Bitcoin’s Price Problem

Bitcoin price has had a bad run this year.

But Fundstrat’s Thomas Lee is still sanguine about the cryptocurrency and implied in his latest note that bitcoin was not correctly priced by the markets. According to him, the fair value of bitcoin is between $13,800 and $14,800. He arrived at this estimate by adding up wallet numbers for the cryptocurrency, usage per account and supply of coins from miners. Lee recently revised his end-of-year forecast to $15,000 from $25,000. 

As of this writing, bitcoin is trading at $3,245. Lee writes that the difference between his estimates and bitcoin’s current price is due to a variety of factors, such as the skyrocketing of its price earlier this year and a “meltdown” in the macroeconomic climate. 

Bitcoin’s price fell dramatically last month after a series of negative news reports and developments, such as the bitcoin cash fork, within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The equity markets also tumbled at the same time but their fall did not lead to an influx of funds into cryptocurrency markets.  

Lee’s figures are based on estimates of 50 million wallets containing bitcoin. A recent benchmarking study released by the Cambridge business school estimated that approximately 52 million user accounts are active within the cryptocurrency system. But the study cautioned that the definition of “active” differed between platforms. Lee calculated that the number of wallets should be 17 million, given bitcoin’s current value.