Bitcoin could be trading at $30,000 by year-end.
Powering the price higher will be the “mindshare” boost from the giants of finance and tech getting onboard and the looming halvening in block rewards next year.
So says Jehan Chu, co-founder and managing partner of Hong Kong-based venture capital outfit Kenetic, in a recent Bloomberg interview.
“We’re starting to see the story become reality,” says Chu.
“What people are really seeing now is that cryptocurrency is not going away.
“You don’t have to take my word for it: it’s Facebook, it’s Jamie Dimon, it’s Rakuten, it’s Fidelity; all of which are getting into the space, either with building infrastructure or providing services. So that’s first – it’s going to drive mindshare, it’s going to drive adoption.”
Fidelity is one of the largest asset managers in the world and its digital asset division is now providing custody services.
Jamie Dimon is the chief executive of JP Morgan and once upon time said bitcoin was a fraud, but has changed his tune in more recent times as his firm builds out its very own stablecoin crypto.
And Rakuten, although not that well-known in the West, is a Japanese e-commerce giant that opened its own crypto exchange in April as it readies for a world of crypto-secured digital cash.
And of course Facebook’s “GlobalCoin” threatens to upend remittance and payments worldwide and has got banks and tech competitors taking notice.
Bitcoin is a new tech story to replace the old
Then there’s the “counter-cyclical” leg of Chu’s thinking.
“Second, what we are seeing is counter-cyclical arguments with the recent disappointments over Uber and Lyft IPOing in the market,” Chu reminds his host.
With private equity and VCs sucking the value out of tech firms before they go public, the opportunities for retail investors are meagre indeed.
“People are looking for a different type of tech story; one that’s perhaps accessible to all.”
And it is not just the tech scene that is looking less of a sure bet these days.
Global equity markets have lost $4 trillion in value over the past month as sentiment does an about turn in the light of the worsening (and widening) trade war, spiced up by Trump’s unpredictable behaviour.
With most investors now being forced to consider revisiting their portfolio asset allocation, the revival in the bitcoin market couldn’t have come at a better time. Even if only a tiny fraction of those reallocated funds comes crypto’s way, it will have a massive impact on prices.
Constrained bitcoin (BTC) supply, rising demand
And that relates to Chu’s third price driver in the march to $30,000.
“Finally, the bitcoin halving is coming and that’s traditionally pushed the price in double-digit percentages, so a combination of these three factors will see us get from where we are now to $30,000.”
With supply constrained and institutions and high net worth individual buying accelerating – judging by Grayscale Investments for one reportedly acquiring 21% of monthly supply – demand will continue to strengthen prices.
And Chu is quick to point out that it isn’t just a bitcoin story.
Ethereum (ETH) “definitely a bullish call…, interested to see what Ripple (XRP) does”
“Bitcoin is the biggest brand… has the centre of gravity… is going to pull up the rest of the market. But others [altcoins] are developing their own story and have their own utility.
“Ethereum is the lead, the rate of adoption and developing a decentralised global computer is just astounding. People say it’s going away – it’s not going away.”
“I think Vitalik Buterin, the 24-year-old founder of Ethereum, being on stage with Satya Nadella at the recent Microsoft conference really shows not just how much traction there is on the ground but also with the major institutions who are determining the future of technology.
“So Ethereum is definitely a bullish call and I’m interested to see what Ripple does,… it’s made great headway in different currencies with major banks around the world.”
As reported previously by EWN, Max Keiser recently reiterated a price target of $28,000 for bitcoin (although there was no time range given in his tweet but let’s assume year-end) on the back of what he sees as the developing second leg of the global economic crisis that began in 2008.