- Bitcoin could hit $100,000 within a year, Antoni Trenchev, CEO of crypto lending firm Nexo, has predicted.
- He said that bitcoin could fall in tandem with traditional financial markets as the Federal Reserve unwinds its massive stimulus policy. But eventually, a "crash" in stocks could force to the Fed back into easing, he said.
- There are still some headwinds for the crypto market as the global regulatory environment remains fragmented and the digital currency still remains volatile.
Bitcoin could hit $100,000 within a year, the CEO of crypto lending firm Nexo has predicted.
Antoni Trenchev told CNBC he thinks the world's biggest cryptocurrency can surge above $100,000 "within 12 months."
He said he's "worried" about bitcoin's short-term prospects, suggesting it may fall in tandem with traditional financial markets as the Federal Reserve starts unwinding its massive monetary stimulus program.
But that may, in turn, "give further impetus to crypto," he added, as a "crash" in stocks would likely mean the U.S. central bank eventually goes "back to easing in no time."
If Trenchev's forecast is correct, that would mean bitcoin's price would have to more than double this year.
For what it's worth, in January 2020 Trenchev predicted bitcoin's price would top $50,000 by the end of that year. "Everybody was laughing me out," he says.
Trenchev's 2020 prediction didn't come true. Bitcoin only managed to hit a high of just over $29,000 that year. But the cryptocurrency did eventually surpass that $50,000 in February 2021.
Crypto believers say the market has matured, and that there's ample liquidity now that major Wall Street institutions like Jump Trading and Jane Street are flocking to digital assets.
Meanwhile, crypto "whales" like Do Kwon, the co-founder of blockchain firm Terra Labs, are buying up millions of dollars' worth of bitcoin in the belief that it could become a future "reserve" currency.
But there are some headwinds for the market. The global regulatory environment remains fragmented and the crypto market still remains volatile. In particular, bitcoin remains heavily correlated to the stock market, in particular the Nasdaq index. While stocks remain volatile, so too could bitcoin.
Bitcoin is still around 40% off its record high of $68,990.90.
Other crypto executives don't expect as much price appreciation this year.
"In this particular moment in time we are living under, I would say, global uncertainty in the markets, not just the crypto markets, also in the stock markets," Paolo Ardoino, chief technology officer of Bitfinex, told CNBC in an interview on Wednesday.
"So we are seeing definitely lower volumes on the crypto side ... bitcoin volumes have dropped over the last few weeks. So that is quite important as a metric because it tells many whales, many active market participants, participants that were very active before are waiting a little bit on the sidelines."
Whales are large investors that are able to move the market.
Ardoino said bitcoin could fall sharply below $40,000 but he expects by digital currency will be "well above" $50,000 by the end of the year.
"I'm a bullish person on bitcoin … I see so much happening in this industry and so many countries interested in bitcoin adoption that I'm really positive," he said.