Mike Novogratz, founder and chief executive of Galaxy Digital, the crypto-focused merchant bank, says bitcoin will be trading at $20,000 before the year is out.
In a telephone interview with Bloomberg he also rode back somewhat on his previously reported statements about wishing he’d “sold more” when he offloaded some bitcoin as the price fell back from its near-term high at $13,800.
“We had a spectacular rally. We traded up as high as $13,800… they got excited for real reasons… like Facebook, they got excited because of Uber and Mastercard saying they want to participate in the cryptocurrency world,” Novogratz explains.
“It went from Roubini, who says this is all tulips, to the biggest companies in the world wanting to participate as well as Yale and Harvard…. People are rushing in… but we’re now in consolidation.”
He reiterated his previous prediction that the market will now consolidate between $10,000 and $14,000.”
At the time of the interview bitcoin was trading at $10,800. It has since recovered further, currently priced at $11,320.
Asked where he sees the price from there, he said: “We’ll see it go to $20,000 or higher.”
But the question is by when and will he be selling again? “[I said there was ] too much energy in the market. I don’t think I’m selling the next time up to $14,000. Don’t expect it to be at $20,000 until the middle or end of the four quarter.”
Roubini has lost the bitcoin debate
Commenting on the naysayer-in-chief, economics professor Nouriel Roubini, he observed curtly: “Roubini has lost the debate.”
Roubini yesterday debated with Arthur Hayes of BitMEX on the merits of bitcoin.
He sees the marketplace growing up as more institutions get in on the action and on-ramps improve.
“It’s a new technology so there’s lots of price manipulation…[But] you’re getting more and more pipes, more ways to participate.”
He continued: “We are going to see over the next few months more and more ways you can buy this stuff.”
“Most people don’t have a Coinbase or Square wallet,” notes Novogratz, and that’s going to change.
“Within two years Visa and Mastercard will be letting you buy with credit card.”
Libra legitimising crypto, onwards to $20,000
Commenting on Facebook’s Libra initiative he says: “It’s completely legitimising crypto.”
“Facebook is working on a stable-ish coin… It doesn’t compete with bitcoin. Bitcoin is legitimised by being a real hard asset. People don’t own enough of it yet…. Price will go significantly higher over the next couple of years.
Echoing comments of other analysts and industry figures, Novogratz said: “Once you take out $20k it opens up $40k.”
“Gold’s go an $8.5 trillion market cap, so bitcoin has got a long way to go.”
In terms of which companies will be making their next big moves he says “we’re going to see the investment banks, they need to move into the space.”
Ethereum and other alts need two or three years to come good
As for the price divergence between bitcoin and top altcoins, he is not writing off the likes of Ethereum or EOS, but says it will take time for them to get their tech to where it needs to be.
“Bitcoin has carved out an interesting lane which is digital gold. It doesn’t have to change.”
“Ethereum is fighting to be Web 3.0 – a decentralised world computer. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done so it can scale properly.”
“It’s also competing against a lot of other projects. They’re all fighting for a different piece of the pie. We are two to three years away from seeing more growth in that lane.”
US lags on crypto regulation
On regulation he says the US is the laggard.
“We need smarter regulation. The US is falling behind… they know they are… Europe is, frankly, ahead of the US. Places like Singapore and Bermuda… they are setting up the rules. You’re going to see a lot of companies base themselves out of Bermuda.”