CoinDesk Learn Editor joined Yahoo Finance Live to break down his thoughts on the cryptocurrency market.
ADAM SHAPIRO: 10 minutes to the closing bell. We’re watching the markets trade down. S&P 500, Dow are in negative, but the NASDAQ is off more than 2%. It’s fallen 290 plus points. But look at this. Ether, it’s up over 2%, almost 3%, whereas Bitcoin is down today about 5%. Ethereum roughly 3,390 bucks. But let’s talk about what this truly means, and we bring into the discussion Ollie Leech, the CoinDesk Learn editor. And Ollie, this is important because crypto is a huge, huge part of what our audience likes to invest in, even if Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger don’t get it. So why the rush for Ether now?
OLLIE LEECH: Yes, so basically one of the big problems with Ethereum right now is that people are overpaying for fees. And this is something that’s been happening for a while. And obviously, as Ethereum becomes more popular, it becomes more congested. And there’s more likely people are overpaying fees. So in the next couple of months, there’s going to be this upgrade that will basically introduce a fixed fee. And what that’s going to do is just help people with this problem. And people are getting in right now ahead of this news and the [INAUDIBLE] just continues to grow.
SEANA SMITH: Ollie, when you take a look at what’s happening to Bitcoin today, we have Bitcoin off just around another 5%, although still holding well above $50,000. What do you make of the losses that we’re seeing in Bitcoin, comparing it to the gains that we’re seeing in Ether, like you were just talking about, and also in Dogecoin today?
OLLIE LEECH: Yeah, I mean, Dogecoin is a different thing altogether. But with crypto, we always see these two cycles, right? You always see Bitcoin have these run-ups and Ethereum and other alt coins don’t. And then there’s this sort of reversal. And right now, with the decentralized financial space and Ethereum doing so well, alt coins are now starting to rise. Bitcoin is just taking a bit of a backseat now. And obviously, Dogecoin as well, is having this insane run-up fueled by celebrity endorsement, obviously, Elon Musk and, obviously, all the social media hype behind it.
ADAM SHAPIRO: Ollie, you’ve pointed out, too, that, for instance, Berkshire Hathaway, they’ve had great returns. But, you know, the crypto returns have been ginormous, which isn’t even a word, but you get the idea. But why should we not be afraid? Because this is decentralized finance. And now, for instance, Ether has a market cap that is greater than Bank of America.
OLLIE LEECH: Yeah, absolutely. And I can understand why a lot of people in the traditional space would be concerned. And there is– by all means, it’s an unregulated space for the most part. So there are risks associated with it. But that being said, you know, decentralized financial space where a lot of people are making money right now in these decentralized applications, they’re run by smart contracts. There is some degree of autonomy about these things. They’re not run by these third parties that can disappear. So yeah, it’s definitely an interesting one. And to a traditional financial person, like Berkshire Hathaway people, I can understand why it’s so scary.
SEANA SMITH: Ollie, when you take a look at Ethereum, Ether versus Bitcoin, what’s the better bet, do you think, for the long run?
OLLIE LEECH: Oh, that’s a good question. Long, long term, I think with the halving coming up in 2024 and the year after that always seems to do very, very well for Bitcoin. I think estimations of Bitcoin go into a million dollars a coin. I actually believe that it will, at some stage, with just the scarcity aspect alone, it makes it an incredibly exciting asset to hold.
Ethereum, though, brings in this other element of utility that we just don’t have with Bitcoin. We have the emergence of NFTs. We have this decentralized financial space. It’s really difficult to say how far Ethereum could go. There’s a lot of competition now in the space for these decentralized applications. So they may have– they may eat into Ethereum’s lunch, whereas Bitcoin is kind of uncontested.
ADAM SHAPIRO: Charlie– sorry, Ollie– I realize you just said Bitcoin going to a million dollars a coin. Today it’s 54,495. I know the people watching, their ears perked up. Can’t time the market. Can you give us a timeline on your prediction? Because that’s a headline.
OLLIE LEECH: It’s a headline for sure. And I can’t– no, I don’t know. If you look at the stock to flow model, which is a really popular metric for gauging the potential price rise of Bitcoin, it’s fairly accurate. And it’s plotted it well above 10,000– $100,000, sorry– during this cycle alone. Obviously, with the next halving in 2024– sorry, 2024– the year after the halving always seems to create this huge rise. And that’s what we’re seeing now. The last halving for Bitcoin was in 2020. And we’re now in 2021. And we’ve already seen prices explode beyond the all-time high of 20,000. We’re now triple that. We’re 60,000. So yeah, it’s possible. I really do believe it’s possible. I don’t know when but it’s after 2025, is what I think.
ADAM SHAPIRO: All right, well, we got our headline. Ollie Leech, CoinDesk Learn editor, it was good to have you here. And we look forward to your return.