Bitcoin's scheduled mining-reward halving in May 2020 could leave prices for the cryptocurrency in a range between $20,000 and $50,000, according to a new estimate.
The projection by Charles Hwang, managing member of the hedge fund Lightning Capital and an adjunct professor at Baruch College, represents a multiple of bitcoin's current price around $7,500.
Hwang wrote in a post on Medium that he assumed demand holds steady at 633,000 bitcoin through 2021, while mining rewards drop to 328,500 bitcoin a year from the current pace of 657,000 a year.
"This sudden shift in the supply curve will most likely be the catalyst for the next bitcoin bull run," Hwang wrote in the post.
Lightning Capital is a small hedge fund, with roughly $500,000 of assets, but Hwang's prediction adds to a growing number of estimates from investors and analysts trying to gauge the potential impact of the halving - where the number of bitcoin mining rewards created every 10 minutes is sliced in half. The cut happens every four years, in accordance with the cryptocurrency's 11-year-old design.
Some market observers say bitcoin's first two halvings in 2012 and 2016 helped fuel big rallies in bitcoin's price, and the German bank BayernLB predicted earlier this year that the 2020 halving could drive the price as high as $90,000. Other analysts argue that, since investors know the event is coming, it theoretically should already be baked into bitcoin's price.
Hwang told CoinDesk in an interview that he considered his demand estimate conservative. He projects that 82,000 bitcoin purchases could come from online dark markets while 546,000 bitcoin could be bought through over-the-counter provider LocalBitcoins.
"There have been many people who claim there is no demand for bitcoin," Hwang said. "However, the data from LocalBitcoins and dark markets demonstrates people are purchasing bitcoin."
Hwang wrote in his Medium post that his research shouldn't be construed as investment advice.
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