I recently made my 2017 predictions, and was asked why I was “bearish” on Z-Cash. I predicted a 25% chance that the price would rise, and a 75% chance that the market cap would do so, over the course of the year.

I’m not sure this is really bearish. First, after 2 months, there are currently about 375,000 ZEC minted, of which 300,000 are in circulation. (Block 40,000.) I’m not sure the exact schedule — it should only half after 840,000 blocks, in well over a year — but in 12 months, there should be 7 times as many coins. That means, by the end of the year, at current prices, the market cap would move from $20m to closer to $140m. So the market cap would need to increase significantly in order for the price to stay stable.

Is this implausible? No. But it would probably involve cannibalizing much of the dark-web market share from Monero, (and darkweb markets won’t necessarily switch to new coins quickly,) or a speculative price bubble that extends through the end of the year. I am bullish on Z-Cash over the longer term, but it’s riding on speculation now, and I’d be a little bit surprised if it managed to attract that large a market cap within the year. Because at some point, as more coins are generated and speculators stop pouring in money, the fundamentals take over from the speculators. Perhaps only 25% was overconfident — but I’m definitely not certain of an increase.

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