Bitcoin has enjoyed a positive week with headlines from around the world sending the price above $7,500 for the first time in a month.
The crypto community are keen for the momentum to continue and after some much-needed regulatory clarity from the central banks of G20 nations, and interest from the world’s leading asset manager Blackrock, a return to $10,000 they say is now all the more likely.
However, despite all the talk of big banks and regulation, one expert believes that the future for bitcoin is as “digital gold” – a store of value rather than a medium of exchange, or digital currency.
Gabor Gurbacs, director of digital asset strategies at VanEck/MVIS told CNBC that the continuing rise of bitcoin will lure traditional investors out of physical gold and into “digital gold”.
He said: “Gold today has around $7 trillion outstanding. If you take, say, 5 to 10 percent — I’ll let everyone do the math — bitcoin has upside.”
In short, with bitcoin’s current market capitalisation (total value of coins in circulation) at $128 billion, according to CoinMarket Cap, Mr Gurbacs estimates that if just 10 percent of the gold trade were to shift into bitcoin, this could triple to a sum closer to $400 billion.
He said: “Bitcoin is used as digital gold today. It’s a de-risk asset. Basically if someone wants to outlay systematic risk, then one would go to access gold or digital gold – bitcoin.”
With bitcoin in its tenth year, experts believe that there are three paths it could yet take in the years head.
Firstly, that bitcoin defies the haters and beats fiat currencies to be used more widely that the dollar. Secondly that bitcoin runs alongside the dollar like digital gold. Thirdly – bitcoin dies, its value sinks to $0 and all mining stops.
Support for all three scenarios still exists with bitcoin holder, investor and founder of Yield Coin Samuel Leach telling Express.co.uk that BTC’s future is in “digital gold”.
He said: “The most likely of these outcomes is that bitcoin will run alongside fiat much like gold. I cannot see us getting rid of fiat currencies – these transitions take so much time, particularly when the adoption rate of such technologies is so low amongst the 60+ age group.
“I see crypto being used the most by younger generations who want full control of their money.”
However, Joseph Carson, chief security scientist, Thycotic told Express.co.uk that, “the most likely scenario is that bitcoin will die.”
He said: “My current valuation of bitcoin is approximately US $43 as opposed to the hyped and manipulated valuation. Unless Bitcoin is able to become more efficient at mining, and more stable overall, it is likely to die.”
Bob Loukas, founder of Bitcoin.Live says that bitcoin’s future is as a currency.
He said: “As the world moves more and more into the digital age and seeing the success that traders have had within the cryptocurrency space I am entitled to lean towards the scenario where crypto becomes a widely accepted currency.
“We are witnessing this already where online retailers begun accepting bitcoin as a form of payment, most notably Expedia and Shopify.
“This of course can lead to a future where bitcoin is the new currency of the world, fully replacing existing fiat currency, however we are looking at few decades at least, before this becomes a possibility.”