Fundstrat's Tom Lee expects the cryptocurrency market to recover, helped by historical price trends and crypto-related announcements by some major companies.
Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten announced Tuesday it is planning to launch a cryptocurrency called "Rakuten Coin," according to news reports.
"The announcement by Rakuten is another example of positive developments in crypto in 2018, suggesting the large sell-off in bitcoin and others at the start of the year was an overshoot to the downside," Lee, co-founder and head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, said in a Wednesday report.
Rakuten did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.
On Wednesday, Lee maintained his midyear bitcoin price target of $20,000 — roughly double Wednesday's prices — and a year-end target of $25,000. Lee is the only major Wall Street strategist to issue formal price targets on bitcoin, although an increasing number of financial firms have published reports on cryptocurrencies recently.
Lee also pointed out that bitcoin's low for the year has typically occurred in the first two months of the calendar year. That was the case in six of the last seven years, he said.
Historical performance of "alt-coins" such as Zcash and ripple after sharp drops also indicates investors should avoid them until late March, Lee said.
The market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies excluding bitcoin has nearly halved to around $270 billion from a high of $511 billion in early January, according to CoinMarketCap.
Recent headlines about major companies getting into cryptocurrencies could also help prices.
"In 2018, we forecast at least 3 major publicly-traded corporations to issue native digital tokens," Lee said. "Already three major companies have announced efforts within crypto-currencies, which demonstrate that corporations may be moving towards crypto-currencies before Wall Street has embraced them."
Source: Bloomberg Pro Terminal
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