Ether, the digital token that powers the Ethereum network, has had a rough year.
The digital token is down more than 80% from its all-time high of $1,432.88 reached in January, reaching as little as $170.26 last month, CoinMarketCap figures show.
However, this alternative protocol asset (altcoin) is poised to realize some sharp gains later this year, according to Tom Lee, who predicted that ether will hit $1,900 before 2018 is through.
When making this forecast, Lee, head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, pointed to ether’s recent sharp losses, stating that the digital currency is well-positioned for a recovery.
[Ed note: Investing in cryptocoins or tokens is highly speculative and the market is largely unregulated. Anyone considering it should be prepared to lose their entire investment.]
Ether has underperformed other large-cap digital currencies by two standard deviations in the last three months.
In the past, when ether lagged its peers that much, the digital token has recovered those losses, he wrote in a note to clients.
Analysts’ Skeptical Reaction
While Lee may be highly bullish about ether’s 2018 prospects, several analysts threw cold water on his $1,900 price forecast.
“Such a price move is highly unlikely,” stated Tim Enneking, managing director of Digital Capital Management.
“There are no drivers to push ETH to 40% above its prior all-time high,” he added.
Joe DiPasquale, CEO of cryptocurrency fund of hedge funds BitBull Capital, also voiced his doubts about Lee’s forecast, stating that he doesn’t “believe” that ether will “hit $1,900 in three months.”
Marius Rupsys, a digital currency investor, provided a similar response.
“I would say there is a small probability for ether to reach $1,900 by end of 2018,” he stated.
“Ether is trading around $220 per coin, so it would need to rally more than 8x in the next three months,” noted Rupsys, emphasizing that the demand required for such a rally had little chance of materializing.
While several cryptocurrency analysts were skeptical of Lee’s prediction, some market observers emphasized how bullish they are about ether’s technology and price prospects.
“We believe heavily in Ethereum,” stated Chris McClure, Ph.D., chief marketing officer of cryptocurrency data provider Svandis.
“Whether it’s Sharding, Plasma, or OpenST Mosaic, there are tremendous technological reasons to be bullish on Ethereum and to believe in a speculatively high price moving in 2019. Ethereum is aggressively oversold and overdue for a rally going into 2019.”
Marouane Garcon, managing director of crypto-to-crypto derivatives platform Amulet, also spoke to the digital currency’s technology, stating that “I think Casper and sharding are going to add immense value to the Ethereum blockchain.”
“Ethereum is a staple in this industry,” stated Garcon, emphasizing that the entire space would be less robust without it.
Finally, he predicted that “As developments are deployed to improve the Ethereum blockchain the price will certainly exceed its previous all-time high and reflect its true value to the industry.”