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The bank says peak prices are a thing of history.


At one point, bitcoin's price only seemed to move in one direction: up.

In 2018, however, that hasn't been the case. The price of bitcoin has nearly halved in the four months of the year so far, and its unlikely to top its all time high of $19,843, set in December, ever again, Barclays says.

"Unlike past peaks in Bitcoin prices, the survey evidence, based on our modeling, suggests that the speculative bubble in crypto currencies may have passed its peak," the bank said as part of its annual Equity Gilt report this week.

Here's where the bank's model predicts bitcoin's price will go from here:

The prediction comes as part of a larger comparison between the crypto craze of the past year and epidemiological models.

Unsurprisingly, the team of analysts led by Joseph Abate say there's a striking similarity between bitcoin's rise in popularity and the spread of viruses like influenza.

"Applying this model to speculative behaviour in crypto currencies, it suggests that once a large enough share of the population susceptible to speculation becomes aware of and holders of crypto currencies, upward pressure on prices stalls," they write. "To the extent that holders’ attraction to Bitcoin was speculative – as our empirical analysis of historical prices suggests – those holders then become sellers, initiating an accelerating downward spiral."

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