Bitcoin will likely be the best performing asset through the rest of the year, according to Fundstrat’s co-founder Tom Lee. In comments to CNBC earlier this week Lee suggested that the digital currency was still an “underowned asset” and a “good store of value”.
"I think bitcoin is an underowned asset with potential for huge institutional sponsorship coming," Lee said on CNBC’s programme Fast Money.
“It has a lot of characteristics that are very similar to gold that I think will make it ultimately attractive as an alternate currency," he added. "It's a good store of value.”
Last month Lee became the first major Wall Street strategist to publish a report on bitcoin. In that report he proposed a model for establishing valuation framework for bitcoin, based on the premise that the cryptocurrency could become a substitute for gold. Based on this model Lee forecast that the bitcoin price “could be $20,000 to $55,000 by 2022”.
In his latest comments, the strategist also highlighted recent developments that seem to be paving the way for options trading on bitcoin.
"Institutions have to directly buy the coin today through a broker, but both the CBOE and the CFTC have opened up options futures trading, so I think it's going to grow in holdings," he said.
Last month Chicago Board Options Exchange, the largest US options exchange, announced plans to offer bitcoin futures by early 2017. Also in July, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission granted digital currency-trading platform LedgerX, the first licence to clear and settle derivative contracts on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin’s steady performance has continued in today’s trading, with the digital currency’s price surpassing $3,550 for the first time. As of 14:14 BST, the coin was trading at $3,535 on the Coinbase-operated exchange GDAX. The bitcoin price has risen just over four percent in the past 24 hours, according to GDAX data.