Bitcoin Bull Tom Lee Sticking to his $25k Prediction

Avi Rosten
  • The well-known bitcoin bull is still standing by his predictions for BTC, seeing the coin hit $25k in 2018
  • Identifying several factors that will push the price up - Lee sees increasing institutional investmtent as crucial

Tom Lee, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Fundstrat Global Advisors is doubling down on his bullish bitcoin predictions for 2018 despite the recent slump.

In an email to CNBC, the well-known bitcoin bull said that despite the cryptocurrency recently losing nearly all of the gains it has made since mid-April, he still sees the coin hitting his previously predicted high of $25,000 for 2018.

BTC today dropped below the $8,000 mark for the first time in over a month and is trading at the time of writing at $7529 according to CryptoCompare - a 41% drop for the year.

Lee however, attributes this latest drop purely to “typical crypto volatility” and identified several factors that he sees pushing the coin up to new highs in 2018.

The biggest factor in his opinion is the increasing involvement of institutional investors in the crypto space.

Talking to CNBC’s “Futures Now” yesterday, Lee commented:

"I think institutional investors have gained a lot of interest, and they haven't really come into crypto yet because there is still some regulatory uncertainty. But that sort of ultimate allocation into crypto as an asset class is going to be a powerful reason why bitcoin rallies."

Tom Lee

Moreover, historical data from Fundstrat he says corroborate his optimistic outlook:

"Historically, 10 days comprise all the performance in any single year of bitcoin's price," he said. "If you just took out those 10 days, bitcoin's down 25 percent a year. So as miserable as it feels holding bitcoin at $8,000, the move from $8,000 to $25,000 will happen in a handful of days."

Tom Lee

While Lee’s latest remarks were confidently bullish, the influential figure made a notable error of judgement recently when he incorrectly predicted a 70% surge for bitcoin around the Consensus Conference of last week - a mistake he later attributed to a greater need for regulatory clarity.

Hedge Fund Veteran Raises $500,000 For Bitcoin Development

Michael LaVere
  • Venture Capitalist Dovey Wan raised 50 BTC to support Bitcoin Core developers
  • Hard Core Fund has an interest in spurring lightning network and scalability development 

Venture Capitalist Dovey Wan of Primitive Ventures has raised a reported 50 BTC, worth more than $550,000 at the time of writing, to support bitcoin developers. 

Hard Core Fund Supporting Bitcoin Developers

The endowment, raised under the name “Hard Core Fund,” will go towards creating sustainable income streams for bitcoin developers - a challenge Wan believes is one of the more pressing for cryptocurrency in 2019. 

The venture capitalist paired with Bitmain’s Pan Zhibiao to create the Hard Core Fund last year. By Fall 2018, the group had tabbed Bitcoin Core developers Luke Dashjr and Ben Woosley to begin supporting full-time. 

Woosley told CoinDesk he updates the fund’s operators monthly with a compilation of his code and engineering work. In return, the Hard Core Fund pays out a portion of his annual salary. 

In addition to input from Wan and Zhibiao, the fund relies upon outside donations to keep expanding, including contributions from Poolin’s Kevin Pan. However, a large portion of donations come from anonymous contributors, including those hailing from China’s growing crypto community. 

Bitcoin Developers Wanted

WIth the most recent round of funding, the group is opening applications for more developers and hoping to increase the number of full-time bitcoin coders. 

Wan told CoinDesk, 

“We collected 50 bitcoin. Right now, you wouldn’t believe it, there are less than 10 full-time bitcoin developers. …We want to fund full-time independent bitcoin developers.”

Bitcoin is an open-source, decentralized project that any developer is able to contribute towards. However, the cryptocurrency has garnered large organizational support, including MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative and Square. 

Nonetheless, supporting smaller teams and independent full-time devs remains an important hurdle for the bitcoin ecosystem to overcome, one that Wan believes can be tackled through endowments such as the Hard Core Fund, 

“We should be wary of forming a bias, of groupthink. Having diverse funding models helps protect us against groupthink on any given topic.”

Lightning Network a Priority

While the fund’s founders claim to have no input on what bitcoin developers work on, they report having a special interest in products related to lightning network and improvements in network scale. 

Pan explained what the project is looking for in terms of applicants, 

“We are looking for someone who’s got a deep understanding of Bitcoin’s architecture and its existing problems to solve…if he or she can train, coach, or facilitate other developers, propose new BIPs [updates] and new directions for technical improvement, that’s even better.”

With the rise of centralized digital currencies such as Facebook’s libra, it will become even more necessary for the bitcoin community to support its own development.