Bitcoin will eventually hit '$1 million a coin,' CoinDesk editor predicts

As investor interest in cryptocurrency spikes, bitcoin could rise to $1 million over the next five years, one expert told Yahoo Finance Live.

“Bitcoin is going to $1 million a coin,” CoinDesk Learn Editor Ollie Leech said. “I actually believe that it will, at some stage, with just the scarcity aspect alone, it makes it an incredibly exciting asset to hold... Bitcoin is uncontested.”

The timing of bitcoin crossing $1 million is the big question. Leech says the next bitcoin halving — a key technical event when the amount of bitcoins awarded to miners is cut in half— is set to take place in 2024, and that will likely trigger a massive price surge.

“The year after halving always seems to create a huge rise,” added Leech. “That's what we are seeing now. The last halving for bitcoin was in 2020, and so far this year, we have seen prices explode. I don’t know when [bitcoin will cross $1 million] but it will likely be after 2025.”

Bitcoin’s market cap is currently at more than $1 trillion, about double where it was at the start of the year. The rally has been fueled by a couple of factors, including the fact that more institutional investors are embracing the cryptocurrency.

Earlier this year Tesla invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin, while Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs plan to offer select clients exposure to crypto. JPMorgan is also reportedly looking at its own product in partnership with NYDIG.

Crypto is gaining momentum in the payment space as well, with Mastercard, PayPal and Visa increasing crypto exposure over the past several months.

Wall Street’s big banks and payments firms are getting involved in digital assets as a result of client demand. A recent Mastercard survey found that 40% of people plan to use cryptocurrency in the next year.

Despite the growing bullish sentiment towards crypto on Wall Street and main street, some well-known investors remain skeptical.

Legendary investor Warren Buffett’s long-time business partner Charlie Munger was critical of bitcoin at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholders meeting on Saturday, saying “I think the whole damn development is disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization.”

And that’s not the first time Buffett or Munger have criticized the cryptocurrency. Back in 2018, Buffett warned that bitcoin was “probably rat poison-squared” while Munger said investing in cryptocurrencies is “just dementia.”

Regardless of warnings from skeptics that bitcoin is highly speculative and overvalued, investors are still buying. Bitcoin was trading just above $57,000 at the time of publication, well off the highs of the year but a gain of 94% since January 1. And if Leech is right, we could see a rally of more than 1,650% in the next five years.

Seana Smith anchors Yahoo Finance Live’s 3-5 p.m. ET program. Follow her on Twitter @SeanaNSmith