The Complete Case for $100K Bitcoin

The Full Case for $100Okay Bitcoin

What a year – a global pandemic, a wavering stock market, rising numbers of unemployed folks and persisted uncertainty in global markets. Yet, we saw the bitcoin impress ranking better from $5,300 in March to almost $18,000 at time of writing. That’s almost a 240% return interior 9 months.

For frequent merchants, the burning query is whether or no longer bitcoin is becoming overpriced. Is it too unhurried to determine bitcoin?


Hong Fang is the CEO at OKCoin, a U.S. licensed, fiat-focused cryptocurrency change headquartered in San Francisco. Hong spent eight years at Goldman Sachs, leaving as VP of Funding Banking. She is a graduate of Peking University in Beijing, China, and has an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Sales station College of Change.

If we put aside brief-term volatility and take a lengthy-term standpoint, there is an inexpensive course for the associated fee of bitcoin to reach over $500,000 within the next decade. To head even extra, I mediate BTC is inclined to hit $100,000 within the next 12 months. Critical upside has but to play out for bitcoin.

Bitcoin is a ‘store of value’

When we command about the valuation of an asset, the first step is to achieve the elementary economics. Equities, bonds and staunch property, to illustrate, in total salvage their value from producing cash flows; which ability truth, valuation of these sources entails projecting future cash flows. Commodities, alternatively, are more utility based fully and which ability truth their costs are anchored by industrial provide and quiz. Sooner than taking any action on bitcoin, I indicate asking yourself, “What is bitcoin for?” Exercise this as a baseline to fabricate your appreciate peek of the associated fee of bitcoin and its ravishing impress differ in a given time horizon.

Right here’s my take as a HODLer:

  • Bitcoin is sound cash and the first native internet cash in human society.
  • It is scarce (21 million fixed provide), durable (digital), accessible (blockchain is 24/7), divisible (1 bitcoin = 100 million satoshis), verifiable (open-source Bitcoin Core) and most importantly, censorship resistant (encrypted).  With these trusty monetary qualities in a single asset, bitcoin is a mountainous store of value. As soon as it reaches a prime mass of adoption as a store of value, bitcoin has mountainous potential to grow staunch into a global reserve forex (and trendy unit of narrative, too) over time.
  • The history of cash shows us that natural forms of cash in total battle through three phases of evolution: first as collectible (hypothesis on shortage), 2nd as investment (store of value), third as cash (unit of narrative) and fee (medium of change). As bitcoin goes through totally different phases, its valuation blueprint varies, too. In my peek, bitcoin is within the intervening time within the early stage of phase II. Below is a brief summary of the two phases bitcoin has been through and respective value implications.

Bitcoin as collectible

Between its inception in 2009 and 2018, bitcoin used to be in its “collectible” phase. Only a small cluster of cypherpunks believed in bitcoin as “future sound cash.” It used to be robust to reach up with a valuation blueprint for bitcoin that matched its fundamentals. It used to be additionally too early to portray whether or no longer bitcoin might per chance prevail in building consensus round its “store of value” superiority. 

Bitcoin is constructed as a fashioned utility and doesn’t generate cash float, so there isn’t such a thing as a manner to forecast its impress per cash flows. Its circulating provide used to be easy to calculate, but it completely used to be in actuality robust to estimate quiz given the fickle nature of speculative trading. When speculative quiz surged and drained out of the machine, namely round the initial coin offering (ICO) enhance in 2017, we saw bitcoin’s impress explode from $900 in early 2017 to $19,000 by the tip of 2017, after which down to $3,700 by the tip of 2018.

Bitcoin’s opponents in total assault bitcoin’s impress volatility as a malicious program, but I have confidence that bitcoin’s impress volatility is a totally different and natty self-marketing feature. It used to be key to its survival within the early days. Bitcoin operates as a decentralized global community. There’s no coordinated marketing crew accessible promoting bitcoin’s utility to the sector. It is the dramatic impress volatility that has persisted to plan consideration from non-followers, some of whom had been later converted into believers, thus driving the persisted momentum of bitcoin adoption. 

