Wall Street institutions and Twitter users are split on bitcoin. But institutions, usually the more cautious ones, are more optimistic when it comes to calling a bottom, according to new surveys.
Fundstrat managing partner and head of research Tom Lee polled 25 institutions during a recent dinner and compared their responses to the answers to a Twitter poll that got 9,500 responses. The majority of institutions said bitcoin's price has "already bottomed" while most respondents to the Twitter poll said it has more room to fall.
When asked "when do you think bitcoin will bottom?," just 44 percent of Twitter respondents said it already hit its low. But 54 percent of institutions polled at the private dinner said the worst is over for bitcoin prices.
Institutions were also more bullish how high they think bitcoin's price can climb. From institutions, 57 percent said bitcoin would rise anywhere from $15,000 to "the moon" by the end of 2019. Twitter users were less optimistic, with 40 percent predicting that price movement.
But even if institutions are bullish in their survey responses, they have been more hesitant to publicly jump into the volatile asset class. A high-profile investment would likely boost the legitimacy of crypto assets, which attracted a flood of investors as bitcoin rose more than 1,300 percent last year.
The crypto asset class comes with a lot of risk for careful, long-term investors. Bitcoin's price has nosedived more than 52 percent this year after regulatory crackdowns on fundraising frauds, high-profile hacks and a lack of new buyers. Where to safely store the assets is still a largely unsolved issue. In the Fundstrat survey, the majority of respondents named central banks as the "most important macro factor" influencing prices.
Bitcoin was trading near $6,548 Thursday, according to data from CoinDesk.