It isn’t often that Bitcoin is front and center in such mainstream publications as The Independent, yet on April 24, 2018, we’re told that a price explosion is about to happen, now that Bitcoin broke through the resistance at $9,000. “I’m not surprised to see bitcoin’s price exceed $9,000 this week,” Rodrigo Marques, CEO of investment platform Atlas Quantum, told The Independent. “Rumours of a price explosion seem to have been driven by more and more institutional buyers getting into cryptocurrencies.”

Bitcoin surged past $9,000 for the first time since March, recovering from a low of just over $6,000. If this trend continues and Bitcoin breaks through the $10,000 barrier, then it could very well reach its previous all-time-high of $20,000 and beyond. According to bitcoin expert Michael Jackson (no relation to the late musician), former COO of Skype, “Regulators seem open-minded and are now working to eliminate the risks for consumers, so I see no reason why bitcoin shouldn’t fulfil its dream. And if it does then recent price falls will appear trivial.”

According to Pantera Capital, Bitcoin will break $20,000 again by the end of the year. Predictions by various experts on crypto were summarized in a tweet by Stefan Sathianathen. While Pantera came in at a conservative $20,000, other experts like Anthony Pompliano were more aggressive in their predictions, suggesting that Bitcoin may reach $50,000 and more by the end of the year. Tim Draper and Brian Kelly have gone so far to say that it will break $250,000 by 2022. Naturally, regulations and other factors may affect Bitcoin’s growth, but the future is optimistic regardless, according to the experts.

The positive forecasts appear to be informed by the recent increase in volume and value for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Currently the bulls are winning, with buy orders composing over 92% of market activity for the first time since March 2017.

Although Bitcoin dropped to less than half its value since peaking at $20,000, it should be noted that in April 2017, its value was right around $1,000. At over $9,000 today, that’s a substantial return on investment for people who chose to hold onto their BTC.

Another positive factor in the rise in Bitcoin’s value may have been IMF chief Christine Lagarde’s recent comments. On April 16, she acknowledged that blockchain technology would transform our lives, in the same way that the dot-com era has transformed the way we communicate and conduct commerce. Although she suggested that many crypto projects would fail, she acknowledged that those that survive to the next round will have a tremendous impact on how people choose to save, invest and pay their bills. Her advice to policy makers was to “keep an open mind and work toward an even-handed regulatory framework.”

Bitcoin’s market capitalization would reach $5 trillion if expert predictions come true. To put this into perspective, consider that this amount is five-times the market capitalization of Apple, the top public company in the world. While skeptics continue to suggest that Bitcoin will never replace gold as a financial hedge, a $5 trillion market cap is not far off from the approximately $8 trillion in gold that has been mined since the beginning of time. Keep your eyes open; you’re in for another wild ride in 2018!