It’s hard not to admire the single-mindedness of Tom Lee, the billionaire businessman who has proved himself the ultimate “Bitcoin Bull” by steadfastly backing the cryptocurrency to overcome a tumultuous 2018 and hit a value of $20,000. He was at it again this week on CNBC!
Regular visitors to BitMoneyNews.com will be thinking “Haven’t we been here before?”, and they would be right: Tom Lee, CEO and co-founder of venture capital firm Fundstrat has – for at least the third time this year – appeared on CNBC and told the world that in his – admittedly expert – opinion, Bitcoin will finish 2018 at a value of $20,000, maybe even higher.
It matters little to Lee that Bitcoin has been struggling for most of 2018, and since its initial fall from grace in January, has failed to hit even $10,000, never mind $20,000. Bitcoin is currently hanging in at an encouraging price of $7,220, but its position remains precarious.
Tom Lee Not Concerned About BTC’s 2018 Struggles
While many Bitcoin investors and crypto market speculators fear for Bitcoin’s future as a commodity, Tom Lee is seemingly on another transcendental plane, one in which Bitcoin’s success is virtually guaranteed. In a recent interview with CNBC, Lee has likened Bitcoin’s struggles to the similar mid-term price drops of the so-called emerging markets.
In particular, Lee looked to emerging markets ETFs such as iShares MSCI, which grants investors the ability to place funds into a diverse portfolio of assets and stocks in developing markets and regions. Here’s what Lee said:
“Both (Bitcoin and emerging markets like iShares MSCI) really essentially peaked early this year, and they both have been in a downward trend. Until emerging markets begin to turn, I
think in some ways that correlation is going to hold and tell us that sort of the risk on mentality is those buyers aren’t buying bitcoin.”
As Emerging Markets Rise, So Too Will Bitcoin
Lee pointed to the strong performance of assets and ETFs based on emerging markets, and stated they will likely lead to similarly marked increase in Bitcoin’s value, based off the correlation between the two dating back to early 2017. Lee said:
“So why do we think they’re connected? Well, there is two factors. The first is hedge funds — see hedge funds typically rent emerging market stocks. So they do risk-on, risk-off. So when they’re risk-off, Bitcoin also suffers because they are risk off. The second reason has to do with wealth effect. Wealth effect means that if you are living in an emerging market, and you see your stock market fall hugely, that you will have a lot less money to buy Bitcoin.”
The continued friction between the US and a host of countries including Russia, Turkey, Iran, China, and potentially much of Europe could lead to a decline in the value of the US dollar, especially if the Federal Reserve slows its interest rate hike policy, making Bitcoin all the more appealing.
As Lee said:
“For that reason it’s essential that we strengthen European autonomy by establishing payment channels that are independent of the US, creating a European Monetary Fund and building up an independent Swift system.”