There are numerous bitcoin price predictions floating out there, but when the head of a major bitcoin derivatives exchange shares his forecast, the price prediction has legs.
Arthur Hayes, the co-founder and CEO of Seychelles-based BitMEX, the bitcoin mercantile exchange, has a bullish prediction for the bitcoin price, which he believes will skyrocket to $50,000 by year-end 2018, he told CNBC.
While the bitcoin price has bounced back and is inching closer to the $8,800 level, it’s still a far cry from Hayes’ price prediction. Though as Fundstrat market strategists have pointed out, much of the gains in the bitcoin price tend to unfold over just a handful of days each year.
Even at the start of the new year, when the bitcoin price was trading in the doldrums, Hayes wasn’t phased, though he pointed out “it’s [his] job to make predictions” whether or not they come true.
Hayes, a Citigroup alum, explained that he is a volatility trader, and he makes his money on the volatility in the bitcoin price, which there has been no shortage of year-to-date. “If it goes up, if it goes down, if you have Bill Gates calling it a fraud … Short it, I don’t care. If you think it’s going to be $1 million in a few months, great, buy it. I still don’t care. We just match trades,” Hayes said.
Asia-focused BitMEX is geared toward retail investors but instead of spot trading, it has some of the advanced features that you might expect to see on an institutional trading platform, including derivatives, margin trading and up to 100x leverage (which is more of a “headline number” and not something most traders take advantage of). The exchange supports short trading in perpetual contracts.
Hayes also addressed the cultural differences that affect cryptocurrency market dynamics in the Western world and Asia, the latter of which is where some suggest two-thirds of the market originates from.
“I think Asia dominates crypto because they’re very used to trading digital assets,” said Hayes, pointing to South Korea, where locals are accustomed to trading virtual goods in video games and where the culture is easily transferred to cryptocurrency trading.
And it’s individuals, not institutions, that are driving most of the volume.
“There’s really not too much institutional presence right now in crypto. It is a retail phenomenon,” Hayes told CNBC.
But many are expecting that institutional investors that have been sidelined are on the brink of a shift where they too will enter the space, especially with traditional Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs launching a trading desk and the NYSE also jumping in. When that happens, Hayes said BitMEX is prepared to support them, pointing to the exchange’s API.
Hayes got the Twitter-sphere talking when he claimed in a tweet to show up at Consensus 2018, which is unfolding in midtown Manhattan this week, in one of those famous crypto Lamborghinis –
If Hayes is correct and the bitcoin price attains $50,000 as he predicts, there could be a lot more Lambos on the road in the not-too-distant future.
Featured image from Shutterstock.