Experts predict where Bitcoin will be six months from now. typographyimages/Pixabay

During Bitcoin’s exponential rise over the course of 2017, it was easy to imagine the cryptocurrency had taken off and was never going to come back down. Thus far, 2018 has been a rude awakening for those who weren’t ready for a course correction—Bitcoin has lost nearly $50 billion of its market value in January.

Despite the drop off that has hurt those looking at Bitcoin as a “get rich quick” opportunity, there remain those with a longer view of the cryptocurrency who are unshaken by the shift in the market that has sent Bitcoin’s value plummeting below $8,000 for the first time since November.

A survey of more than one dozen financial experts conducted by International Business Times between January 25 and January 30 found that the majority are optimistic Bitcoin will regain much of its lost value by the midway mark of 2018. On average, the experts predicted Bitcoin will be valued at about $15,500 in six months.

The tumultuous time that Bitcoin is currently experiencing has been caused by a number of factors, according to experts, not the least of which is the newfound scrutiny being applied to the cryptocurrency market by regulators in the United States and around the world.

While Bitcoin and its underlying technology hasn’t directly been the subject of investagory efforts, the recent revelation that cryptocurrency Tether and the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex were subpoenaed by the U.S. States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has created a sense of uncertainty in the market.

Derin Cag, founder and CEO of Richtopia , predicted Bitcoin would remain at about $9,000 as he expects the cryptocurrency will be stunted by outside challenges including regulators and internal challenges stemming from the technology Bitcoin is built on.

“I think it could get stuck at this price due to regulations and lack of scaling,” he said—though he provided a much more optimistic view for an end-of-year goal if Bitcoin can successfully navigate its short-term woes. “Once regulations are in place and if scaling is achieved, then $50,000 or more by December 2018 could be feasible.”

Others view the current dip in Bitcoin’s value as an inevitable correct, regardless the cause, and expect that it will return to its previous benchmarks—and higher—over the next several months.

“Bitcoin has now experienced a correction period that has lasted as long as most of the previous correction periods. From history, it may now take us most, perhaps all, of February to climb back to the all-time high,” Raphael Rottgen, partner and head of research at Q2Q Capital, said. “Once we surpass the all-time high, history tells us that the price may rally 50 percent [or higher] before going into another consolidation period.”

Rottegen said there are a number of factors that could enable extended growth for Bitcoin in the near future, including widely accessible trading tools like Robinhood and improved technological infrastructure like adoption of the Lightning network .

Matthew Peterson, chief marketing officer for Jive Communications , said Bitcoin would reach $19,000 again by the middle of 2018 but would see resistance that could keep it from breaking the $20,000 barrier.

“I believe it will be there—$25,000, $30,000—by the end of the year,” Peterson said. “I think Bitcoin’s ultimate future is replacing gold and the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency.” Peterson cited Bitcoin’s advantages, including transferability and its ability to operate as a trustless platform that has “proven too resilient to kill."

Others were less optimistic in Bitcoin’s ability to overcome some of its hurdles. Michael Hunte, director of community operations at DFINITY , predicted Bitcoin will be valued at $16,000 by mid-2018 but did not credit those gains to successfully navigating near-term challenges.

“Bitcoin will increase in price but not by a large margin due to stagnation in updates to the system,” Hunte said.

He explained that some of the areas he often looks at when valuing the price of cryptocurrencies include public hype and the actual technical roadmap behind the product. Hunte seemed to believe Bitcoin would continue to succeed in generating hype even if it fails to iron out some of its largest technical challenges.

Other experts were more pessimistic about the possibilities for Bitcoin going forward. Joshua Gordon-Blake, the vice president of global partnerships for Pangea Money Transfer , predicted Bitcoin would experience a precipitous drop to $1,100. His primary reason for expecting Bitcoin to lose value stems from its lack of mainstream use cases.

“The lynchpin to crypto success as a currency is acceptance by retailers. However, that won’t happen with today’s volatility, and today’s volatility will continue until government regulation is ironed out,” he said.

Gordon-Blake said the government will need to provide the market clarity on its stance on cryptocurrencies as well as its plans to provide oversight that will protect against insider trading and scams. Until that stability is provided, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could suffer from uncertainty.