Founder of crypto lending platform argues that bitcoin could hit $100,000 by mid-2022

  • Bitcoin might rise much higher and hit $100,000 by the middle of the year, according to Antoni Trenchev of crypto lender Nexo.
  • Despite being well off record highs earlier that year, Bitcoin has been a winner in the pandemic age, climbing more than 80% in 2021.
  • However, other experts have predicted that bitcoin's price could plummet in the coming months.

Bitcoin might experience further gains and reach $100,000 by the middle of 2022, according to Antoni Trenchev of cryptocurrency lender Nexo

The world's largest cryptocurrency by market cap was trading at $46,170.43 as of 8:42 p.m. ET Monday, according to data from Coin Metrics.

On Monday, Trenchev, co-founder and managing partner of Nexo, told CNBC's "Street Signs Asia" that "I think [bitcoin] is going to exceed $100,000 this year, possibly by... the middle of it." According to its website, the company claims to be the world's largest lending institution in the digital finance industry. According to the company, it has issued over $6 billion in credit and managed assets for over 2.5 million members worldwide.

Despite being far off its peak high of roughly $69,000 earlier that year, Bitcoin has mostly been a winner in the pandemic age, climbing more than 60% in 2021. In comparison, the S&P 500 gained over 27% during the same time period, while the Dow and Nasdaq gained 18.73% and 21.39%, respectively, for the year.

But not everyone is as bullish as Trenchev.

Some analysts have predicted that bitcoin's price will plummet in the next months. Carol Alexander, a finance professor at Sussex University, believes bitcoin will crash to $10,000 in 2022, wiping out all of its gains over the previous year and a half.

Bitcoin's prospects may also be hampered by lingering regulatory scrutiny and extreme price volatility.

Trenchev, for one, believes bitcoin will experience significant growth in the near future for "two basic reasons."

One is that institutions are "expanding out their treasuries" and "filling them with Bitcoin," he claimed, without elaborating. MicroStrategy and Square are two well-known examples of companies that have purchased large quantities of bitcoin.

Another reason is his prediction that "cheap money" would be around for a long time, which will benefit cryptocurrencies.

His remarks come despite anticipation that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates many times this year, for the first time since the epidemic, in order to combat inflation. In order to keep financial markets afloat during the early days of the pandemic, major central banks launched unprecedented monetary easing measures in 2020, including the Fed.

Trenchev admitted that his "contrarian" perspective of long-term easy monetary policy was "wrong" and that most people's Fed rate hike expectations were "wrong."

"Quite frankly, I believe that as soon as we see a rate hike, we'll have a dip in equities and the bond market — and quite frankly, we haven't seen much political will to power through any sort of correction in the traditional financial markets in the last few years," he said.