The cryptocurrency market climbed about 110% in 2023, driving the price of Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) up more than 150% during the year. But certain financial professionals see substantial upside for Bitcoin holders in the future, helped along by the likely approval of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in 2024.
Read on to learn more.
Bitcoin is backed by a simple investment thesis
Bitcoin is the most popular and the most valuable cryptocurrency. In fact, with a market capitalization of about $845 billion, Bitcoin alone accounts for 50% of the entire cryptocurrency market. One reason for that popularity is its status as a first mover.
The modern cryptocurrency market came into existence on Jan. 3, 2009, the day the first Bitcoin was mined from the blockchain. Simply put, Bitcoin has been around longer than its peers and has therefore cultivated a more extensive following.
Another reason for its popularity is the simple investment thesis. Bitcoin is a finite asset because its source code limits the supply to 21 million coins. Bitcoin is similar to gold in that respect, and just as gold derives much of its value from scarcity, so too does Bitcoin.
Building on that, basic economics says the price of an asset will rise alongside demand when supply is held constant. In other words, whether Bitcoin becomes more or less valuable in the future depends entirely on demand. And investors have good reason to believe demand will increase in the coming years.
Spot Bitcoin ETFs could drive demand for Bitcoin
One catalyst that could boost demand for Bitcoin is the pending approval of several spot Bitcoin ETFs. That is especially true of applications from BlackRock and Fidelity, two of the largest asset managers in the world. A spot Bitcoin ETF would invest in (and track the price of) Bitcoin, providing investors with direct exposure to the cryptocurrency.
Such a product could bring a substantial amount of capital to Bitcoin by removing the complexity of creating, funding, and managing accounts on cryptocurrency platforms. With a spot Bitcoin ETF, investors could effectively add Bitcoin to their existing brokerage accounts.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rejected such proposals in years past. But a federal appeals court recently rebuked the agency for its flimsy reasoning, raising expectations that some spot Bitcoin ETFs will be approved in early 2024, according to The Wall Street Journal.
SkyBridge Capital founder Anthony Scaramucci believes the BlackRock ETF alone could draw $100 billion in institutional investments to Bitcoin. Such an influx of funds could push the price of Bitcoin to $330,000, according to Scaramucci. That implies 685% upside from its current price.
Even more bullish is MicroStrategy former Chief Executive Officer Michael Saylor. He sees two important catalysts in 2024. First, the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs could attract more funds from retail and institutional investors. Second, the next Bitcoin halving event — the hardcoded process that cuts mining rewards in half every four years to cap supply at 21 million coins — will reduce selling pressure, simply because miners will have less Bitcoin to sell. The next halving event will occur in April 2024.
In 2022, Saylor predicted that Bitcoin would reach $500,000 in the next decade. But he recently told CNBC, “If Bitcoin is not going to zero, it’s to $1 million.” That updated prediction implies 2,280% upside from its current price.
Most bullish of all may be Ark Invest. The asset management company run by Cathie Wood published a valuation model in 2023 that posits a per Bitcoin price of $1.48 million by 2030, implying more than 3,400% upside from its current price.
Bitcoin is worth buying at its current price
Monster price targets are exciting, but readers should remember that no one knows the future. The cryptocurrency market is both volatile and rife with regulatory uncertainty. The approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs is by no means a sure thing, and Bitcoin bulls could be wrong about the impact of such a product.
That said, risk tolerant investors should make a place in their portfolios for Bitcoin, and now is a fine time to buy a small position. I would start with a 2% position and build over time. I would probably stop adding when Bitcoin accounted for 5% of my portfolio.
Alternatively, risk averse investors should steer clear of cryptocurrency altogether. There are plenty of other investment options out there.
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1 No-Brainer Cryptocurrency to Buy Before It Soars 685% or More, According to Certain Wall Street Professionals was originally published by The Motley Fool