Bitcoin as investment

Bitcoin went through an identification crisis as “sound cash” earlier than it graduated into the 2nd stage as an investment automobile. Initiating with the scalability debate in 2017, when the community became congested with historical high volume and transaction charges surged, its community had serious controversies (some known as it “civil war”) difficult the future course of bitcoin. 

This ability that, on Aug. 1, 2017, the bitcoin blockchain used to be robust forked to make the Bitcoin Money (BCH) chain to allow better blocks as BTC stuck to a block size restrict with SegWit adoption to enable a 2nd-layer resolution. On November 15, 2018, the BCH community forked but again into Bitcoin Money and Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (BSV).

Fortunately, bitcoin (BTC on this case) survived its rising trouble (and the change-vast undergo market) and thrived thereafter. It is additionally through such public disputes (and value efficiency after robust forks) that BTC improve and dominance has been extra solidified, with an increasing decision of addresses holding BTC and decreasing volatility. 

Then came 2020.

Banner year

This year has been an unparalleled year in many facets, but it completely is that if truth be told a milestone year for bitcoin. The coronavirus pandemic has brought emotional and financial stress to many folk on a global foundation. On top of that, 12 years after the 2008 monetary crisis and the e-newsletter of the Bitcoin white paper, we are reminded how easily our economy might per chance presumably be flooded with original cash printed out of thin air; $3 trillion in original cash used to be created in precisely three months in america, about 14% of U.S. GDP in 2019. The U.S. used to be no longer by myself.

In 2020, it has been extremely robust for guilty savers to seek out appropriate, staunch yields to discover their robust-earned wealth. American heart-class families bear needed to either salvage zero to detrimental pastime charges at banks and debasement possibility or guess within the all-time-high equity market when the explicit economy struggles, no longer gleaming when the music will quit. In other international locations, folks must battle an uphill battle everyday to easily discover the earning vitality of their salaries.

These macro subject issues are too stable for any individual to brush aside. In disagreement, the Bitcoin community had its winning third halving on Could presumably 11, 2020, highlighting the magnificence of getting monetary discipline pre-written into code and performed by the global community smoothly ever since. This ability that, more merchants in stale finance (Wall Avenue institutions integrated) bear began to achieve that bitcoin has a totally different hedging capability in opposition to lengthy-term inflation possibility, with a possibility-reward profile better than its closest monetary cousin, gold.

Diverse from its 2017 hurry, bitcoin’s recent jog-up is characterized by more vocal institutional endorsement: Sq. and MicroStrategy allocate treasury cash into bitcoin; the Space of job of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) allow U.S. banks to give crypto asset custody; PayPal enabling crypto procuring and promoting; Fidelity making a case for five% asset allocation and doubling down on crypto engineer recruiting; effectively-established stale asset managers including Paul Tudor Jones and Stanley Druckenmilller asserting public improve for bitcoin. The mainstream momentum is building up.

For the first time since its ancient inception, bitcoin formally entered mainstream media as “digital gold,” a legit and credible (and liquid) alternative asset to take under consideration for both folk and institutions. The earlier comparability to “Dutch tulip mania” starts to proceed. As more folks educate themselves about what bitcoin is and originate to embrace it no longer as a speculative trading asset but as a lengthy-term asset allocation possibility, we are succesful of now discover about at its fundamentals and anchor impress ranges with a easy provide-and-quiz math.

Below are three conditions stale to triangulate bitcoin’s potential one-year trajectory.

Scenario 1: 1-2% US household wealth allocation?

