Alex Mashinsky, the CEO of crypto lending firm Celsius Network, has revealed during an interview he believes the price of bitcoin could hit $500,000 “very quickly” if HODLers hold onto their funds as buyer demand keeps surging.

Speaking to Yahoo Finance’s Julie Hyman, Mashinsky said that this year’s bitcoin bull run, which saw the price of BTC hit a new all-time high above $23,000, isn’t driven only by retail investors like the bull run in 2017.

Instead, there’s “much broader adoption both from institutions and for retail, from family offices and so on.” Most people, he said, already know what bitcoin is and are “just continuing to accumulate,” which makes things different this time.

When asked about what bitcoin is for and why it has value, Mashinsky pointed out that fiat currencies are controlled by central banks, which continue to add money into circulation and inflate their circulating supply, which can be limitless. People are now realizing that “you need to have something that has scarcity.”

While he believes older generations are more comfortable with gold as insurance against inflation, the younger generation sees things differently. He said:

But the younger generation is looking for the digital version of it, and the digital version that has scarcity, even more scarce than gold, is Bitcoin.

In the Celsius community, he said, there are about 250,000 people throughout the world that entrusted the firm with over $4 billion worth of assets, and they just keep on accumulating funds. Bitcoin, he said, is a store of value and the best performing asset class in the last 10 years-.

Based on that scarcity, Yahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi asked if he believes BTC could hit %400,000 or $500,000 next year.  Mashinsky said that while we don’t know how many sellers there are at levels like $25,00 and $30,000, we know there’s a lot of demand.

He added we’re seeing “hundreds of millions of dollars of billions of dollars coming in.” If the HODLer community, which has been accumulating, doesn’t sell, then “we’re going to get to those price levels very, very quickly,” he said.

If others decide that BTC’s fair value is at other levels, then resistance will be created on that path. He added:

So I think this year is probably going to end it at this $20,000 to $25,000 range. Next year probably $30,000 to $35,000, and then we’re going to break out to these new high levels that you’re talking about.

Featured image via Pixabay.