‎2017 proved to be a breakout year for Bitcoin, with nearly a twenty-fold increase in value ‎‎over the course of the year, jumping from around $800 to just under $20,000 at ‎‎recent highs.

With the absence of an obvious economic backing, some analysts predict that 2018 will be another banner year, ‎‎while others are more skeptical and calling these restless climbs a bubble ‎‎that is waiting to burst‏.‏

In the last few days, traders were reducing their exposure to the ‎digital ‎currency, which was in part attributed to ‎profit taking ahead of Christmas lull. ‎The pattern ‎may persist for another couple of days due to revival of ‎the so-‎called Segwit2X hard fork, which is planned to be carried out ‎before the ‎year-end.‎

A wide range of investors are reportedly anticipating the potential split ‎by ‎pulling capital from the market or otherwise placing bets that Bitcoin’s price will decline in the short term. One thing is ‎certain: ‎the negative impact, if any, is to be short-lived as the development it‎self aims to ‎increase transaction speeds and reduce the cost through ‎off-chain scaling.‎

Nevertheless, one may expect the new year to see a relative price stability, ‎with ‎lower volatility than the cryptocurrency markets had been experienced in the past. The ‎‎assumption is based on predictions of throwing out the casino mentality‎‏ ‏and ‎‎conceding that Bitcoin shouldn’t be directly compared with the ‎traditional ‎‎measures for stocks or similar assets.

Indeed, we are talking apples and oranges when ‎‎talking every while about the price bubbles, despite the fact of Bitcoin’s truly ‎‎mind-bending appreciation‎.‎ This approach could be also fueled with the virtual coin ‎‎gaining wider acceptance as the network becomes more and more ‎‎legitimized with far less suspect/speculation activity, while the crypto ‎‎economy grows and matures.‎

That said, leaving aside the price-related matters, usage is outpacing ‎‎Bitcoin’s swings. In other words, blockchain is much more than prices ‎of its ‎crypto assets.‎

The technology behind bitcoin holds a lot of promise for all sorts of use ‎‎cases. On the investment front, nearly $4.0 billion raised this year in ICOs, and we are still ‎early ‎in the exponential curve, just as more new projects are established ‎around a ‎token-economy. This volume growth is while ‎most institutional players are still sitting on the sidelines, waiting for ‎the newly-launched regulated derivatives to ‎mature.‎

Over the course of next year, a lot of ideas and assumptions regarding the technology ‎and its coins will be ‎tried out, even though those along the sidelines will keep calling it a tulip bubble.

Many relevant industries have never ‎had an ‎element so global and so artificially scarce ‎before, so it’s really out of Pandora’s box.‎ But although no one wants ‎to be on ‎the wrong side of a bubble, ‎there’s no way to ‎put the whole story back again.‎‎ ‎