  • Essentially based on the Federal Reserve, U.S. household wealth reached $112 trillion by June 2020 (top 10% owns two-thirds of the wealth).
  • 1%-2% of $112 trillion = $1.1 trillion to $2.2 trillion potential quiz (Fidelity’s most recent document if truth be told recommends 5% purpose allocation).
  • Contemporary total circulating BTC is set 18.5 million. To discover it easy, let’s buy 21 million max provide are all up for sale.
  • Divide the aptitude quiz by max provide, we ranking a impress differ of $56,000-$112,000. This scenario would no longer narrative for the remainder of the sector ($400 trillion global household wealth, per Credit Suisse Wealth Myth 2020). If we buy 1%-2% allocation of global household wealth, we are going to probably be taking a seek at a $228,000-$456,000 impress differ. Would this happen within the next 12 months? Likely no longer. Can this happen at some level of the next decade? I mediate that’s very doable. 

Scenario 2: 2%-3% of global high-salvage-price particular person allocation?

  • Essentially based on Capgemini World Wealth Myth 2020, global HNWI wealth stood at $74 trillion by cease of 2019 (~13% alternative, 14.6% staunch property, 17% fixed earnings, 25% cash and cash identical, 30% equity).
  • 2%-3% of $74 trillion = $1.48 trillion-$2.22 trillion potential quiz.
  • Divide the aptitude quiz by max provide, we ranking a impress differ of $70,000-$105,000.
  • This scenario does discover about at global knowledge, but most effective accounts for prime-salvage-price particular person (HNWI) allocation, assuming that this phase has more sources to take a position and investment choices are more driven by institutional asset managers and advisers. I’m additionally assuming a better differ of allocation right here on narrative of HNWI are in total better positioned to take on more risks seeking better possibility-adjusted return.

Scenario 3: Catching up with gold?

  • There used to be a lengthy-standing argument that bitcoin would take up to gold in market cap once it’s widely authorized as a “digital and trusty model of gold.”
  • Contemporary gold market cap is $9 trillion. Right here is set 2% of total global wealth and 12% of global HNWI wealth.
  • 100% gold market cap methodology $428,000 impress level for bitcoin. Will we ranking there in 12 months? Potentially too aggressive an assumption. Can bitcoin upward thrust to 20%-25% of gold in 12 months (aka 2.4%-3% global HNWI wealth allocation)? That you just might per chance have confidence. That can give us a impress differ of $80,000-$110,000.

There are extra components that would add more upside to bitcoin. Provided that we are quiet within the early stage of mainstream adoption, I don’t are looking to over-emphasize them, but I are looking to position them out factual to discover the standpoint.

  • Most likely allocation from corporate treasury administration. We are already seeing early signs of that with Sq. and MicroStrategy. Sq. just no longer too lengthy within the past allocated about 1.8% of its cash steadiness to determine $50 million in bitcoin. Sizing up corporate quiz for bitcoin is powerful, despite the truth that. Every company has its appreciate cash float and progress profile, which would per chance bear an affect on its possibility appetite in asset allocation.
  • Most likely allocation from foreign change reserves of all sovereign states. Essentially based on the Global Monetary Fund, the global foreign change (foreign change) reserve used to be $12 trillion by June 2020, with the tip three reserve currencies in U.S. bucks $7 trillion (58.3%), euros $2 trillion (16.7%), and yen $650 billion (5.4%). Is it doable to watch sovereign international locations allocate some of their foreign change reserves into bitcoin? I have confidence that vogue will emerge over time when bitcoin’s superiority in “store of value” extra plays out within the next five to 10 years. Assuming 25% allocation ($3 trillion, a little bit of of more than euro allocation), that’s one more $140,000 upside. Bitcoin catching up on the U.S. dollar as a dominant global forex reserve might per chance take a truly lengthy time to materialize, if the least bit but it completely is no longer very no longer going to watch bitcoin among the tip 3 list. 
  • No longer 100% of bitcoin’s max provide would be on hand for change. There is set 18.5 million in circulation. About 10% of that has been dormant for over 10 years. It’s robust to estimate how much of the total bitcoin in circulation will if truth be told be up for sale at totally different impress facets.
  • No longer probably the most above narrative for the dollar’s inflation fee within the years to reach, which is set 2%-3% per annum as a baseline. Neither assemble these conditions narrative for the community enact of bitcoin, the opportunity of bitcoin becoming more ubiquitous and appropriate as a unit of narrative.

