In Brief

Bitcoin price: cryptocurrency to set record for ‘longest downward trend’

Experts say investors are switching from virtual currency back to gold

Bitcoin is on the brink of setting a new record for the “longest downward trend” in value as it continues to lose steam. 

The cryptocurrency will take the record, referred to as a “bear market” in the industry, if prices continue to slide in February, says virtual currency news site Bitcoin Exchange Guide

The longest bear market so far began in December 2013 and ended in January 2015, when prices slipped from roughly $1,230 per coin to $320 (£930 to £240), according to ranking site CoinMarketCap

Despite recovering to nearly $20,000 (£15,200) in December 2017, prices have been in free-fall since and currently sit at $3,580 (£2,720) as of 9am today UK time.

There’s little to suggest a turnaround is imminent, which experts believe is pushing investors to put their money into other assets.

Speaking to US broadcaster CNBC, Jan Van Eck, chief executive of investment management firm Van Eck Associates, said “we just polled 4,000 bitcoin investors and their number one investment for 2019 is actually gold. So gold lost to bitcoin and now it’s going the other way.”

He added that “bitcoin pulled a little bit of demand away from gold” in 2017, but the pendulum has now swung the other way. 

While Van Eck’s comments will bring little solace to devoted bitcoin investors, Anthony Pompliano, founder of capital management firm Morgan Creek Digital Assets, told crypto site Ethereum World News that bitcoin will not fall much further below the $3,000 (£2,280) mark. 

However, he claims that the virtual coin is unlikely to skyrocket in value over the next 12 months and will sit between $2,500 and $4,500 (£1,900 and £3,420) for most of the year. 

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