Industry participants survey
A measured approach to the future is one of the characteristics of 'Superforcasters' according to Philip Tetlock. In the following article 50 people were asked what the value of BTC would be in 12 months time. It was about $500 at the time. This is a useful survey because it is so specific. Out of the 50 asked, very few showed a measured analysis. Many prefaced their comments by saying its very tough to predict, but still predicted at least a doubling. One of the key factors may have been confirmation bias, in that their businesses would massively benefit from a big uptick in the price. Only one person predicted the right range. By simply saying they didn't know, the other two were more accurate than all of the other bullish predictions.
Alexander Lawn - Don't know
Frederick Thenault - - Don't Know
Alena Vranova - Trezor- Range from $50 to $10,000
Another interesting angle is surveys of miners. The full data isn't public so needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. http://blog.genesis-mining.com/customer-survey-results. Here are some of the conclusions:
- Altcoins will catch up to Bitcoin in 2018
- Ease of use, fast payments and privacy were top priorites.
- Good mix of spending. From Hoarding to High Frequency use.
Do these provide any predictive value? A survey doesn't typically involve much skin in the game but these people are mining customers so that would imply more commitment than a random survey. The problem is that the questions aren't specific enough to produce useful answers. The phrase 'catch up' could mean to close the gap in altcoin vs bitcoin total market cap by 5% or 100%. Or or it could mean catch up in terms of features. Betting markets might provide more useful answers.
You can short bitcion on the some of the exchanges at any time, giving an indication of the bull vs bear split in a market. But being able to bet on a public, specific outcome in a prediction market gives a weighting of where certain people see the price over a specifc time frame. On https://fairlay.com/market/bitcoin-to-top-1200-before-mar-2017/ There is a 25% chance at the time of writing that bitcoin will surpass $1200 by March 2017 months according to those willing to risk their money on it. There isn't much liquidity in the market though so its hard to say how accurate this will be.
Of the 3 methods, the first and third are useful but the second is not. Suffice to say that I will now look to Alena Vranovas Twitter in times of bitcoin euphoria.