What might per chance plug atrocious?

A one-sided investment case is by no methodology a lawful one. It is prudent to play devil’s indicate and assess plan back risks. What are presumably the most valuable risks that would derail a bitcoin bull jog?

Protocol possibility

The largest possibility continually comes from interior. Bitcoin has inherent value most effective on narrative of it has the outlandish traits of “sound cash” (scarce, durable, accessible, divisible, verifiable and censorship resistant). If any of these qualities are compromised, the foundation to its investment case will probably be eroded or gone.

Such protocol risks had been high in its first few years, but after two main controversial robust forks and three winning halvings, it looks that protocol-stage risks are considerably contained. The Bitcoin ecosystem has been consistent in unprejudiced developer improve. Essentially based on Electric Capital’s developer document, the Bitcoin developer ecosystem has maintained 100+ unprejudiced builders every month since 2014. Moreover, we’ve additionally considered an amplify in commits to the Bitcoin Core codebase in 2020, reaching a height in Could presumably (round the time when the third halving came about).

It’s additionally encouraging to watch main progress milestones emerging on the Bitcoin Core community, including the merge of Signet, Schnorr/Taproot and increased level of curiosity on fuzz testing, to call a few. These protocol-stage inclinations continue to enhance the privacy and scalability of the community, boosting bitcoin’s technical steadiness as a forex.

To confirm a wholesome and secure future for bitcoin, it’s serious to form obvious the Bitcoin Core developer community remains unprejudiced and decentralized and continues to form trusty enhancements in serious areas love security and privacy. Right here is additionally why now we had been sharp about offering no-strings sponsorship to Bitcoin Core builders and initiatives at OKCoin. Investing in bitcoin progress helps slice the protocol possibility.

Concentration possibility

This, to me, is the second0biggest possibility to bitcoin. Bitcoin’s ethos is to empower folk through decentralization, but the possibility of concentration continually exists.

Right through the community, the possibility lies within the concentration of mining vitality. It is rarely an change secret that 65% of the sector’s hash vitality is in China. If mining vitality is coalesced, a mining pool or neighborhood of miners can manipulate community transactions, developing unfounded cash through double-spending, in flip impacting the market impress. Alternatively, there is additionally the argument that such concentration possibility is inevitable but to some extent harmless, too, given how the community incentive has been designed for bitcoin. In other words, the incentives within the manufacture of up to the moment bitcoins and transaction charges must quiet work to discover the majority of the nodes factual on narrative of it’s economically dear to cheat (no longer on narrative of it’s robust or very no longer going to cheat). The assumption is that the mining contributors are all rational and form financial choices.

Externally, the same possibility lies in possession concentration. Investors, or “whales,” holding valuable portions of bitcoin can affect and even manipulate the market by triggering a change in impress per their decide/promote timing. Provided that a person (or an entity) can appreciate a pair of bitcoin handle, it’s robust to paint an factual image of bitcoin possession. So this possibility does exist. Right here is additionally why I in actuality feel very sharp about promoting monetary literacy and crypto knowledge. I have confidence that we are succesful of assemble a more wholesome and more sustainable future if more folk reach to achieve what bitcoin is set and originate to embrace it. The major institutional wave is thrilling to watch, but when bitcoin possession tilts too much in opposition to the institutional cease, we is inclined to be defeated in our mission of making a more inclusive and for my piece empowering community.

