With talk of- bitcoin being a bubble, but an astonishing rise in price that appears to show no signs of abating, could the cryptocurrency- be set for- even more eye-watering increases?

Saxo Bank certainly thinks so in its annual list of- -quot;outrageous-quot; predictions for 2018, eyeing it hitting $60,000 - before it crashes, that is.

Read more: Up, up and away: Bitcoin sails past $15,000

The forecast is aimed at provoking conversation and reaching toward the furthest outlier scenarios which might bring shock and surprise in the year ahead.

The $60,000 price, spurred by futures contracts and more traditional investors piling in,- would see its market value rocketing past- one trillion, and many a bitcoin billionaire created. But the Danish investment bank foresees that being followed by a crash back down to earth in 2019 to $1,000, spurred by China and Russia sidelining it for their own cryptocurrencies.

Read more: The bitcoin bubble is a top concern for UK institutional investors

-quot;Before long, however, the Bitcoin phenomenon finds the rug torn out from under it as Russia and China move deftly to sideline and even prohibit non-sanctioned cryptocurrencies domestically. After its spectacular peak in 2018, Bitcoin crashes and limps into 2019 close to its fundamental 'production cost' of $1,000.-quot; the bank said.

While the predictions are a long shot - and certainly not market outlook, the bank assures - they might not be quite as outrageous as they first appear - when it comes- to bitcoin, at least.

Last year, the bank predicted bitcoin in 2017 would -quot;triple in value, from the current $700 level to $2,100-quot;.

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