The digital coin’s ability to perform attracts more financial institutions, investors and industry observers than ever before
by ASILA JALIL / pic by BLOOMBERG
BITCOIN is expected to surge to US$100,000 (RM411,000) this year driven by increased interest in the digital currency from both retail and institutional investors.
Asia Digital Bank chief crypto advisor Gieno Miao said bitcoin’s value was tested by the global pandemic last year which led to volatility on equity markets amid geopolitical tensions.
On March 12, 2020, the crypto-currency was valued around US$5,000, which was the lowest level it hit in the year.
He said amid unprecedented US monetary policy, bitcoin proved resilient and ended 2020 as one of the best-performing assets of the year.
“Bitcoin’s ability to perform during a period of significant volatility attracted the attention of more financial institutions, investors and industry observers than ever before.
“Influential figures in financial technology showed public support for bitcoin as an investment, product and monetary good,” he said during a webinar held by the Asia Pacific Investment Bank Ltd on Tuesday titled “Wealth Management Game Changer: MyDigital, MyInvestment, MyFuture”.
To date, Miao said the value of the digital currency hovers between US$50,000 and US$60,000, and by September, it would be valued at US$85,000.
“That could be the short-term peak price. So, probably by the end of this year, bitcoin would be in the region of US$100,000,” he said.
He noted that bitcoin could also see further potential growth if more traditional financial systems join the industry.
He cited Grayscale as an example, which is the largest public holder of bitcoin which operates the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.
In a news report, Bank of America Corp said the trust, which was launched in 2013, likely owns 700,000 bitcoin and is worth more than US$31 billion.
“If more traditional financial systems are allowed to join this industry, they may buy more bitcoins and increase the possibility for bitcoin growth,” he said.
Miao said Malaysia is poised to see better growth in the crypto space compared to other big markets, such as the US or Europe, because the local market is relatively small now and not restricted by too many regulations.
He said Malaysia faces less pressure to dabble into cryptocurrency or other digital banking business as it is not hindered by old regulation and process in the system that is being faced by the US and other bigger markets.
“Today, if we do digital banking business in Malaysia, there can be more opportunity in the payment system to adopt blockchain technology because the traditional finance system is not fully matured yet.
“A better financial system is one that will allow others to use technology or a new way of making money move more smoothly, as well as going virtual to create more value,” he said.