• A ‘hyperbitcoinized’ world means the digital asset is regularly used as a transactional currency and held by individuals and businesses as normally as fiat currency
  • PlanB has predicted an estimate of several halving cycles for when it would become impossible to measure bitcoin’s price in dollars, due to its nature as a currency

Bitcoin 2021, Miami — Bitcoin mass adoption, known as hyperbitcoinization, may be as close as a decade out, according to some long-time bulls.

Saifedean Ammous, author of “The Bitcoin Standard” was joined by Unchained Capital head of business development Parker Lewis and Kraken growth lead Dan Held during a panel discussion at the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami. 

A ‘hyperbitcoinized’ world means the digital asset is regularly used as a transactional currency and held by individuals and businesses as normally as fiat currency. Held described the phenomenon as the point where the “entire world comes to see bitcoin’s value.” 

The timeline for bitcoin becoming a unit of account, something used to value goods and services, is accelerated based on current fiscal policies, Lewis said. People will start to understand and appreciate the digital currency as a store of value more and more, he added.

“I think that based on how bitcoin has been adopted historically and based on the trillions of dollars that the Fed is going to have to print in the coming months, years, that it would potentially be conservative to say that bitcoin’s a unit of account in ten years,” said Lewis. 

Held sees fiscal policy and inflation pushing investors and currency users in the same direction. 

“I would say at least a decade for hyperbitcoinization would be the most likely and actually conservative estimate,” said Held. “If we do have an event where there’s rapid devaluation of fiat currency, bitcoin starts to surge or gets close to $1 million per bitcoin — a supercycle-esque moment — then we could see it much sooner, maybe five-six years or so, but that would be a very unlikely outcome.” 

Conservative approach

Ammous took a more conservative approach, citing PlanB, an investor credited for creating stock-to-flow bitcoin price models. 

“I’m going to be a little more conservative than Parker [Lewis] and say maybe 15 years — 16 years, or four more halving cycles,” Ammous said. 

PlanB has predicted an estimate of several halving cycles for when it would become impossible to measure bitcoin’s price in dollars, due to its nature as a currency. Without a set bottom, bitcoin can grow infinitely in relation to USD, PlanB states. 

For years, and even today, hyperbitcoinization has seemed like an impossible standard to most. Bitcoin as a transactional currency is a distant reality to many. For hyperbitcoinization to happen in the next ten years, billions of new users will have to be onboarded. There are a plethora of security and regulatory concerns stopping many retail and institutional investors today, but the landscape is starting to change, Held said.  

“I’ve been in this space nine years,” he said. “I’ve been waiting for this moment the whole time. You know it when you see it and it definitely feels like it now.”

When asked about the current state of the market, the panelists were unfazed. 

“We still have a good four to six months left in the bull run, maybe eight to twelve. If we use historical price patterns, bitcoin’s price should be between $100,000 to $400,000,” said Held.

Urging caution

While Bitcoin 2021 speakers and attendees are all hyperbitcoiners, others like Luke Gromen, founder and president of Forest for the Trees LLC, urge caution. “IMO BTC won’t be a transactional currency unless it has stopped being a store of value v. fiat currency debasement,” he told Blockworks via email. 

“Why would anyone spend BTC (which hedges fiat debasement) when those people could spend fiat? This is just a version of Gresham’s Law, where bad money chases out good, and it’s why it’s very hard to find pre-1964 dimes or quarters in circulation – their silver content makes them far more valuable than their face value, so people, when they do get them, remove them from circulation,” he said.

“If the view is that within 10 years, BTC will be a transactional currency because it will have displaced fiat currency, I do not think governments will surrender that seigniorage privilege of fiat without a significant fight.”

Read more of our coverage from Bitcoin 2021 here.

  • Blockworks
    Reporter
    Casey Wagner covers digital assets and macro economics. Prior to joining Blockworks she was a markets reporter at Bloomberg.