2020 was the year Bitcoin caught the eye of institutions. While many were skeptical when MicroStrategy famously converted its corporate treasury reserves to Bitcoin, it didn't take long for Michael Saylor's move to awake the interest of other corporations and financial institutions.
As the developments of the past year have carried over into 2021 with no signs of slowing down, Bitcoin is undergoing an image change in the public eye, gradually moving away from it's 'darknet money' reputation, and increasingly seeing comparisons to the millennia-old store of value gold.
As new price anticipations by banks, funds, and individual investors continue flying in, it may become hard to keep up with who predicted what—and why.
Here is a list of some of the most notable corporate Bitcoin price predictions of the past months.
In a note shared with Citibank's institutional clients in November, CitiFXTechnicals global head Tom Fitzpatrick showed himself bullish: should Bitcoin follow the path it took in previous bull runs, he wrote, it would peak at $318,315 around December 2021 or early 2022.
Fitzpatrick believes that the accelerated fiscal and monetary stimulus the world is currently experiencing will benefit Bitcoin:
The change in monetary policy and simultaneous opening up in fiscal policy is (despite protestations to the contrary) Modern Monetary Theory in all but name and a clear intention of debasing FIAT currency.
Writing that "Bitcoin is the new gold," Fitzpatrick further likened Bitcoin to the millennia-old store of value and pointed out some of its additional features that may give it an edge over gold, namely in terms of portability and pseudonymous ownership.
Citigroup also predicts that upon the successful roll-out of a COVID-19 vaccine, the U.S. may begin a 20 percent decline in value.
Bitcoin proponents like to point towards J.P. Morgan as a prime example for 180-degree turns on Bitcoin. In 2017, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon notoriously described Bitcoin as a "fraud" that was "worse than tulip bulbs" and "won't end well."
In 2021, the investment bank has dramatically changed its tune, as strategists wrote in January that "a crowding out of gold as an ‘alternative’ currency implies big upside for Bitcoin over the long term."
$146,000 big, to be exact. JPMorgan Chase sees this as a possibility as it anticipates Bitcoin to compete with gold. At $146,000 Bitcoin's market capitalization would be around $2.7 trillion, or around a fourth of that of gold.
Digital asset-focused investment firm Pantera Capital has reason to hope for more upside with Bitcoin, yet it did not randomly arrive at its guess of a potential peak of $115,212 per bitcoin during the next rally.
In a letter to investors in May 2020, the self-proclaimed Bitcoin investment firm's CEO Dan Morehead explained that its prediction stems from data using Plan B's now famous stock-to-flow model.
"I realize that price may sound ludicrous to some today." Morehead wrote at the time, with Bitcoin trading at around $10,000. While Bitcoin is still another $80,000 away from the $115,000 mark, more recent predictions revealed by institutional investors are now making Pantera's outlook appear almost conservative in comparison.
One of, if not the highest prediction made outside of the Bitcoin space comes from Guggenheim Investments CIO Scott Minerd, who told Bloomberg in December that Guggenheim's "fundamental work shows that Bitcoin should be worth about $400,000."
The comments came as he revealed the firm had "started allocating toward Bitcoin when Bitcoin was at $10,000," adding that he was 'amazed' at "how big of a run-up we've had" over a short period of time.
Minerd further cited Bitcoin's relative valuation when compared to gold, of which he says "Bitcoin has a lot of the same attributes [...] and at the same time has an unusual value in terms of transactions."
Notably, following Bitcoin's most recent drop from $41,000 back to the $30,000's, Minerd took to Twitter to comment that it was “time to take some money off the table” as “Bitcoin's parabolic rise is unsustainable in the near term.”
He didn't give a number, but hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones has shown himself certain of one thing: Bitcoin is undervalued.
With a market cap of $500 billion, it’s the wrong market cap in a world where you’ve got $90 trillion dollars of equity market cap, and God knows how many trillions of fiat currency.
At that point in time, Bitcoin's market cap sat at around $360 billion. At press time, that number stands at $650 billion.
Jones has previously been quoted saying that with Bitcoin, financial markets could be witnessing a historic “birthing of a store of value.”
As the idea of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) is gaining traction across various jurisdictions, Jones anticipated a future in which "cash may be gone," and in which "all of us will be using some type of digital currency."
Bitcoin, Jones believes, will exist as digital "gold" alongside these currencies.
Bitcoin has stepped out of the shadows, it appears, and leaped from a niche of the internet to the boardrooms of the world.
While it is important to bear in mind that predictions remain predictions, and nobody knows for sure where Bitcoin is headed, the vote of confidence issued to the asset by a growing number of financial institutions and large investors continues pushing Bitcoin towards the world stage.