Bitcoin price will reach $150,000 in 2021, predicts Marc van der Chijs
Marc van der Chijs.Flickr/Marc van der Chijs
- Marc van der Chijs is a Dutch millionaire and crypto entrepreneur who originally made his fortune by founding a video company Alibaba bought for $4 billion.
- Van der Chijs is fascinated by, and knowledgeable about, bitcoin. He has been invited to Richard Branson’s Necker Island to discuss it.
- He expects that bitcoin’s price will reach $150,000 by 2021 — and he says it’s not too late to invest.
A few years ago, Marc van der Chijs wanted to retire and enjoy life.
“But that took about six weeks,” says the serial entrepreneur.
Now he has set up First Block Capital, a fund that invests in crypto companies. Within two years, Van der Chijs wants to collect a billion dollars.
He firmly believes in the digital currency and the underlying technology. “The blockchain is the engine and the bitcoin the fuel,” says the Dutch entrepreneur.
Van der Chijs spoke at the Crypto Investment Summit, a meeting about investing in cryptocurrencies that was held mid-December in Ede, the Netherlands. Trend-watcher and organizer Vincent Everts Skyped with the entrepreneur, who now lives in Vancouver.
Bitcoin will be worth millions
Last summer, Van der Chijs predicted that this year the bitcoin would go to the USD $10,000. That has already happened, so Everts wanted a new prediction.
No problem. Van der Chijs thinks that the bitcoin exchange rate for the turn of the year is still going to the $15,000. “There are all kinds of professional investors who want to add it to their portfolio this year, so that they can show that they are in it,” he explains of his optimism.
For 2018, $40,000 is reasonable, he says. “There is still a great deal of institutional money waiting on the sidelines to participate in this market.”
And in 2021, a bitcoin will be worth about $150,000. “I think that the bitcoin can eventually go to the millions of dollars when it becomes a means of payment,” says Van der Chijs. “The number of bitcoin is limited to 21 million, so there will never be more than that. But demand will increase exponentially, and so the price will continue to rise.”
Chinese video king from Arnhem
For the money, Van der Chijs doesn’t have to go into the bitcoin adventure. He has been a millionaire for a long time by his success in China.
After his studies in business administration in Maastricht, he joined Daimler, the German parent company of Mercedes, as a financial controller and moved to Beijing. He quickly resigned and started working as an independent consultant.
His wife Grace introduced him to Gary Wang, a former fellow student of hers at the famous French business school INSEAD. The two men clicked. In 2005, Wang and Van der Chijs founded Tudou, a cross between Netflix and YouTube that became the largest video site in China.
The company was listed on the stock exchange in 2011 at a valuation of $822 million. Four years later, internet giant Alibaba bought Tudou for over $4 billion.
The second Internet
Van der Chijs is not a billionaire, he confessed to Quote. He is “only” a millionaire. But according to him, that is an advantage.
“In the billionaires around me, I see that the drive is gone. They are no longer interested in companies in which a few million must be invested,” Van der Chijs told Quote. “Actually, it is an advantage that I am not extremely rich. That is why I think differently. I still have the incentive to invest and to earn from it.”
This was evident in 2013, when Van der Chijs and his wife moved to the Canadian city of Vancouver. The intention was to take it easy, but soon there was situation that demanded Van der Chijs’s attention: the financial crisis in Cyprus. Banks on the island blocked customers’ accounts to prevent a bank run. And that meant Van der Chijs’ company on the island could not access its funds.
The incident prompted Van der Chijs to study the financial system and the power of banks. Looking for alternatives, he soon arrived at bitcoin. “I saw that it was something that changed the world, especially because of the blockchain. That will become a kind of second Internet and turn industries upside down,” says Van der Chijs.
By speaking at conferences, travelling a lot, and building a network, Van der Chijs spreads the bitcoin faith. “I have done evangelism,” as he himself calls it. In 2015, he was invited to visit Richard Branson’s private island Necker Island to discuss the blockchain with about 150 guests — the only Dutchman invited.
Marc van der Chijs and Vincent Everts at the Volvo Ocean Race.Flickr/Marc van der Chijs
Trading in bitcoin on the stock exchange
Van der Chijs himself first bought bitcoin when the price was about $100, but now the cryptocurrency is worth more than a hundred times as much. Is it too late to invest in bitcoin?
“No, not at all. I still buy bitcoin myself,” says Van der Chijs. “It is still relatively cheap, because in the end the price goes up to the million dollars. So if you just hold onto it, you’re going to earn a lot of money. I am sure of that.”
He has hardly any other cryptocurrencies in his portfolio. “I am a bitcoin maximalist, as it is called. I have some ethereum, some monero, some ripple, some zcash. But I think bitcoin is the best coin in the long term.”
For that to happen, it must become easier to trade bitcoin. Almost the only way to do that now is by buying the currency, holding it, and selling it again later. However, there will soon be futures on the market, allowing you to trade on the price without actually having the scarce digital coins in your possession.
“Institutional investors are more likely to have exposure to bitcoin,” says Van der Chijs, who will soon be listing his crypto-investment fund. “Then it is possible for large funds to buy bitcoin in a liquid way.”
Paying with bitcoin is still far away
Bitcoin only becomes truly established when you can also buy your coffee with it — and that is precisely the bottleneck of the current software.
The computer network is currently able to process only 10 transactions per second, a lot less than, say, the credit card company Visa, which processes 2,000 payments every second. As a result, the costs of a bitcoin transaction have increased considerably.
A solution for this is the lightning network, an extra layer of software on top of the blockchain that enables faster transactions. Van der Chijs expects the technique to be added to the bitcoin software in a few months’ time. Then the sky is the limit.
The first banks will add crypto accounts in 2018, thinks Van der Chijs. Then you can convert your euros or dollars into bitcoin at the touch of a button. “That makes sure that even more people come into contact with it,” he says. “And that means that the price will continue to rise.”
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