The content of this article is published for entertainment purposes only and does not constitute financial, legal, or tax advice. Please consult a qualified professional before proceeding with any investment decision.


We are liars like the summertime
Like the spring, we are such fools
Like fall, we are false prophets
And like winter, we are cruel
— The Bravery

I love this time of year. As a hopeless romantic, I enjoy it when everyone else drifts into my lane.

Late December/early January is the only time of year when you're allowed to dream big and no one calls you on your bullshit. You could step into the limelight, go full Susan Boyle, declare at a high octave that 1 BTC will be a billion dollars in 2024. No one's going to stomp on your dreams. The crazier the price prediction, the more clout you can collect, and the deeper level of Dante's inferno that awaits.

The price is (never) right

We all like to believe next year we will finally summon the discipline, humility, and fortitude within and unlock the best version of ourselves. And we extend that same blind optimism to the bitcoin price.

Usually, I'm at risk at falling for the hype. Inflatable arm-flailing tube men see me coming and get back to work. But this dreamer has been downtrodden before, and I have hardened my heart toward price targets and the prognosticators who mutter them.

Price targets are usually wrong, and what's more, they're pointless. The concept of a bitcoin price target is you measure the performance of bitcoin priced at the margins against fiat. In other words, you're measuring the performance of a rock on top of a melting ice cube. If an influencer tells you bitcoin will go to a billion dollars in 2024, they inevitably fail to explain what a dollar means at that point and if life is even worth living in such a Mad Max environment. $42k may be the price of a bitcoin, but it's not the price of my bitcoin.

Furthermore, you can't have your cake and eat it too. Whatever the BTCUSD pair means, it is undercut by capital gains taxes. To realize the benefit of any price target and cash in, you inherently have to discount it by your effective tax rate. This can feel especially punitive if you somehow manage to trade around yearly price targets. I'm not a tax expert, but ignore taxes at your peril.

Honestly, the USD exchange rate for bitcoin says more about the state of the dollar that it does about bitcoin. The issuance schedule of bitcoin is known to us. The dollar is the quagmire here. If you still consider bitcoin primarily through the lens of government money, you probably don't know what you have, and you are looking at a hard asset through a funhouse mirror. So when it comes to price targets, I shan't waste my breath on such poppycock.

I love grandiose visions of the future as much as the next guy, but I respect you too much, dear reader, to talk my book and make an actual price prediction for 2024. It would be wrong the second I wrote it down and at this point, I have no intention to sell in the coming year. Price targets are for marks.

I dreamed a dream

Toward the end of the bear market, however, I admit I had a personal price target thru the halving, but I didn't share it with anyone. Why? Because I was still buying.

I'm still relatively new at this, so it occurred to me to look at previous market cycles. So far we've seen the same pattern play out: one year of sheer euphoria followed by three years of utter deflation. I was particularly interested in the final year before the next halving. What is that price ceiling before the next session of "up only" resumes? 

Euphoria is hard to predict. How can one ever forecast the extent of human insanity? As far as I can tell, the price will Wile E. Coyote as far as it wants, but as soon as it looks down in a meaningful way, a dozen months or so after the halving, it's so over until it's so back.

I needed some rule to know the threshold of when to stop buying. I wanted to make sense of the opportunity with some historical context. Basically, I figured out to just multiply the all-time high by 0.618. This is the golden ratio, one of many spooky myths technical analysts seem to believe. That seemed to put at least a ceiling on when to buy the dip.

Golden ratio - Wikipedia

It's similar voodoo to Plan B's stock-to-flow model and the Mayer Multiple. It's largely bullshit but if enough people believe it, it becomes self-fulfilling to a small extent. Perhaps they're qualitatively correct. All models are wrong but some are useful, so it goes.

Last summer, I multiplied $69k by 0.618 and got $42,642. I adjusted it down to $42,069 for vibes. You have to remember the average participant in bitcoin is spiritually 12 years old. Besides, I'm making this shit up so I can do whatever want.

I call this The Dipshit Ratio™. Once we penetrate the sacred 42069 threshold with momentum and not just the tip, it's off to the races, supposedly.

bitcoin-monthly-chart
Ooh, look! A pretty chart!

Or maybe not. Once again, I don't believe any of this — technical analysis is astrology for men — but my simple monkey brain needed a framework so I didn't FOMO in and overextend myself. So far it's worked out. None of this shit is investment advice.

All you really need to ask yourself about bitcoin at the start of a year is this: Is the fate of the U.S. financial system decided in a room I'm not in? If the answer remains yes, bitcoin is an interesting alternative.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

In lieu of a vapid price target for 2024, I will offer an equally vapid mantra. Mantras give you something to meditate on, and they give pompous asses like me another chance to wax poetic.

In 2024, when I picture bitcoin, I will remember "Uptown Funk," the one insufferable Bruno Mars song you always hear at a wedding reception.

I have nothing against Bruno Mars, for "24K Magic" is a true banger. But "Uptown Funk" has the same sensory payoff for me as an undercooked pizza roll. But alas, this tune has the perfect line for bitcoin in 2024, and it gets the party started.

Don't believe me, just watch.

Ponder it. Feel it. Embrace it. To date, bitcoin has gotten to where it is because of its merits, not its rhetoric.

Bitcoin has endured three halving cycles at this point. It survived a deep bear market in which shady character after shady character was sacrificed to the volcano. And its price still flutters to this day somewhere in the tens of thousands. Survival alone is all bitcoin has to do.

If you think 2024 will be everything it's cracked up to be with a spot ETF, a halving, and an inexplicable resurgence, there isn't much you can do at this point. Bitcoin has it or it doesn't. No amount of convincing will do. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

If you own bitcoin today, perhaps you will be rich one day, but you will never be right. And this is not your fault. There is no such thing as external validation. When you fail, people think it's because you suck. When you succeed, people think it's because you're lucky. You are never complete in other people's eyes. The best you can do is make them incredulous.

Today, when someone asks me about the future of bitcoin, I give them a blank stare. I am done convincing people. I have no desire to confer upon them an alternate reality. They have to watch the one they're in deteriorate. Ultimately, there is no greater teacher than missing out on an opportunity. Every person is nagged by what could have been. If what I think is happening, I want people to forget I have bitcoin.

So revel in the disbelief. Let the world find out for itself. That is far more valuable than any prediction, any thesis, or any forgotten version of the future. If you accept bitcoin as a system and not a hop, skip, and a jump to exit liquidity, the system can speak for itself.

If you have ever stood in awe of bitcoin or thought to yourself, "Huh, that's cool," that experience makes all the difference. For me it was the difficulty adjustment, that subtle feature that gave bitcoin a pulse. It's not the orange pills other people give you, it's the one you give yourself that takes roots in your subconsciousness. And when it hits, it's right on target.

Call me crazy but I'm way less interested in if bitcoin will be granted an ETF and more interested in how bitcoin will survive the damn thing. Bitcoin the narrative will never trump bitcoin the technology. Don't believe me, just watch.


The content of this article is published for entertainment purposes only and does not constitute financial, legal, or tax advice. Please consult a qualified professional before proceeding with any investment decision.

Photo by Ludde Lorentz / Unsplash

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