- Bitcoin could surge to $300,000, but the bubble is likely to pop dramatically, Bobby Lee said.
- The founder of the BTCC exchange said the price of bitcoin could fall as much as 90% from its peak.
- Bitcoin has risen by about 800% in a year, to roughly $58,000 in the latest bull-market cycle.
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The bitcoin price could surge as high as $300,000 in the latest bull-market rally but then plunge 90% into a “winter” lasting years, the founder of the cryptocurrency exchange BTCC said.
Bobby Lee told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Monday that 2021 is a bull market for bitcoin, of the sort that comes around every three or four years. Lee, who runs the crypto wallet app Ballet, said 2013 and 2017 were also bull-market years in which the bitcoin price increased by 10 or 20 times.
He predicted that the price of bitcoin would hit $100,000 by the summer and “potentially” $300,000 by the end of the year “if history plays itself out again.”
However, Lee said that “bull-market cycles come and go,” adding that “after a bull-market peak inevitably it could go down by quite a bit, and that’s when the bubble bursts.”
Lee said bitcoin could enter a “winter” where the price stays low for two or three years. “So after it peaks out, whether it’s $200,000, $100,000, or $300,000, people should be aware that it could fall as much as 80% to 90% of its value from the all-time peak,” he said.
Lee cofounded BTCC in 2011, making it one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges.
The bitcoin price has roughly doubled this year, to about $58,100 on Monday, down from a high of close to $62,000 a week ago. It is up by almost 800% from last March, when it tumbled as the coronavirus outbreak started to batter the global economy.
Advocates say the world’s biggest cryptocurrency by market value will continue its remarkable run, as institutional investors increasingly become involved. They also argue that bitcoin can act as a hedge against inflation, which many investors expect to rise.
But critics say bitcoin’s massive volatility means its institutional adoption will be limited. Many argue that it is in a bubble driven by huge amounts of stimulus and is set for a price crash similar to after 2017, when bitcoin plunged below $4,000 from about $20,000 in just over a year.
“I don’t know if history will repeat itself, but what we do know is that bitcoin bull-market cycles come every four years, and this is a big one,” Lee said.