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.

Venezuelan Economist Keeps His Funds in Bitcoin, Converting to Fiat When Necessary

  • Venezuelan economist and resident explains how he pays for everyday items using bitcoins.
  • He converts his cryptocurrency (a litlte at a time to avoid detection from government) into local currency to pay for daily purchases.

Carlos Hernández, a Venezuelan citizen and economist, recently revealed that he “keeps all [his] money in bitcoin.” Hernández explained that he does not own any Bolivars, Venezuela’s official fiat currency - as it reportedly suffered from a daily inflation rate of 3.5 percent and an annual inflation rate of 1.7 million percent (during 2018).

Hernández mentioned in his detailed opinion piece (published in the New York Times on February 23) that he doesn’t “have a bank account abroad, and with Venezuela’s currency controls, there’s no easy way for [him] to use a conventional foreign currency like American dollars.”

$6.9 Million Worth Of Bitcoins Traded In A Week

He added that before purchasing milk or any other item, he goes through the various listings on peer-to-peer (P2P) digital asset exchange, LocalBitcoins. When Hernández finds a good rate for his bitcoins, he accepts the offer and then exchanges his cryptocurrency for Bolivars via a wire transfer, using a bank that both him and the buyer transact with.

Hernández noted in his post that the local market for bitcoins “broke a record” on April 17, 2018 as it skyrocketed to $1 million worth of total trading in only 24 hours. Moreover, the South American nation of Venezuela is currently ranked second (worldwide) in terms of total trading volume recorded on LocalBitcoins. During the week ending on February 16, 2019, Venezuela’s residents traded approximately $6.9 million through LocalBitcoins alone, according to data from Coin Dance.

Commenting on the BTC trading activity, Hernández wrote:

That’s saying something for a country in its fifth year of a recession, whose economy contracted by some 18 percent in 2018.

He added that he does not convert “too many” bitcoins at one time - as Venezuela’s government closely monitors transactions in Bolivars. Any amount over $50 that is sent or received could be “automatically frozen” by the country’s authorities, Hernández noted.

"No Evidence" Of Petro Being Used, First Bitcoin ATM Arrives

With the help of bitcoin, Hernández says he is able to cover his household’s expenses. Notably, the Venezuelan economist revealed that his father is a government employee at a printing press and only earns the equivalent of $6 per month in salary. Meanwhile, his brother managed to “escape” Venezuela last year with the help of cryptocurrencies, Hernández wrote.

As CryptoGlobe reported in late August 2018, an extensive four-month-long investigation by Reuters found that there was “no evidence” of the nation’s controversial Petro cryptocurrency being used anywhere. Local residents told the reporting agency that the Petro was not being used for local or international transactions. While Venezuelans may not trust their government or its cryptocurrency, the first ever Bitcoin ATM (BTM) recently arrived in the country. Venezuela’s citizens have also been using other cryptocurrencies such as dash - in order to pay for everyday goods and services.