            For the entrepreneur, there are some big risks:

            (1) The drug dealer has evidence the entrepreneur violated the law that he, the drug dealers, might be able to use to his advantage if the FBI gives him an interview invitation offer he can’t refuse.

            (2) If the amounts of money the entrepreneur is making, the 20% above, is small, then he is taking a big legal risk for a small gain.

            (3) If the amounts of money the entrepreneur is making, the 20%, is large, then his accountant and banker are almost sure to notice and drop that dime.

            For the cash for that $1000 dinner, the entrepreneur could just take that as green cash out of the gross revenue of the restaurant. Maybe we are supposed to call this skimming.

            But, such skimming is illegal, and an audit of the cash register receipts might detect the fraud. E.g., if a small retail business accepts your cash but does not ring the cash register or give you a receipt, then they may be executing fraud.

            So, apparently for such retail businesses, there is a general principle: If the amount skimmed are small, then there is a small financial gain and a small chance of getting caught with a big legal problem.

            If the amount skimmed is large, then the chances of getting caught rise a lot.

            So, amount small or large, the fraud is either not worth the risk or much too risky.

            There may be an easier way to cheat the tax man: Say the pizza shop entrepreneur wants a nice new iPhone for his wife. So, since maybe an iPhone can look like a legitimate business expense for the business, he has the business buy the iPhone, that is, as an ordinary business expense from pre-tax revenue (if he doesn’t have to capitalize the expenditure and depreciate the iPhone) and, then, just take the iPhone home and give it to his wife.

            If at his business he gets a really severe audit, then he just claims that he lost the iPhone.

            If the IRS asks too many questions, then, wonder of wonders, suddenly the iPhone is found and at the pizza shop taking carry out orders as intended!

            Maybe the pizza shop has several high end customers who order two dozen pizzas each Friday for their Friday afternoon pizza bash to start the weekend. Well, for such customers, the entrepreneur would like some thank you gifts. These can be of great variety, Steuben glass, spiral sliced honey based ham, smoked, roast turkey, sapphire earrings for the wives, some cut glass orange juice glasses from Tiffany’s, iPhones, Apple Mac computers, a high end Nikon digital camera with a big set of lenses, a snow blower, an emergency electric generator, a chain saw, a 3/8″ rechargeable electric drill with a full set of drill bits for wood and metal, etc. Well, some of these gift items might end up in the home of the entrepreneur, e.g., for his wife and children, in his basement work shop, etc. Such things have been known to happen. The tax advantage is that the money is ordinary business expenses from pre-tax revenue.

            More generally, a business owner can have his business pay for products/services that end up at his house instead of the business and likely get away with it. E.g., his wife and daughter want to use some graphics software, a high end HP color printer, and some really nice paper to make Christmas cards. Well, the HP ink cartridges and the paper might have been bought by the business but carried home in part or in total.

            Hmm, his daughter wants to get married in the back yard of the house in the all white, Victorian, octagonal gazebo except so far there is no gazebo there! So, a carpenter gets hired, paid for by pizza shop pre-tax revenue, to do some renovations of the pizza shop, and presto, bingo, the daughter’s dream gazebo appears like magic!

            Similarly for nice winter vacations to Florida for his wife and himself if, say, they also make a stop at a convention of such business owners.

            I’m sure the IRS knows much more but is willing to put up with some level of such cheating before investing in an expensive investigation and legal case.

            Fact of life: There is some small scale cheating in the US economy.

            Net, if Bitcoin is used for some small scale cheating, then maybe people will be able to get away with it. But for large scale cheating, say, $500,000 a month, I have to believe that, with tips from the accountant and banker, the IRS will descend like an American Bald Eagle on a beaver kit caught in the open.

            From that broad situation, to me, in the major world countries, Bitcoin looks like it will never be more than small potatoes and limited to special purposes often in shady situations.

          • You’ve left out the outlier. The manufacturer of some of McDonald’s packaging could grab them by the balls and design something they want and convince them to buy it in bitcoin.

  5. I rushed here when I saw the post title in my inbox because I don’t know you as well as your car, but I have heard your skepticism a few times and this is news!

    The little voice in me thinks that we may be very near the point where dentists recommend bitcoin. If it goes over all time high of 1200 usd it is gonna be big news and dentists will go in with full power. However, I won’t sell because the big voice in me agrees with you. I think there will be corrections, but 2k will eventually come and I won’t risk staying out of the market in the meantime. I already fucked up big time when I thought that buying at 20 usd was crazy because it had gone up from 15 too fast, I won’t risk that again 🙂

    • .
      Supply and demand is like the law of gravity only more focused.

      There is a finite supply and a growing demand. Demand driven by real reasons, not just speculation.

      Bitcoin is a trade, not an investment; but, it is a damn good trade. Still, doesn’t solve the “killer app” issue, does it?

      Be well and happy new year. Different facts, different conclusions.


      • Happy new year to you too!

        I do think it is an investment, because I think that store of value and payments are killer apps, but today I’m just happy that you at least start to see it as a trade.

        I’ve been very optimistic about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general for a while, but I reassess my beliefs frequently and whenever I do so with Bitcoin, you play the skeptic in my internal dialogue… Now I’m not sure if I need to find a new skeptic to keep the balance or just be more optimistic 🙂

        • .
          The difference between bitcoin (the cryptocurrency) and the blockchain (a software process in search of a killer app) is a huge difference.

          I am only predicting a run up in the price of a “commodity” — not a vote of confidence on the blockchain.

          I am absolutely amazed that the blockchain has not found that killer app yet. There is a huge amount of brain power at work on it and I cannot imagine all those brains have not come up with the aforesaid killer app.


          • There I agree with you. Oversimplifying a little, the blockchain a just a new type of database. By the way, a quite inefficient one for many of the things that some people are trying. Without Bitcoin, to me it loses much of its allure.

          • .
            Things move in odd waves. The Russian hacking — complete non-story, what did you think the FSB/KGB was doing since the invention of the Internet? — makes the entire issue of security so much more important/visible.

            It’s a solid trade.

            The BRC is only responsible for having turned over the rock.


          • What do you think the odds are of another Bitfinex type of hack occurring that could swoon price lower? Other than that, I think your trade has merit, especially since I strongly feel that the vast majority still does even know what it is, let alone how to buy something with it!

          • Yes, if you buy Bitcoin, don’t keep them in the exchange, it will eventually get hacked for sure. Learn a couple of things about security and store them yourself, ideally in a hardware wallet (you can buy one for as little as $30).

          • The bitcoin trade got a bit interesting this week, no? Probably just a healthy correction — for now. I guess that the Chinese speculators are all over bitcoin and maybe that’s why the trade got a bit too crowded…

      • “freedom” is the killer app.

        You hint at it in your post, the reason demand will continue to grow for BitCoin is because it offers a level of economic freedom (from their gov. controlled currency) to those that hold it.

        That being said, your points on supply/demand, and trade vs. investment also feel spot on to me.

        It’s the combination of all of that, that has me buying in with your prediction as well! 🙂

        • I agree about freedom. I’ve been involved in the space for a while, but I had a huge aha moment when I setup an online store that only accepted Bitcoin and Dash (a competing project I work with). Easily setting it up and start receiving payments from around the world in my wallet a few minutes after that was amazing. With credit cards and paypal it would have taken so much longer to get the funds that I can’t even compare.

          By the way, the wallet was a multisig wallet. That means that several of us have the keys and a number of us need to sign any payment, so there are also features that are not easy to get with traditional methods (I do this with banks all the time, but it is so much more difficult!).

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