How Much Will One Bitcoin Be Worth In 20 Years?

Attempt to answer a question that many people continually ask themselves.

Illustration by Sylvain Saurel

I’m starting off this article strong with such a title. This is the question that everyone in the general public has been asking for a long time now. But it’s also a question that no one can answer accurately.

If you knew what the price of Bitcoin would be in 20 years, it would be easy for you to buy or sell all your Bitcoin now to take advantage of it.

As you well know, life doesn’t work that way. That’s what makes it so exciting and thrilling to live. We never know what tomorrow will bring. When Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin, he had no guarantee that his invention would succeed.

Instead, he built Bitcoin in such a way that it provides essential guarantees to its users.

Bitcoin gives essential guarantees to its users

It was the guarantees that Bitcoin gives to its users that convinced me to become a Bitcoiner, and that have convinced more than 100 million users since 2009. Bitcoin is the people’s currency backed by the people. In a future world where everything will become digital, Bitcoin will be an essential weapon to protect you from the surveillance society that governments will try to install around the world.

More and more people will realize the unique freedoms that Bitcoin brings you.

For this reason, I am convinced that the demand for Bitcoin will continue to grow over the next 20 years. Even so, it is difficult to give an exact number.

To begin, I thought I would pay tribute to Hal Finney who was the first user of the Bitcoin network alongside Satoshi Nakamoto. Here is the late Hal Finney’s vision of how much Bitcoin could go for if it were to be a phenomenal success as it is becoming:

“It’s interesting that the system can be configured to only allow a certain maximum number of coins ever to be generated. I guess the idea is that the amount of work needed to generate a new coin will become more difficult as time goes on.

One immediate problem with any new currency is how to value it. Even ignoring the practical problem that virtually no one will accept it at first, there is still a difficulty in coming up with a reasonable argument in favor of a particular non-zero value for the coins.

As an amusing thought experiment, imagine that Bitcoin is successful and becomes the dominant payment system in use throughout the world. Then the total value of the currency should be equal to the total value of all the wealth in the world. Current estimates of total worldwide household wealth that I have found range from $100 trillion to $300 trillion. With 20 million coins, that gives each coin a value of about $10 million.

So the possibility of generating coins today with a few cents of compute time may be quite a good bet, with a payoff of something like 100 million to 1! Even if the odds of Bitcoin succeeding to this degree are slim, are they really 100 million to one against? Something to think about…”

Hal Finney and Michael J. Saylor see a Bitcoin capable of reaching $10 million in unit price

For Hal Finney, with the total success of Bitcoin, the price of a Bitcoin could reach $10 million.

Nothing guaranteed as always, but an interesting vision shared by Michael J. Saylor who explained at the beginning of the year 2021 that once Bitcoin would have passed the market cap of gold, around $10T currently, nothing could stop it. For him, Bitcoin will eat everything in its path.

He sees Bitcoin capable of reaching a market cap of $300T in the long run. Of course, he doesn’t give a date, because nobody can do that. He talks about a future goal. Those who have enough confidence in Bitcoin and are patient can benefit.

The others will miss out on this unique opportunity.

With a market cap of $300T, the price of a Bitcoin would be around $14 million. As you can see, Michael J. Saylor’s idea is very similar to Hal Finney’s idea at the very beginning of Bitcoin.

To reach such a price level, the success of Bitcoin will have to be total

For the price of Bitcoin to reach such a level, it would obviously have to be a complete success. For Satoshi Nakamoto, it was clear from the beginning of Bitcoin that there were only two options for Bitcoin:

“In a few decades when the reward gets too small, the transaction fee will become the main compensation for nodes. I’m sure that in 20 years there will either be very large transaction volume or no volume.”

For the inventor of Bitcoin, the success of Bitcoin will be total, or Bitcoin will disappear. The current path is more along the lines of total success for Bitcoin. Such a success would allow it to reach the levels imagined by Hal Finney at the beginning of his Bitcoin adventure.

Another important thing about Hal Finney’s estimate is that he did not take into account all the Bitcoin that would be lost by users who were not careful enough. If the maximum supply of Bitcoin is hard-capped at 21 million units, there would already be nearly 4 million BTC lost forever.

In fact, the real exploitable supply of Bitcoin would be around 17 million units. This adds to the scarcity of Bitcoin, and therefore to the potential price that a unit could reach in the future.

A credible goal within 20 years is to see Bitcoin reach $1 million

Before thinking about 20 years, I think we should set the end of this decade as the first crossing point. By then, Bitcoin will probably have surpassed gold’s market cap. That would give us a Bitcoin with a price of around $450K. With demand steadily rising and the supply of new Bitcoin continuing to trend inexorably toward zero, the price of Bitcoin could still more than double over the next decade:

Illustration by Sylvain Saurel

This brings us to a Bitcoin price of around $1 million for 2040 in 20 years.

This is a hypothesis that I am submitting to you, but as always, it is up to you to make your own opinion on the subject. Feel free to give me your opinion using the comments.

In the meantime, don’t forget the golden rule: Stay strong, Stay a Bitcoin HODLer. This will be the best way for you to take advantage of the incredible growth that awaits Bitcoin in the years to come.

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