Bitcoin has exploded since October, climbing from its long-time $10,000 per bitcoin support level to never-before-seen highs of almost $35,000.
The bitcoin price added over 300% through 2020, a rally that included a 50% crash in March amid the coronavirus meltdown. Meanwhile, ethereum, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency, has rallied even harder—soaring 600% over the last 12 months.
Now, as bitcoin and cryptocurrency investors try to call exactly how far this already-huge rally will run, ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin has revealed what he thinks is an “underrated” bull case for crypto.
“One of the more underrated bull cases for cryptocurrency that I have always believed is simply the fact that gold is lame, the younger generations realize that it’s lame, and that $9 trillion has to go somewhere,” Buterin wrote in a recent 2020 summary blog post, referring to the total value of the world’s mined gold.
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Bitcoin’s reputation as “digital gold” has grown in recent months, bolstered by a flurry of big-name investors that have named bitcoin as an emerging inflation hedge.
“If the gold bet works the bitcoin bet will probably work better because it’s thinner, more illiquid and has a lot more beta to it,” billionaire investor Stanley Druckenmiller, who, along with fellow investor George Soros, famously bet against the British pound in 1992 and made massive profits, said in November.
Meanwhile, repeated surveys (as well as endless and often hilarious anecdotes) have found younger people are far more inclined to buy bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies than older groups. And most of those surveys are from before the coronavirus pandemic forced governments around the world to heap even more debt on the shoulders of young.
We’re now in “a world where blockchains and cryptocurrencies are well poised to play an important part, though for reasons much more complex than many people think, and having as much to do with cultural forces as anything financial,” Buterin wrote, arguing “public-blockchain-based solutions [will] just keep quietly moving forward and gaining actual adoption.”
Elsewhere, other influential voices in the technology and cryptocurrency space have echoed Buterin’s comments.
“I believe that governments will respond to all of these economic challenges by continuing to print fiat money without restraint and by taxing and regulating innovative new companies to protect old and dying companies,” Fred Wilson, a venture capitalist, wrote in a blog post outlining his predictions for the coming year.
“This will lead investors to continue to allocate capital to new forms of money (crypto) and new ways of creating and financing innovation (decentralized projects and organizations).”
After an explosive start to the year that’s seen the broad bitcoin and cryptocurrency market add a staggering $100 billion in just a few short days, 2021 looks set to be a big one for crypto.
Catherine Coley, CEO of major crypto exchange Binance’s U.S. arm, sees the current Bitcoin bull run as a sign the crypto asset could reach a price up to $100,000.
Speaking to news outlet KLTA yesterday, Coley said the recent rally in the price of Bitcoin (BTC) — moving from $19,000 to more than $34,000 in less than a month — may be due to a surge in the number of institutional investors taking an interest in the crypto asset. She added that the crypto space could be seeing an “accelerated” rally based on what happened prior to the 2017 bull run, in which the BTC price surged more than a year after the rewards halving in July 2016.
“Where maybe we thought maybe $50,000 made sense, this number is definitely going to be a little bit higher than that in my opinion,” said Coley. “I think we’re going towards $75,000 to $100,000 for Bitcoin by the end of 2021.”
The Binance.US CEO is not alone in her bullish predictions for the coming year. Dan Held, crypto exchange Kraken’s growth lead, has been saying since last year that Bitcoin could be entering a “supercycle” in 2021 eventually driving the price to $1,000,000. In a video posted to his YouTube channel last week, Held predicted the price of Bitcoin would move much more than a “100x increase” based on increasing adoption of the crypto asset.
The current bull run has also caught the attention of major news outlets. Bitcoin made the front page of U.K. based international business newspaper Financial Times for Jan. 4:
Just published: front page of the Financial Times international edition Monday January 4 https://t.co/0ANz1YQw27 pic.twitter.com/lN2t2CBKVU
— Financial Times (@FinancialTimes) January 3, 2021
At the time of publication, the price of Bitcoin is $33,410, having risen 4% in the last 24 hours.
The price of Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, today hit $1,005 the culmination of a weekend bender that’s added a few hundred dollars to its price. Coinbase showed that Eth briefly hit that price at 23:38 UTC, before dropping below $1,000.
While proselytizers and vultures alike have been circling BTC in droves since Christmas, Ethereum’s strong performance puts it well on the way to surpassing its all time high of $1,432 set in January 2018. That was the last time ETH hit four figures on the dollar before it settled into a three-figure decline by the start of February 2018.
Ethereum’s success today, and the success of most of the other major alt coins, is the result of Bitcoin’s bull run. Altcoins often track Bitcoin’s price, given Bitcoin’s dominance over the market. Traders are “looking for ‘the next BTC’,” said Nimrod Lehavi, CEO and founder of crypto payments company Simplex, in an earlier conversation with Decrypt.
Is ETH’s runaway success the start of a fresh ‘altseason’? Dogecoin surged by 70% on January 2. The price of VeChain rose over 20% today, while there were also approximate 10% increases to Litecoin and Maker.
Meanwhile, the price of XRP, formerly the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, continued to rail against a lawsuit filed by the US Securities and Exchanges Commission late last month. Following the suit, XRP swiftly fell from its long-maintained position as the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Currently, it holds the fourth position, but for that position it is jockeying with Litecoin, the Bitcoin spinoff that recently flipped it.
Bitcoin however, has observed the most growth. Its price grew $4,000 this weekend alone. While this could be due to holiday bookkeeping, it’s the cherry on top of a bull run that has driven Bitcoin to over 300% of its early October value of $10,500.
The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.
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