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Bitcoin at $1 million? One CEO says it could happen within 10 years

Fortune logo Fortune 3/4/2021 Chris Morris
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While Bitcoin is off its recent highs lately, the chief executive of one cryptocurrency trading exchange says he expects the digital currency to hit the $1 million mark within the next decade.

Jesse Powell, who heads Fan Francisco-based Kraken, made the remarks in an interview with Bloomberg Thursday morning. “In the near term, people see it surpassing gold as a store of value, so I think a million dollars as a price target within the next 10 years is very reasonable,” he said.

The current enthusiasm over Bitcoin is at unprecedented levels, Powell said. The cryptocurrency's most avid backers believe this is just the start of a larger push.

"I think true believers will tell you it's going all the way to the moon, to [hotlink]Mars[/hotlink], and eventually it'll be the world's currency," Powell said.

Powell—and Kraken—stand to gain from increases in Bitcoin’s price, of course. He has reason to evangelize the cryptocurrency. In addition to being a longtime cryptocurrency investor and advocate, Powell is said to be considering taking Kraken public as early as next year.

Powell's price target is, unsurprisingly, much higher than those offered by top U.S. investment banks. Last November Citibank analysts said Bitcoin could pass $300,000 by the end of 2021. JPMorgan analysts are less bullish, though they says the price could reach as high as $146,000 “in the long term." (That, in and of itself, was notable, as CEO Jamie Dimon once called bitcoin a “fraud.")

Bitcoin was down roughly 3% in late morning trading Thursday, but still hovering close to $50,000, after peaking at more than $58,000 on Feb. 21. Prices have surged almost 600% since the start of 2020 with extreme volatility, but bears—including investor Michael Burry of Big Short fame—argue the cryptocurrency is in a speculative bubble.

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