Prominent bitcoin advocate Tim Draper has renewed his claim that the cryptocurrency will continue to see huge gains following its recent price surge.
The billionaire investor predicted bitcoin will reach $250,000 (£193,000) by 2023 – a figure he first forecast in November 2018 when the price of bitcoin was around $5,000.
Bitcoin has since experienced a remarkable price recovery, rising from below $4,000 at the start of 2019 to today’s price of $8,100.
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Speaking at the Salt Conference in Las Vegas, Mr Draper once again outlined his belief that bitcoin can keep growing in value and reach well beyond its $20,000 peak that it reached in December 2017.
“It’s going to keep going because I’m a believer that in four years, something like that, bitcoin will be about a 5 per cent market share of the Earth,” Mr Draper told Fox Business.
“It’s a better currency, it’s decentralised, open [and] it’s transparent – everybody knows what happens on the blockchain.”
Mr Draper rose to prominence within the bitcoin community in 2014, when he won an auction of confiscated cryptocurrency held by the US Marshals Service.
The lot of 30,000 bitcoins was worth around $632 per bitcoin at the time, meaning his investment is now worth more than 10-times as much.
Beyond investing, Mr Draper believes bitcoin has the potential to replace mainstream forms of currency due to its technological and economical benefits compared to fiat.
In an interview earlier this year, he called bitcoin “one of the greatest technological advances that humanity has ever seen”, and predicted it would used as a routine form of payment within the next three years.
“It can make a bigger change in society than any of us ever imagined,” he told NBC Bay Area’s ‘Sand Hill Road’ podcast.
“I think when you go to Starbucks to buy a cup of coffee, and you try to pay with dollars, they will laugh at you because you are not using bitcoin or other cryptocurrency. It will be like the old lady paying out with pennies.”
While these predictions may appear optimistic, there are signs that bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies are beginning to achieve a level of widespread appeal.
Research published by YouGov in November 2018 – around the same time Mr Draper made his first $250,000 price prediction – revealed than nine out of 10 UK citizens have heard of bitcoin.
One in five of those surveyed said they thought bitcoin would be “as common as cash or card” in the future as a payment method.
However, a significant proportion doubted that bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency could significantly disrupt the traditional financial system.
“Four in 10 Britons are ore sceptical [about bitcoin], saying they do not think cryptocurrencies will ever be as common as cash or card,” the research stated. “A third don’t know.”