Analysts at Standard Chartered have presented a framework for valuing Bitcoin, saying structurally they ‘value’ the world’s largest cryptocurrency in a $50,000-$175,000 range. Cyclically, the bank expects Bitcoin to peak around $100,000 in late 2021 or early 2022. In its first report on crypto assets, Standard Chartered cites three main reasons for its structural valuation for Bitcoin.
- As a medium of exchange - Bitcoin may become the dominant peer-to-peer payment method for the global unbanked in a future cashless world.
- As a store of value – Bitcoin enjoys a potential premium given the slow pace of increase in supply.
- Portfolio optimisation – Starting the optimisation from the previous peak (around $20,000 in 2017) gives an optimal allocation to cryptocurrencies of around 2% of global portfolios.
The bank says these three approaches put Bitcoin’s value in the range of $50,000-$175,000. Standard Chartered notes that Bitcoin prices tend to peak around 1.5 years after new supply reduction, with the growth rate of new supply cut in half roughly every 4.5 years. For this cycle, the peak would be late 2021 or early 2022 and it would only take a cyclical 12x increase for the peak to be above $100,000. Bitcoin rose 28x following the previous halving of supply growth and 93x following the 2012 halving.
Standard Chartered has released a similar research report on the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, Ethereum. Structurally, the bank values Ethereum at $26,000-$35,000, however, to reach that level it would require Bitcoin trading at the top of its valuation range ($175,000).
“A range of $26,000-$35,000 may appear high compared to the current ETH price, but we think the current price reflects both the relative complexity of ETH (versus BTC) and the uncertainty around ETH’s development,” Standard Chartered said in the research note. “In other words, while potential returns may be greater for ETH than for BTC, risks are also higher.”
Over the medium term, Standard Chartered thinks Ethereum will be a better buy than Bitcoin and expects the cross rate to roughly double from current levels to 0.161. The current ETH/BTC rate stands around 0.075.