, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies are suffering through a crypto winter that’s erased around $2 trillion of value from the market—though a top U.S. regulator has issued a surprise crypto price prediction.

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The bitcoin price, stubbonly stuck under $20,000 per bitcoin after coming within touching distance of $70,000 late last year, has crashed in the face of a series of severe interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve in its battle to drive down inflation. The ethereum price has also plummeted, despite a long-awaited upgrade that some think could upend the established crypto order.

Now, as some bet the economic tide could already be turning, one influencial crypto founder has predicted the latest crypto winter might not begin to thaw until 2024.

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“Looking at macro stuff, my guess is there’s probably 12 to 18 months more of this brutal Fed rates going up,” Solana Labs co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko told Decrypt. This week, the latest U.S. jobs report suggested that labor market has cooled though not enough for the Fed to ease up on its interest rate hikes.

“But there is an end to it,” Yakovenko added. “And just like the last bear market, a lot of teams that built and focused on product-market fit, and really tried to build amazing products—a lot of those succeeded, I think, in a very dramatic way.”

The last crypto winter, following the huge 2017 bitcoin price run from under $1,000 to around $20,000, lasted until late 2020 but saw the creation and growth of exchanges Binance and FTX as well as decentralized finance (DeFi) and third generation blockchains such as ethereum rival solana. Last month, former GoogleGOOG
chief executive and billionaire Eric Schmidt revealed why he’s backing a radical DeFi cryptocurrency.

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The bitcoin price has, however, climbed since falling to its year-to-date lows of under $18,000 June, giving some in the crypto community confidence a short term rally could be on the cards.

“While the current momentum might push the coin to the $20,500 to $21,000 range in the next few days, the chances that this growth will be sustained in the mid-term are uncertain,” Fuad Fatullaev, chief executive of web3 ecosystem WeWay, said in emailed comments.

“It is somewhat difficult to pinpoint what is fueling the current growth trend in what appears as a natural retail buying momentum for the premier digital currency. However, investors and traders will need to keep in mind that the nascent asset class still has a tremendous correlation with the broader financial market which also still has a lot of headwinds ahead.”

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