Political possibility

One other main possibility comes from sovereign governments. Provided that bitcoin is positioned as future cash, it’s doable that sovereign governments ban it for dismay of threatening fiat currencies. All but again, such risks are absolute top in earlier years earlier than bitcoin builds meaningful adoption momentum. In actuality, such bans bear already came about in different international locations (India in 2018, to illustrate, which used to be revoked in 2020). Central bank digital forex (CBDC) experiments round the sector might per chance additionally bear an affect on how bitcoin’s future plays out.

This year has considered the first wave of institutional endorsement for bitcoin, and which ability truth 2020 will probably be diagnosed as a milestone year in assuaging this political possibility. When publicly listed corporations, asset managers and effectively-diagnosed folk originate to appreciate bitcoin and command in favor of bitcoin, this kind of ban is going to change into very unpopular and hence more difficult to place in power in international locations where fashionable votes assemble matter. I’m hoping the momentum will continue to assemble, making a possibility of total bitcoin ban more and more far flung as time passes.

In a world of uncertainty, bitcoin offers HODLers love me self belief. It has a mountainous community enact that might per chance presumably in a roundabout plan empower every particular individual that believes in it and makes exhaust of it.

A winning and total ban on bitcoin will additionally must take coordinated efforts of all sovereign governments, which is terribly no longer going. As lengthy as there are international locations that allow bitcoin legally float, bitcoin will bear a gamble to take – a decentralized global community cannot be shut down by any single birthday celebration.

That being acknowledged, bitcoin impress volatility might per chance presumably be amplified once shortly by domestic and geopolitical adjustments. In my peek, political risks live the 2nd-largest possibility to bitcoin unless it turns into too colossal to be tampered with. We are clearly far far from that level.

There can additionally be a wider fee ban on bitcoin while it’s being diagnosed as lawful monetary sources. One of these possibility is no longer fully out of the image but. The lawful thing is, we are no longer banking on bitcoin becoming the unit of narrative and medium of fee in our $100,000-$500,000 scenario. When bitcoin does progress to phase III, we’d no longer be speaking about bitcoin impress anymore, but as a change command about every little thing else’s impress in bitcoin.

Adoption possibility

Right here is a timing possibility. It is vitally doable that it might per chance per chance per chance take much longer than anticipated for bitcoin to head mainstream.

The supreme manner to administer this possibility is to form obvious your bitcoin portfolio is effectively sized.

Whereas you happen to spend money on bitcoin (or anything else) and dismay about where its impress would be within the next 12 months, your portfolio of bitcoin might per chance be too colossal for you. Size it per your appreciate possibility tolerance and conviction stage in bitcoin. Don’t assemble more than what you might per chance manage to pay for (or have confidence in).

I additionally have confidence the outlandish effective of bitcoin will command for itself over time. Bitcoin’s impress chart between 2017 and 2018 an excellent deal looked love a bubble. Alternatively, if we discover about at bitcoin’s chubby trading history, there is a clear upward vogue in conjunction with rising asset-holding addresses, rising active addresses and rising community computing vitality. The increasing indicate hashrate of the Bitcoin community represents the protection stage that one would are looking to watch in a community where folks’s wealth is saved.

I might per chance presumably be on the bullish aspect for bitcoin’s 12-month impress trajectory but I if truth be told have confidence that with bitcoin, time will probably be our most effective perfect friend.

Taking a seek ahead

Bitcoin is unlike any other asset now we bear encountered earlier than. Right here is a if truth be told sound and global wealth community that can continue to grow because the sector recognizes the importance of its properties. To put issues in standpoint, right here is a recent tweet from Michael Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy, that summarizes the relevance of bitcoin as a utility and store of value.

In a world of uncertainty, bitcoin offers HODLers love me self belief. It has a mountainous community enact that might per chance presumably in a roundabout plan empower every particular individual that believes in it and makes exhaust of it. I no longer sleep for the persisted evolution of the bitcoin ecosystem and in actuality feel desirous about being piece of it.

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