Bitcoin prices have already reached $4,400, reaching that level on August 14, before sliding back down to its current level of $4,137.

Some analysts say growth remains in the forecast for Bitcoin. In fact, Goldman Sachs technology strategist Sheba Jafari, who predicted the cryptocurrency would crest $3,900 in June, now says Bitcoin is headed to $4,800 by the end of the year, before a "massive correction" occurs, sending prices plummeting down to $2,200.

That's quite a scenario, but given the high rise of Bitcoin, and its unregulated market model, Jafari may well be right again.

But do other Bitcoin watchers agree?

"It's very possible that Bitcoin will exceed the $4,800 forecast by year end," says Edward Anderson, chief sales officer at London-based FxPro. "Usage is increasing and supply is limited, which will most likely force prices higher. However, with the cryptocurrency exchanges being unregulated, there is always a concern around market abuse and consequences such as flash crashes."

"The underlying trend suggests higher price levels but traders are wary that the bull run could end at a moment's notice," Anderson adds.

Other investment specialists say that, while the price of Bitcoin has been predicted to rise to $4,800 by end of the year, the value of Bitcoin goes beyond simple fiat value. "In that regard, I think they're aiming too low [with Bitcoin price estimates]," says Gavin Marshall, the founder of Sharebit, a blockchain-based app that enables users to register, manage, track and transfer shares in both legal and informal entities.

Bitcoin, of course.
Bitcoin, of course.

Simplistically, Bitcoin's market value is a result of supply and demand, Marshall explains.

"Supply is fixed and so the variable is demand," he says. "We're still in the early adopter phase, but now that it seems the scaling debate has been resolved and Bitcoin has survived all the drama, people are taking it more seriously and it's going more mainstream. We should soon go beyond the early adopter phase and the buying and selling of Bitcoin, hopefully, will become more common."

Marshall thinks it's reasonable to expect Bitcoin prices higher than $4,800. "But my guess is they will keep adjusting that amount like they've done in the past," he notes. "It seems every month there is a new prediction on the future value of Bitcoin."

"That said, It would surprise me if we don't go beyond $5,000 by year-end," he adds.

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Some Wall Street professionals compare Bitcoin to gold prices, tying in scarce supply at a time of economic volatility - and that could explain volatile Bitcoin price swings.

"With a hard-wired long term total supply of 21 million coins, we face a series of daunting valuation questions such as: what can I exchange these coins for now versus the future, and how can exponential societal value creation be addressed through such a system?" says Guy Penn, founder of Rush Penn, an investment advisory firm in St. Louis.

Penn says that the market has tried the Bitcoin model before, with the gold standard. "Gold is relatively scarce, with a predefined physical supply, aside from what can be mined," he explains. "Bitcoin mining adds robustness to the system, but does little in terms of value creation in an economic sense."

The real paradox of Bitcoin is that, while its intention is to move beyond the U.S. dollar, its value is heavily influenced by the dollar itself, Penn notes.

"Case in point, if Bitcoin somehow were to jump to a hypothetical $1 million per coin, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who wouldn't immediately liquidate every one of those coins into U.S. dollars," he says. "As long as there is a liquid exchange between Bitcoin and the U.S. dollar, Bitcoin will remain a function of the dollar."

For now, at least, the media headlines and Twitter blasts on Bitcoin - and its astronomical price rise - may have created a feeding frenzy that has yet to show signs of abating, and that's impacting prices, too.

Here is one Bitcoin bear. 

"While it's a bold prediction, yes, I do believe it's realistic that Bitcoin prices could rise to $4,800 by year end," says Clement Thibault, senior analyst at Investing.com. Thibault says it's hard to isolate fundamental factors that impact the price of bitcoin, except maybe for infighting between Bitcoin groups.

"Therefore, Bitcoin's price rises and falls based on the public's interest in the cryptocurrency, and higher prices often create a snowball effect, commanding further interest," he says.

So, $4,800 it is for Bitcoin in 2017 - at least that's the opinion of some investment industry gurus. But who, honestly, would be surprised if the cryptocurrency went much higher - or even much lower?

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