Bitcoin’s price could nearly double to $75,000 this year as more institutional investors start to embrace the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, according to the CEO of Swiss bank Seba.
“We believe the price is going up,” Guido Buehler told CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal at the Crypto Finance Conference in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
“Our internal valuation models indicate a price right now between $50,000 and $75,000,” said the boss of the regulated Swiss bank which has a focus on cryptocurrencies. “I’m quite confident we are going to see that level. The question is always timing.”
After soaring to an all time high of $69,000 in November, bitcoin has seen its value collapse over the last couple of months and its price briefly tumbled below $40,000 on Monday, meaning it is hovering near lows not seen since September.
Asked if bitcoin will test the record levels seen last year, Buehler said he “thinks so” but he stressed that volatility will remain high.
This week’s price fall came as rising Treasury yields — and the prospect of higher central bank interest rates — continued to lead investors to shed positions in risky, growth-oriented assets.
Bitcoin fell as much as 6% Monday to touch a low of $39,771.91, according to Coin Metrics. It traded at $42,921.55 at around 5 a.m. ET on Wednesday.
Declines across the cryptocurrency market follow a week of rough trading for equities, particularly momentum stocks. As the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield spiked at the start of 2022, investors have been rotating into more cyclical and value names. On Monday, the 10-year climbed as high as 1.8%, after ending 2021 at 1.5%.
“We’ve seen bitcoin behave like a risk asset on numerous occasions over the past few months,” said Noelle Acheson, head of market insights at Genesis.
“When the market gets jittery, bitcoin tumbles. We’ve seen various indications that market sentiment is somewhat spooked by the spike in the 10-year — that’s not good for any asset that has high volatility in cash flows. Unlike many assets that are tainted by this brush, bitcoin is liquid and therefore can take more selling pressure without a heavy hit.”
Buehler said he thinks institutional investors will help to boost the price of bitcoin in 2022.
“Institutional money will probably drive the price up,” he said. “We are working as a fully regulated bank. We have asset pools that are looking for the right times to invest.”
But Pascal Gauthier, CEO of crypto wallet Ledger, told CNBC Wednesday that there’s currently a “retail trend” in bitcoin.
“They trust bitcoin more and more and it’s really the people that will push the price up,” he said.
Before seeking regulatory approval, Buehler said Seba Bank looked at the technology that powers cryptocurrencies and concluded that it’s going to “redefine finance.”
Elsewhere, Californian venture capitalist Bill Tai told CNBC Wednesday from Switzerland that there’s “yet another wobble” in the crypto market.
“I don’t know when it’s going to go back up, but it’s going to go back up,” he said.
He added that cryptocurrencies are at the crux of institutional acceptance.
— Additional reporting by CNBC’s Tanaya Macheel.