In brief

-Bitcoin ended the week much as it started.

  • But economists think that traditional markets will fall.
  • The imprisoned founder of the Silk Road thinks the same.

While Bitcoin ended the week as much as it started, stock markets rallied—perhaps their final gasp of fresh air before what the International Monetary Fund anticipates will be the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. 

Bitcoin’s price held steady over the weekend. Its current price is around $6,900—a decline from around $7,200 on Friday, according to data from metrics site CoinMarketCap, and an erasure of the week’s gains. The question: For how long will it retain its relative calm? 

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Analysts predict doom and gloom for traditional markets. Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF's managing director, said that the IMF projects “that over 170 countries will experience negative per capita income growth this year,” according to the BBC

And economists from JPMorgan predicted that the US gross domestic product will decline by 40% in the second financial quarter of this year—15% worse than they originally forecasted, according to CNBC. They also predict an unemployment rate in the US of around 20%. 

Not so safe 

Should Bitcoin track the global economy—as it did last month, when the price of Bitcoin was cut in half in a matter of days—it’s toast.

That’s what the founder of the Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht, predicted from his prison cell this week. 

Ulbricht, who’s serving double life in prison without parole for running the dark web market, thinks that Bitcoin’s price could fall to as low as $1,200 in its current downturn. He forecasted that Bitcoin’s bad luck could end as soon as June 2020, but “could drag on into 2021.” 

Ulbricht’s projection for Bitcoin’s growth tracks the JPMorgan analysts’ predictions for a US economic recovery later this year. The analysts predict that the US GDP will grow by 23% in 2020’s third quarter and that fourth-quarter growth will be 13%. 

But even the JPMorgan analysts acknowledge their predictions are a bit of a crapshoot. “Over the last few weeks forecasters have been operating in a fog. Economic models that have been trained on post-war data face obvious limitations. In their place we have reverted to differing ways to address the outlook,” they wrote, reported CNBC.

In uncertain times, crypto traders fatigued by the uncertainty may use the Easter weekend to once more draw a deep breath so they can brace the week anew.