Bitcoin has steadily gained ground over the last week, rising from less than $4,000 to $8,100 on Tuesday, and in five days rising from $6,000 to $8,000. Bitcoin expert Clem Chambers, CEO of ADVFN and Online Blockchain plc., told Express.co.uk there are many factors that have contributed to the sudden price increase in bitcoin, including the US pressure against Iran. He said: “If you are an Iranian and you want to protect some of your wealth, or you might have to leave Iran and you are worried. In the old days, you would buy gold – bitcoin is the new gold.”
Mr Chambers explained: “The baseline of why this has happened is that the crypto winter is over. And when you reach the bottom of the market, it does bounce pretty quickly – so that is a technical reason.
“The headline reason is that there is a trade war between America and China. What that actually means is that China is likely to devalue.”
The cryptocurrency expert said it is a “worry” for anyone who holds Chinese Yuan so they will put their money into bitcoin.
Mr Chambers also said another “very important” contribution is that digital currency exchange Coinbase is now offering Visa debit cards, allowing people to easily purchase goods using their cryptocurrency.
The finance boss insisted bitcoin will “definitely” hit new highs, adding: “You can’t put crypto back in the bottle – it’s out of the bottle.
“You are seeing it is back. It got absolutely smashed and now it is back. It is not going to go away. It is designed indestructible and it is proving to be so.”
Bitcoin had investors captivated in 2017 after an unexpected rise in popularity which had the digital currency rally at over $20,000 before the value dwindled overnight.
When asked to put a date on when he thinks the leading cryptocurrency will surpass its December 2017 high, he said: “People want to know when but market timing is almost impossible. But ‘why’ is the answer to that question. Why is it going to go up? Because it is going to increasingly be useful.
Secondly, he said a “horrible disaster in this world” like a war between Iran and the US would result in people investing in the cryptocurrency and causing the price to stand at “$100,000 a coin”.
Mr Chambers said: “People are going to run to crypto really fast because there is no way to avoid disaster with current economic systems and financial systems.
“If there was a war of any shape or form, the value of crypto will just go through the roof. I mean, America gets in a war with Iran, bitcoin will be $100,000 a coin.
“North Korea invades South Korea. Anything like that. Anything at all that’s not normal – any kind of disaster – bitcoin will go off the dial.”
Tensions have soared between Iran and the US after President Donald Trump last Thursday urged Iran’s leaders talk with him about giving up their nuclear program – insisting he could not rule out a military confrontation.
He added: “I don’t think that will happen. But is anybody betting against the USA getting in a punch up with Iran. That will do it in its own right. Russia invaded the rest of Ukraine. That would do it overnight. And so on and so forth.
“So, there is the event-driven stuff and then there is the usage case. Without all the horrible event-driven stuff, it will do it anyway but it will take longer.
“But it is quite possible that critical moment of an event-driven rebasing of the whole value chain of bitcoin. But let’s hope that never comes.”
Bitcoin price was at $8,084.38 at 16:15pm (BST) on Tuesday, according to CoinDesk.
But billionaire businessman Warren Buffett said the cryptocurrency is simply a “gambling device”.
In a May 2019 interview with CNBC, Mr Buffett said: “It’s a gambling device. There’s been a lot of frauds connected with it. There’s been disappearances, so there’s a lot lost on it.
“Bitcoin hasn’t produced anything.”
He added: “It doesn’t do anything. It just sits there. It’s like a seashell or something, and that is not an investment to me.”