Representations of virtual currency Bitcoin are placed on U.S. Dollar banknotes in this illustration taken May 26, 2020.
Dado Ruvic | Reuters
The chief of a new and rapidly growing platform for crypto offerings sees bitcoin hitting $100,000 by the start of next year.
CoinList CEO Graham Jenkin is bullish on the cryptocurrency, which hit a new record high of $66,000 on Oct. 20 following the launch of a hotly-anticipated U.S. bitcoin futures ETF. The digital currency has since pared some of its gains, trading at $59,052 per coin at 6:45 a.m. in London Thursday.
But Jenkin was optimistic about bitcoin climbing to even greater heights.
“Most of the folks at CoinList will bet that we’re at $100,000 by the end of the year. It’s getting pretty tight so I’m not sure that we’re going to make it there, but that’s what we’re predicting toward the start of the year.”
Illustrating the growing demand for crypto holdings, CoinList just announced $100 million in series A funding, which has given it a valuation of $1.5 billion.
A number of financial experts and companies see the currency reaching and even surpassing that $100,000 mark. They point to inflation and the ETF launch as creating a perfect environment for bitcoin to thrive, describing it as a hedge for inflation.
Billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones told CNBC earlier this month that he prefers the cryptocurrency as an inflation hedge over gold.
“There’s a plan in place for crypto and clearly it’s winning the race against gold at the moment … I would think that would also be a very good inflation hedge,” Jones told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “It would be my preferred one over gold at the moment.”
Fidelity Investments, meanwhile, sees the currency reaching $100,000 but over a much longer timeline.
Jurrien Timmer, Fidelity’s director of global macro, told CNBC this month that the prediction is based on a supply and demand model he studies. “The next and last time those two models intersect is at $100,000 in a couple years,” he said.
Still, there remain plenty of bitcoin naysayers.
JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon recently called bitcoin “worthless,” following previous statements that he believed the currency had “no intrinsic value.”
And while he sees bitcoin sticking around for the long term, he told Axios in early October: “I’ve always believed it’ll be made illegal someplace, like China made it illegal, so I think it’s a little bit of fool’s gold.”
He added that he believes “regulators are going to regulate the hell out of it.”
United Wholesale Mortgage, the second-largest mortgage lender in the U.S., this month ditched its plan to accept payments in bitcoin, citing “the current combination of incremental costs and regulatory uncertainty in the crypto space.”
And bitcoin bull Mark Yusko is warning of a pullback and calling it overbought, expecting investors to take profit at bitcoin’s current high rate.
“A pause that refreshes given how overbought we are right now wouldn’t surprise me,” Yusko said. “There is some risk of the buy the rumor, sell the news.” Still, Yusko sees any potential profit-taking as temporary and sees bitcoin hitting $250,000 in five years.
Of course, it works very much in CoinList’s favor to be bullish on bitcoin. But the often dramatic volatility of the cryptocurrency doesn’t necessarily hurt the platform, its CEO said.
“As far as any impact of bitcoin price with respect to our platform, there’s definitely some impact, but it really tends to be kind of separated between what’s happening with respect to the bitcoin price and eagerness from our community to get access to early-stage tokens and offerings on the platform, so it impacts us less,” Jenkin said.
“Certainly if bitcoin went to zero that would be a major challenge for our platform, but we’re not expecting that to happen anytime soon.”