John Pfeffer is an entrepreneur and investment guru. He’s also a partner at Pfeffer Capital, and has a pedigree as prestigious as you could wish for when it comes to opinions on the future of the investment market. That’s why when he pronounces that the Bitcoin network could one day be valued at somewhere in excess of $6 TRILLION, you listen.
His opinion that Bitcoin is “better than gold” was voiced at the Sohn Investment Conference in New York in April. Traditionally the platform whereby experienced, high-profile investors tip the best investments to make, he is the first to recommend any kind of cryptocurrency as a good bet.
How did he come to this conclusion? In his opinion, most other cryptocurrencies are “bad bets”, but Bitcoin is capable effectively of becoming the ‘new gold’, if it becomes dominant over all its competitors. By his calculations, Bitcoin only has to displace something in the region of 25% of foreign reserves for it to reach this kind of value. However, don’t get too excited just yet – Bitcoin’s market cap is still a relatively modest $150 billion.
He isn’t alone, though. George Soros, the philanthropist, political activist, and author, is also reportedly making preparations to invest in Bitcoin, having reviewed his opinion on the cryptocurrency. Additionally, Bill Miller, the man who coined “any stock can be a value stock if it trades at a discount to its intrinsic value” revealed towards the end of 2017 that 50% of the value of his hedge fund is tied up in Bitcoin. At the time of his declaration, its value was around $20,000 – he must, therefore, be of the opinion that it has a way to go yet.
John Pfeffer was also willing to put his money where his mouth is – literally. With an instruction to “buy the ticket, take the ride”, he donated ten Bitcoin to the Sohn Foundation, to be kept for a minimum of five years before cashing them in.
So are these skilled and experienced investors correct? It’s true that it’s a tough ride at present for many international currencies, combined with an unprecedented spell of distrust for banks even in relatively stable countries. The appetite is there for a legitimate alternative, especially as Bitcoin isn’t tied to a bank or a currency in and of itself.
There are, of course, still substantial risks. At the time of writing, the value of Bitcoin is approximately 50% of its all-time high. However, it’s not so very long ago that it was $1 per coin, so the investors that got in at that point probably aren’t losing all that much sleep.
If you needed any more convincing, it’s worth concluding with this; gold has seen fluctuation over the last decade too. The 10 year low is £421, with the 10 year high per troy ounce being just over £500 higher, at just under £1,150. The gold investors that sold in August 2011 might have got the best deal, but those that continue to hold bullion are still seeing a good profit. One day, we might well look at Bitcoin in the same terms.