Bitcoin has caught the attention of Wall Street and Silicon Valley in recent months, with MicroStrategy MSTR and Square SQ among companies that have joined high-profile investors in naming bitcoin as an inflation hedge.
The bitcoin price has soared almost 300% over the last 12 months, blasting past its 2017 highs of $20,000 in December and rocketing to over $40,000 earlier this month before falling back slightly—climbing as central banks around the world rev up their money-printing machines.
Now, Cathie Wood, the chief executive of a prominent investor in electric car-maker Tesla TSLA , Ark Investment Management, has said she thinks more companies are going to add bitcoin to their balance sheets, speaking ahead of a hotly-anticipated virtual “bitcoin corporate strategy” summit.
“I think we’re going to hear about more companies putting this hedge [bitcoin] on their balance sheet … particularly tech companies who understand the technology and are comfortable with it,” Wood recently said in an interview published on Yahoo Finance, adding: “I believe there is no better hedge against inflation than bitcoin.”
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Wood also revealed that big companies are asking her whether it’s a good idea to put large sums of cash into bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
In May last year, billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones called bitcoin the “fastest horse” in the race to beat inflation, kicking off a wave of institutional interest in bitcoin as investors fretted unprecedented government and Federal Reserve stimulus measures could undermine the dollar.
In August, the Nasdaq NDAQ -listed business intelligence company MicroStrategy began buying bitcoin—and hasn’t stopped since. In December, Tesla chief executive Elon Musk, who’s long flirted with bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, asked MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor about adding bitcoin to corporate balance sheets via Twitter—sparking wild speculation Musk could move Tesla reserves to bitcoin.
Following Wood’s comments, Ark released its annual research report that found “if all S&P 500 companies were to allocate 1% of their cash to bitcoin, its price could increase by approximately $40,000.”
“Square and Microstrategy, both with balance sheet investments in bitcoin, are showing the way for public companies to deploy bitcoin as a legitimate alternative to cash,” Ark’s research team wrote.
The team also reiterated their prediction that bitcoin’s total value will balloon to between $1 trillion and $5 trillion during the next five to ten years—up from $600 billion today.