A Bitcoin keychain. Photo: Flickr

Many analysts are attempting to read the tea leaves of the 2018 first quarter results to predict what will happen to Bitcoin. On Tuesday, CNBC reported that Bitcoin had its worst quarter in history, with $119 billion shaved of its US dollar price since the start of 2018.

But on the same day, CNBC quoted an investor as saying the second quarter would be far better. Brian Kelly outlined what he called “seasonality” and “a shift in sentiment” to argue that Bitcoin would make gains in the next three months. Bitcoin, said Kelly, always does well in the second quarter.

And then The Merkle website reported a recovery on Tuesday, as Bitcoin rose from about $7,100 to just under $7,500 in less than 24 hours. The rise, apparently due to news of a buyout of troubled Tokyo-based exchange Coincheck, was short lived.

Meanwhile, research group ETH Zurich has applied a rather complicated equation called Metcalfe’s law to announce that the Bitcoin price has much further to fall. Almost another 40% will be shaved off its market cap value before the end of 2018, estimated the Swiss researchers.

And just to add to the misty mix, well-known “Bitcoin developer and entrepreneur” Jimmy Song published an essay at the start of this week, entitled “Why Bitcoin is Different” that is now well-shared, to argue that even though there have been many alternatives to Bitcoin, “none of them have even come close to displacing Bitcoin in terms of price, usage or security.”

Bitcoin, said Song, “is a system that, despite all the cloning, has yet to be truly replicated,” has the largest network and is truly decentralizated as, unlike other coins “ it has no founder or a company that created” it. “One of the greatest things that Satoshi did,” writes Song about the supposed creator of Bitcoin, “was disappear.”

Bitcoin has “no single point of failure,” added Song. “Bitcoin has a system where even if a whole group of developers got hit by a bus, there are multiple open source implementations that can continue to offer choices to every user. In Bitcoin, you are sovereign over your own bitcoins…This is a very good thing as there’s no central authority that can diminish the utility of your coins. That means Bitcoin is actually scarce (instead of theoretically or temporarily scarce), won’t change qualitatively without everyone’s consent and is thus a good store of value.”

Yes, yes, yes, all very interesting, but is it going to rise during the second quater?