Cathie Wood predicts bitcoin will surge to $500,000 in 5 years – and says Ark Invest’s confidence in ether has shot up dramatically

Cathie Wood

Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood expects bitcoin to soar to $US500,000 ($AU678,453) in five years, and her firm’s conviction in ether has strengthened tremendously, the star stock picker said in an interview with the CNBC anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin at the SALT Conference on Monday.

Her price prediction depends on whether companies continue to diversify their balance sheets into bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency by market value, and whether institutional investors begin to allocate 5% of their funds to it.

If that happens, “we believe that the price will be tenfold of where it is today,” she said. “So instead of $US45,000 ($AU61,061), over $US500,000 ($AU678,453).”

Wood told Sorkin earlier in the interview that she made her general price targets with a five-year horizon in mind.

She said that if she could own just one cryptocurrency, she would default to bitcoin, “because countries are now deeming it legal tender.”

El Salvador recently made bitcoin legal currency, while Panama and Ukraine are said to be doing the same.

Wood also pointed out the potential in ether, which is up 350% so far this year, and laid out a preference for a 60-40 bitcoin-to-ether crypto portfolio.

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“Ether, however, is seeing an explosion in developer activity thanks to NFTs and DeFi,” she said, referring to nonfungible tokens and decentralized finance. “I’m fascinated with what’s going on in DeFi, which is collapsing the cost of the infrastructure for financial services in a way that I know that the traditional financial industry does not appreciate right now.”

Ethereum’s hotly anticipated upgrade to 2.0 last month involved an overhaul of the network’s infrastructure to a proof-of-stake system, under which users put forward ether to gain the right to verify transactions and earn coins.

“Our confidence in ether has gone up dramatically as we’ve seen the beginning of this transition from proof of work to proof of stake,” Wood said. “We’d still probably do 60% bitcoin, 40% ether.”