- Bulls and bears are sharply divided over bitcoin’s use cases and value.
- But according to Craig Kirsner, bitcoin will hit $90,000 by year-end.
- Here are five altcoins to consider as cryptocurrencies gain institutional acceptance.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Not all bitcoin bulls are social-media-savvy millennials who dedicate their lives to spreading the word about the coming decentralized-finance — or DeFi — revolution to anyone who will listen.
Take Craig Kirsner, the president of retirement-planning services at the Florida-based Stuart Estate Planning Wealth Advisors. He’s too busy helping retired millionaires protect their nest eggs to be a Twitter influencer, but he’s still an advocate for the biggest cryptocurrency.
“I think that bitcoin will probably hit $90,000 by the end of this year,” Kirsner wrote in a recent message to Insider. He added: “There is a finite amount of it, and it is a true growing technology.”
Kirsner is far from alone in his bullish convictions. In a recent interview with Insider, the entrepreneur David Gokhshtein predicted bitcoin would hit $85,000 soon, and ARK Invest cofounder Cathie Wood has called for the original cryptocurrency to rise to $500,000. Bitcoin’s price is up over 60% year to date and stands at just under $47,000.
Big-money institutional investors are increasingly embracing cryptocurrencies after years of dismissing the digital assets as nothing more than a niche, hype-driven speculative bubble. Kirsner said he expected this trend to continue and for more corporations to hop on the bandwagon as cryptos get too big to ignore.
The case for crypto is straightforward: First, sending money across borders is a headache because it’s slow, inefficient, and riddled with fees; second, critics say that central banks have irresponsibly expanded the money supply and their unbridled power makes them untrustworthy.
“There are those that have an opinion that there needs to be some type of a hedge against what could be a financial Armageddon that central banks just can’t fix anymore because they’ve lost credibility,” Eric Schiffer, the CEO of the Los Angeles private-equity firm the Patriarch Organization, told Insider in a recent interview.
A digital-native currency like bitcoin promises to transfer money quickly and seamlessly without currency-conversion fees or oversight from a central authority, like a government or bank. Buyers and sellers connect anonymously with digital encryption keys instead of names or Social Security numbers, and transactions are verified through a public ledger called a blockchain.
But bitcoin is a Rorschach test in both its use cases and its value. Some see it purely as “digital gold” — a safe-haven commodity that serves as a store of value and an inflation hedge, given that its supply is capped at 21 million. Others, including the nation of El Salvador, think it holds promise for everyday transactions, though skeptics have thrown cold water on this theory.
For that, there needs to be a nonvolatile currency, Dominick Gabriele, a senior equity-research analyst in fintech and specialty finance at Oppenheimer, told Insider.
“You can’t walk to the store and say you have enough to buy eggs and bread, and then you get to the store, and all of a sudden, you can’t because bitcoin went down,” he said.
Fierce debates rage over whether bitcoin and its crypto peers will usher in the biggest technological revolution since the internet, or be more like the internet bubble of the 1990s. Kirsner indicated that both crypto bulls and bears may have a point.
“It’s like the early days of the internet, when many companies failed but many did quite well,” Kirsner wrote, adding: “There are more than 1,000 different coins out there, each with differing technologies behind them, and you never know which will do well or which won’t.”
Cryptocurrencies’ feverish rallies this year have cemented them in the mainstream. Their supporter base has broadened, as has the number of coins rallying in the nascent space. Bitcoin is no longer the only token in town; a wave of altcoins, or nonbitcoin cryptos, has grown from a ripple into a tsunami.
Besides bitcoin, Kirsner is bullish on five coins in particular. Each is listed below, along with its ticker, market capitalization from CoinMarketCap, and Kirsner’s investment thesis.