Bitcoin The New Gold? Yes, Says A Wall Street Strategist Who Sees A 21-Fold Surge

When Central Banks start buying, watch out

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(MarketWatch) Bitcoin $55,000? Fundstrat’s Tom Lee, one of the biggest equity bears among the major Wall Street strategists, says it’s possible, but not necessarily for the reasons many bitcoin bulls have suggested.

“One of the drivers is crypto-currencies are cannibalizing demand for gold GCQ7, +0.12% ” Lee wrote in a report. “Based on our model, we estimate that bitcoin’s value per unit could be $20,000 to $55,000 by 2022 — hence, investors need to identify strategies to leverage this potential rise in crypto-currencies.”

That’s a major jump from the $2,530 level that bitcoin BTCUSD, -0.84%  fetched recently. Of course, this would be on top of what’s already been an impressive stretch, with the price more than doubling since the start of the year.

Lee predicts investors will look to bitcoin as a gold substitute, and the fact that the amount of available bitcoin is reaching its limit makes this supply/demand story even more compelling for those looking to turn profits in the crypto market.

“Bitcoin supply will grow even slower than gold,” Lee said. “Hence, the scarcity of bitcoin is becoming increasingly attractive relative to gold.”

Another driver could come from central banks, which he expects will consider buying bitcoin if the total market cap hits $500 billion.

“This is a game changer, enhancing the legitimacy of the currency and likely accelerating the substitution for gold,” Lee wrote.

The trick is that there aren’t very many ways to play bitcoin, other than via direct investment or the bitcoin ETF GBTC, -1.75% he said, adding that “we will identify other opportunities in the future.”

How Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) actually work

By Shawn Langlois | MarketWatch

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