Even investors who wouldn’t dare buy Bitcoin wonder how long its bull run will last. The answers to these questions could determine when the party ends.
1. Will Wall Street Fall in Love?
The lack of a regulatory road map has kept big financial institutions and asset managers from investing in cryptocurrencies. But new products are removing those hurdles, and bulls believe Bitcoin’s value could grow by many more multiples as Wall Street joins the fray.
2. Will Bitcoin Survive Its Next Crash?
Price drops of 20% or more have been routine for Bitcoin, and some have hurt more than others. After then-dominant exchange Mt. Gox was shut down by a massive hack in 2014, investors’ wariness about security kept prices in bear-market territory for two years. A comparably huge crisis could scare casual investors away.
3. Will China Confiscate the Punch Bowl?
Chinese regulators have cracked down on Bitcoin before, and concerns about speculation and leverage could lead them to do so again—sidelining some of the asset’s most avid traders.
4. Will Another Coin Take the Crown?
Bitcoin is the oldest and most valuable cryptocurrency, but a crop of nimble competitors, including Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash, could lure investors away.
5. Will Bitcoin Gain Traction as a Currency?
Many Bitcoin fans believe it will become a true global currency, one that you could spend on sandwiches or scarves the same way you’d use Visa or MasterCard today. Few people envision that happening soon, but if and when it did, it might be the end of Bitcoin’s huge price surge; for the digital coin to be useful as a currency, its value would have to stabilize.
A version of this post appears as a sidebar in the article “How High Can Bitcoin’s Price Go in 2018?” in the Jan. 1, 2018 issue of Fortune.