The past 12 months haven’t been easy for any bitcoin bull, but perhaps no cryptocurrency proponent has had a worse time than Tom Lee, the Wall Street strategist who predicted that the bitcoin price would hit $25,000 by the end of 2018 and must now reckon with the result of that forecast every time he goes back on television.
The Fundstrat Global Advisors founder’s latest dish of humble pie was served up courtesy of Stuart Varney, who interviewed Lee last Friday for the Fox Business Network.
Varney asked Lee whether he regretted making that bitcoin price prediction, which he maintained throughout much of the year until it became clear that Crypto Winter had no intention of thawing in 2018. A somber Lee refused to recant.
“Strangely, I just think that’s a good, fair value for bitcoin, but the timing of that’s going to be difficult,” Lee said (video above, comments start at 2:40), causing laughter to erupt throughout the Fox Business set. “Bitcoin has had 70 percent pullbacks four times already in its 10-year history, and it has recovered to new all-time highs every time. So to me, it’s resilient.”
[E]specially driven by millennials, and outside the US, there’s an interest in a digital currency, digital asset store of value that’s not traditional money.
Acknowledging that bitcoin’s failure to recover was a “huge disappointment,” Lee explained that he had expected that bitcoin would survive the cryptocurrency bubble pop since its fundamentals were much stronger than those of many of the dubious initial coin offering (ICO) tokens that had helped pump the market in late 2017.
To Lee’s point, bitcoin has outperformed the wider cryptocurrency market by a notable margin, just not nearly to the extent that Fundstrat predicted.
As of the time of writing, the bitcoin price stood at $3,412, about 83 percent below its all-time high. Every other top-10 cryptocurrency launched before 2018 has plunged at least 90 percent from its high-water mark, with several down as far as 97 percent. Bitcoin now accounts for about 54 percent of the overall cryptocurrency market, up from less than 34 percent at this time last year.
But while Lee continues to stick by his bullish take on bitcoin, even as the market turns more and more bearish, Stuart Varney isn’t buying it.
“Tom, I think you’ve got a surefire way of getting on television, Varney said as he concluded the interview. “Make an outrageous claim about bitcoin and then come on and talk about it.”
“And then having to face the reckoning,” Lee conceded.