Bitcoin loses steam after nearing all-time highs, but trader says it could be on track to $74,000
Bitcoin's boom may just be starting.
The cryptocurrency's comeback could go exponential next year, two traders said Tuesday after bitcoin broke above $19,000 and rallied nearly 3.5%, closing in on its 2017 record highs.
The popular trade lost steam later in the week, falling nearly 12% since Wednesday to around $16,855.00 as of Friday morning, according to CoinMetrics.
"It's hard to give bitcoin an intrinsic fundamental value because there's pretty much a finite supply," Todd Gordon, founder of TradingAnalysis.com, told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Tuesday.
Only 21 million bitcoins will ever be produced.
To try and see where the trade could be headed, Gordon used a concept known as the Elliott wave theory.
"It's a wonderful way to value crypto because Elliott wave is meant to detect the herding mentality and the emotions driving the price — fear and greed — and it creates very recognizable patterns," he said, turning to a chart of bitcoin.
"The Elliott wave theory is based on the idea that there's five waves in a primary trend, three [up]trends and two intervening corrections," Gordon said.
The first wave higher occurred in 2014, followed by a decline into 2015 and a long-term uptrend through 2018, Gordon said. The fourth wave has formed "sort of a sideways triangle" over the course of the last two years, and the fifth could be bitcoin's latest wave higher, the trader said.
"The point of all this is a reliable relationship in the Elliott wave theory is the percent distance traveled in that first wave in 2014 is often equal to the percent change in wave five," Gordon said.
Seeing as the first wave was a roughly 658% rally, Gordon's target was a lofty one.
"I can't believe I'm going to go out on CNBC and say this, but it's about 74,000," he said. "The Elliott wave goes very well with … Fibonacci multiples. If it does want to fall short, it can go to 61% of that target, which is only at 34,000."
Another trader saw even loftier heights ahead for the crypto play.
"I've always had to own some," Mark Tepper, president and CEO of Strategic Wealth Partners, said in the same "Trading Nation" interview.
"It's like a FOMO concept for me," he said. "If I never owned any and bitcoin hits 100,000 per coin, I'd probably cry myself to sleep every night for the rest of my life."
Until recently, Tepper treated bitcoin like any other speculative investment, owning a small enough amount that it wouldn't tank his portfolio if the trade went south. But that changed when PayPal and other companies started to dip their toes in the space, he said.
"The thing that's always held me back from being an outright bitcoin bull has really been this lack of widespread adoption. But ... adoption's happening and those users, those PayPal and Square users, they're buying more bitcoin than what's actually hitting the market on a daily basis," Tepper said.
"You can kind of compare this to Tesla," he said. "Tesla's up over 500% this year. In my opinion ... I think bitcoin could potentially be the Tesla of 2021. It could, in my most bullish case possible, get to 100K by the end of next year. That'd be my bull case. I think my base case is a little closer to it doubling up to about 40K by the end of 2021."
Disclosure: Gordon and Tepper own bitcoin.
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