Billionaire Tim Draper: 'Bitcoin Will Be About a 5% Market Share of the Earth'

Francisco Memoria

Billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper, who’s a well-known bitcoin bull, has recently claimed he believes bitcoin will “be a 5% market share of the earth,” predicting the flagship cryptocurrency will be one of the most valuable assets in existence.

Speaking to FOX Business’ Liz Claman during an interview on “Countdown to the Closing Bell,” from the SALT conference in Las Vegas, Draper noted he believes in four years the flagship cryptocurrency will be far more valuable than it is today as it’s a “better currency, decentralized, open, [and] transparent.”

I am a believer that in four years, something like that, bitcoin will be about a 5 percent market share of the earth

Draper, who has in the past predicted bitcoin will hit $250,000 by 2022, made his bullish prediction after being asked about the 30,000 bitcoins he won from the U.S. Marshals Service auction back in 2014, which had been seized from the now-defunct darknet marketplace The Silk Road.

At the time Draper won the auction, he paid $632 per coin, and the coins were worth a total of $19 million. At press time, one bitcoin is trading close to the $6,300 mark, meaning his 30,000 BTC – if he still has them – are worth nearly $190 million.

In 2014, Draper also predicted BTC would hit $10,000 “in three years.” The flagship cryptocurrency hit the $10,000 mark in November of 2017, and subsequently shot up to a near $20,000 all-time high before dropping to a $3,200 low in December of last year, according to CryptoCompare data.

During his recent interview with FOX Business’ Liz Claman, Draper noted he would eventually like to create a fund using bitcoin and blockchain technology, as it would help him eliminate costs associated with accounting and bookkeeping.

Draper has, last month, also revealed he believes bitcoin is a better store of value than gold, and predicted OpenNode, a multi-layered, Lightning Network-enabled payment processing platform will be widely adopted in the foreseeable future. Earlier, he argued bitcoin will create “much more fluid markets,” and that it’s the “currency of the future.”

CME Looks to Double Bitcoin Futures Limit, but Is This Wise?

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has a new request for its regulator, as it looks to double open position limits on bitcoin futures contracts in the face of significant interest.

Nasdaq reports that the CME has already petitioned its regulatory body, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC), asking for an increase from 1000 contracts per spot month to 2000 per investor. Each contract represents five BTC, so essentially, at its peak,  a single investor's total position may edge towards a monumental 10,000 BTC.

This is in direct response to the contract's recent growth which is currently depicting record levels of activity, citing $370 million being traded per day. A spokesperson for the CME noted that the idea to increase limits was proposed on the continued maturity of the market:

Based on the significant growth and acceptance of our financially-settled CME Bitcoin futures markets, as well as our analysis of the underlying bitcoin market.

However, as Nasdaq writes the increase in the upper limit of positions is somewhat superfluous. As of July, the number of open interest contracts reached an all-time high of just 6100; given this, it seems the CME may be future-proofing.

Open to Manipulation?

However, concerns remain about the limit increase, as without them, the potential for manipulation rises; often to the detriment to the underlying asset. Although, as per the CTFC website, the threat of manipulation from bitcoin futures contracts is "low":

In general, position limits are not needed for markets where the threat of market manipulation is non-existent or very low.

Instead, Nasdaq posited that this might point to a lessening on the CTFC's strict rule of bitcoin; as well as a maturing of the market in general.

Nevertheless, some believe the CME's bitcoin futures contracts do pose a significant threat to the price of BTC; with some suggesting that blatant manipulation continues unchecked within the market.

As reported, there seems to be a correlation between the expiry dates of CME bitcoin futures contracts and a lull in the price point of BTC. In several instances, a significant drop in bitcoin's price has coincided with a closure from the CME. The most recent example of this occurred on Labor Day, September 2, when bitcoin rose an extraordinary 8% shortly after the CME shut.

Crypto analyst, Alex Kruger, highlighted this, noting the large gaps which formed on the CME chart, from the price discrepancy before and after closing.

This has become a pretty accepted practice within the market. Kruger has even gone to the lengths of compiling statistics each time this phenomenon transpired:

On these occasions, bitcoin cited an average 4.6% price discrepancy following the close of the CME.

Whether this is a coincidence or the market is indeed being actively manipulated is as yet unclear. Either way, with the increase of these limits it might be only a matter of time until we know for sure.

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