How Much Will Bitcoin Be Worth in 10 Years?
If you actually stop and think about it, in a lot of ways, Bitcoin is just like religion. If we knew all the answers, there would be no debate about Bitcoin. Everyone would just buy Bitcoin right now in a paradoxical, self-fulfilling prophecy. Since we don’t know the answers, though, all you’re left with is faith. And you either have faith or you don’t.
Just like religion, Bitcoin, too, has its fanatics, its evangelists, its faith healers, its pastors and its congregation. What it also has, however, are atheists, and, much more importantly, antitheists. Kenneth Rogoff, a prominent economist from Harvard, is one such antitheist, a Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens of cryptocurrencies, if you will. People who are very vocal in their opposition to cryptocurrencies are often colloquially dubbed “nocoiners” in crypto circles, and Rogoff is a well-known nocoiner.
In his most recent public appearance, Rogoff stated that Bitcoin is way more likely to be worth $100 than $100, 000 ten years into the future. Among factors that he predicts will lead to Bitcoin’s depreciation, he cited Bitcoin’s limited application as a means of payment. In his view, apart from money laundering and tax evasion, there is very little reason to use BTC at all. Once illicit activity is out of the equation, Bitcoin enthusiasts are in for a rude awakening, Rogoff believes. Furthermore, Rogoff has stated multiple times that governments need to regulate and restrict the use of cryptocurrencies, and stricter regulatory practices will definitely stop the crypto train in its tracks.
Soon after Rogoff’s remarks aired on CNBC’s “Squawk Box”, industry insiders rushed to point out the various misconceptions and flaws in his reasoning. His understanding of how Bitcoin works is still lagging behind the newest technological advances, such as the Lightning Network, which makes BTC much more viable as an actual currency for making purchases. Not to mention all of the potential upgrades in the future. 10 years is a long, long time – after all, Bitcoin hasn’t even been around for that long, and already, so many of its issues have been resolved. As for the illegal transactions argument, studies have shown that, even if we’re being generous, less than 20% of all transactions are potentially for illegal purposes (tax evasion, money laundering). Rogoff did say, however, that, in case the price of Bitcoin does drop, it wouldn’t be a sudden drop by any stretch of the imagination. It would come as a direct result of government regulation. Still, Rogoff admits that multiple governments would have to cooperate on the crackdown, otherwise the users will just access exchanges from another country.
If you feel like you’re losing your religion after reading about Kenneth Rogoff’s predictions, fear not, for pastor Winklevoss is here to restore your faith. All through February, Tyler Winklevoss has been preaching at various conventions and seminars that Bitcoin is better at being gold than gold, and that over the next 10 to 20 years, the price of Bitcoin will rise to $320,000. If you ask the Winklevoss wonder twins, Rogoff and other skeptics suffer from a “failure of the imagination,” especially if you imagine a world where smart homes, self-driving cars and various devices constantly make micro payments using digital assets.
Still, many have taken Rogoff’s words to heart. After all, much like fellow “nocoiners” Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger, Rogoff is not a nobody – he formerly held the position of chief economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). But don’t be disheartened. In Jeremiah Johnson, a character says that among Indians, “a tribe’s greatness is figured on how mighty its enemies be”. So, even if Bitcoin’s detractors are not actually barking up the wrong tree, they are certainly barking up a particularly big one.