According to the stock research analyst, the digital currency will reach significant adoption in the next years and even catch tech giant Apple in terms of market cap.

Bitcoin has been showing astounding gains during the last few months and it seems like even the most optimistic analysts can hardly keep up with the current growth of the digital currency.

Back in July, stock analyst and founder of Standpoint Research, Ronnie Moas, forecasted that the value of bitcoin could reach $5,000 in a few months. The digital currency totaled $3,000 at the time, but has more than doubled in value since then. He later updated his predictions, claiming the cryptocurrency could hit $7,500 by 2018.

This week, the price of bitcoin reached a new record high, surpassing $7,000 for the first time in its history. On some exchanges, the price even jumped above $7,200 per coin. At the time of writing, it is worth $7,354, shows data from CoinMarketCap, while the market cap is standing at over $122 billion.

Moas has now raised his forecast for the virtual currency, saying it could climb to $11,000 in 2018. “Every day more headlines are hitting the newswires on crypto,” Moas wrote in an email to clients on Friday. “More countries are embracing it and the few obstacles that were standing in the way are falling down like dominoes.”

Given the rapid surge of bitcoin, the analyst believes, it will overtake Apple in terms of market capitalization in the next five years.

“People need to start taking this seriously because today bitcoin caught up with Goldman Sachs,” he told CNBC. “Within five years, it’s going to catch Apple which has (a more than) $800 billion market cap,” Ronnie Moas, founder and director of Standpoint Research, told CNBC’s “Capital Connection.”

Moas, who is an active supporter of digital currency, says all of his investments are now in bitcoin and other digital currencies. According to his previous predictions, the price of bitcoin will surpass $20,000 in the next three years and $50,000 in the next decade.

The analyst sees great potential in the digital currency and expects it will be part of ‘strategic reserves’ and ‘asset collection models in the near future.’ In view of the current economic uncertainty, more people will purchase cryptocurrency as an alternative to national currency.

Moas claims the digital currency will continue growing with about 5% of the world population will be invested in it within the next 10 years. “I have never seen a supply-demand imbalance like this in my life,” he noted. As he earlier forecasted, the number of cryptocurrency users, which now totals 10 million people, will surge to between 50 and 100 million in a couple of years.

Bitcoin recently faced criticism from JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and other banking industry leaders such as Societe Generale SA’s deputy head Severin Cabannes, who said that bitcoin is “very clearly in a bubble.”

As far as the critics, Moas doesn’t expect them to recommend bitcoin as it can hurt their business. “What would we expect them to say? They’re “heavily invested in the publicly traded U.S. banks that are threatened by cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is not a scam and it is not in a bubble. You are more likely to find scams and bubbles in the U.S. stock market,” Moas claimed.

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