Blockstream CEO Adam Back: Bitcoin ETFs Could Propel Price to $100,000

Ruholamin Haqshanas
Last updated: | 3 min read
Image Source: LinkedIn

Blockstream CEO Adam Back believes 2024 could mark a period of resurgence for Bitcoin (BTC), propelling the leading cryptocurrency towards $100,000. 

In a recent interview, the renowned cryptographer and the pioneer of the proof-of-work algorithm used in Bitcoin’s protocol said that Bitcoin is currently trailing below the historical price trend line observed during previous mining reward halving events. 

Bitcoin’s block reward halvings are programmed to occur every 210,000 blocks, reducing the block reward given to miners from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC.

Back suggested that when considering the average trends of previous market cycles and halvings, Bitcoin’s current value lags behind widely accepted projections.

Various factors have contributed to the decline in BTC’s price, which has been observed across both traditional financial markets and the cryptocurrency space.

“The last few years were like biblical pestilence and plague. There was COVID-19, quantitative easing and wars affecting power prices. Inflation running up people, companies are going bankrupt,” Back explained.

These market challenges have had a profound impact on portfolio management and investment strategies. 

Investment managers have had to navigate risk and losses, often resulting in the sale of more liquid assets, including Bitcoin.

“They have to come up with cash, and sometimes they’ll sell the good stuff because it’s liquid, and Bitcoin is super liquid. It used to happen with gold, and I think that’s a factor for Bitcoin in the last couple of years.”

Looking ahead to 2024, Back said that many of the macro events that negatively affected Bitcoin’s price have either subsided or been resolved. This is reflected in Bitcoin’s recent price surge from November 2023 onwards.

“The wave of the contagion, the companies that went bankrupt because they were exposed to Three Arrows Capital, Celsius, BlockFi, and FTX — that’s mostly done. We don’t think there are many more big surprises in store,” the crypto veteran said. 

Back Still Believes Bitcoin Would Reach $100,000


Previously, the Blockstream CEO predicted that Bitcoin would reach $100,000 in the next market cycle, and he stands by this projection. 

He claimed that if not for the macro factors mentioned earlier, Bitcoin would have already reached this milestone.

Back also references the Bitcoin “stock-to-flow” model developed by pseudonymous former institutional investor PlanB. 

This model indicates the potential upside for Bitcoin in 2024. 

According to Back, the model suggests that astute Bitcoin investors historically purchased BTC six months before a halving event and sold during significant price surges that occurred in the 18 months following the reward reduction.

“People thought it was a bit of a crazy assertion that we might get to $100,000 pre-halving because I said it when the price was around $20,000,” Back said.

He pointed out that Bitcoin’s price repeatedly hitting $44,000 in December 2023 suggests that his earlier prediction may not be as far-fetched as some initially believed.

Prominent investors and market analysts have also highlighted the potential impact of the approval of several spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Eric Balchunas and James Seyffart, senior ETF analysts, anticipate that these applications will receive the green light in early 2024. 

Michael Novogratz, co-founder of Galaxy Digital, also predicts significant institutional investment flowing into BTC-backed products, a sentiment shared by Back.

“I think Bitcoin could get to $100,000 even before the ETF and before the halving. But I certainly think the ETF shouldn’t be undervalued in its influence,” Back affirmed.

One key reason for this belief is that certain segments of traditional markets, including major fund managers like BlackRock and Fidelity, are currently restricted from directly investing in assets like Bitcoin.

“If they’re managing a mutual fund, they have rules, either externally imposed or as part of their fund, that they can only buy things like public stocks and ETFs. They can’t buy into startups, they can’t buy precious metals physically. They can’t do any of that stuff.”