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So what is the theoretical maximum value of Bitcoin? A mathematical analysis

I’ve seen a few people throwing around the idea of a *Million dollar* bitcoin at some point in the future. Is such a thing possible? Is there enough wealth in the world to make such a thing happen? What would that even look like?

Well, let’s run some quick math and take a look:

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# The Million Dollar Bitcoin

– A *million dollar* Bitcoin would make Bitcoin‘s market cap of 21 Million total Bitcoins worth $21,000,000,000,000, or 21 Trillion USD.

– If we assume a BTC Dominance which remains at about 60%, this would make the entire Crypto Market worth 35 Trillion Dollars.

– The Current US Stock market has a total value of about 51 Trillion Dollars, as of December 31st, 2020 ([Source](https://siblisresearch.com/data/us-stock-market-value/)).

– This would put the entire Cryptocurrency Market Space at approximately 69% the value of the 2020 US Stock Market; this would be an increase of roughly 17x from the Cryptocurrency market’s almost 2 Trillion Dollar current value.

So, turns out, a *one-million dollar Bitcoin* is actually numerically rather possible, and within the realm of reality given a long enough time frame.

—-

# Theoretical Maximums?

But let’s go farther. What other *huge numbers* would be theoretically possible for Bitcoin. What would it look like if Cryptocurrency actually became the currency/base of value in the 21st century?

( The following examples keep the 60% BTC Dominance rate, for the purposes of math. )

– If Crypto grows to the size of the entire 2020 US Stock market, one Bitcoin would have a price of $1,451,671.67 ( Almost 1.5 Million Dollars )

– If Crypto grows to the size of all stock markets in the world of 2020 (~90 Trillion), one Bitcoin would be worth $2,571,428.57 ( About 2.5 Million Dollars )

– If Crypto grows to the size of all “money” assets in the world of 2020 (~215 Trillion), one Bitcoin would be worth $6,142,857.14 ( A little over 6 Million Dollars )

– If Crypto somehow subsumed all value of all assets in the world of 2020, at high end estimates ( 1.2 Quadrillion USD ), one Bitcoin would be worth $34,286,714.28 ( A little over 34 Million Dollars )

( [Source on worldwide money valuations](https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/13497643/how-much-money-in-the-world/) )

Oh, and one last fun one:

Bitcoin ‘only’ has to grow to ~300,000 USD per Bitcoin in order to be worth more in market cap than the entire global banking industry of 2020.

#Closing Thoughts

A Million Dollar BTC is honestly a lot more “realistic” than I expected, with the entire crypto space not even overtaking Wall Street in value unless BTC Dominance dropped immensely.

However, on the other hand, once you reach closer to the magical One Million Dollar mark, there’s really very little room for the Crypto Market cap to grow beyond that ( comparatively ), and it would very likely represent the last ‘order of magnitude’ growth BTC would see, outside of fiat inflationary reasons. In short, returns would likely look much more like traditional stocks at that point.

In a slightly more grounded reality, however, it seems very likely that the current ~50-100K bracket for BTC will be the last ‘jumping off point’ to still see any potential for 10x returns on BTC itself (and even that represents *massive* adoption for BTC as an asset overall). Once the price starts climbing into the $100-200k+ range, there’s just not enough money sloshing around in the world of investments to see insane gains anymore.



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35 Comments

  1. Thanks for analysis. How much is gold market right now? I think it that is an interesting metric to set a price point too because it is super realistic. Other thing to remember is that size of economic pie can grow in proportion to technological growth. If you had told someone in 1995, that in 25 years, multiple tech companies would have market cap over $1T, they would say impossible because at the time the entire stock market cap only was $X dollars. Just something to remember, if blockchain, NFTs, DeFi etc create new growth channels (like the internet did) then pie can expand and $2-5M BTC isn’t so unrealistic.

  2. Another consideration that would bump the price limit up somewhat: an appreciable number of Bitcoins are already lost. How many is hard to guess, but those get subtracted from the 21 million maximum.

  3. You can’t talk about theoretical maximum for Bitcoin without talking about energy expenditure. Currently Bitcoin network is consuming as much as Argentina, or 0.5% of the world energy. If you hope that the price will go 10x, then Bitcoin would use something like 5% of the world energy. US is consuming about 20% of the world electricity. So Bitcoin increasing 40x in price would get us there. Obviously this can’t go on for ever and at some point we will have a strong reaction from media and politicians against absurd usage of energy for almost no social usage. Especially when other technologies like Ethereum will have moved to proof of stake and consume then significantly less energy while offering much more socially valuable use cases and scalability.

  4. $2.5M would be amazing. Eventually it will stop growing as fast and will become less volatile, but I totally agree that $1M is in the realm of the possible.

    The Stock To Flow model ([https://digitalik.net/btc/](https://digitalik.net/btc/)) predicts we will reach a million during the next cycle so we might reach a million sooner than later! 🙂

  5. There was a time, believe it or not when the DJIA at $10k seemed impossible. There were books written on it. Now it’s $30k plus and nobody blinks an eye. I think crypto market cap is just going to get bigger and bigger, and papa BTC is going to get a big share of that cap.

  6. Sortof.

    Theoretical max of Bitcoin is whatever price people are willing to pay for it and could be significantly higher than the above values. Is Tesla objectively worth what the stock sells for? No. But people are willing to pay that much for it right now.

    Market cap doesn’t capture the reality that a liquidation of Bitcoin into any other asset or currency would lower the price of Bitcoin rapidly.

    Continuing the Tesla comparison, if everyone started liquidating their TSLA, the price would rapidly plummet to zero. As such Bitcoin’s total valuation is more of a factorial (ie. X coins at max price, Y coins at max – A price, Z coins at max – B price…until the price is zero), just as with any other asset.

    This reinforces the idea that everyone no matter their thought process treats Bitcoin as an asset, not a currency. If we think about Bitcoin as a currency, there is no “max value” as eventually all prices would be commonly denominated in Bitcoin, against which other (national) currencies would be denominated. This would require Bitcoin to exceed the total value of the USD worldwide, likely while maintaining the ability to be as easily transferable as the USD. Since that’s impossible with the current implementation of Bitcoin, the more important question will ultimately be what currency Bitcoin is denominated in — and that’s the project you’ll want to invest in.

    I’ll let someone else take it from there.

  7. Very interesting!

    But dont forget that the world economy =/= US stock market. Money from all over the world can flow into crypto. Its even easier for money to flow into crypto than into the US stock market in many countries that dont have an established and connected financial system.

  8. One thing that is missing from this analysis is the block rewards. BTC has a security fee that increases with price (outside of halvings) and it ain’t cheap.

    A one million dollar bitcoin would currently equate to $900 million dollars payed to miners *per day.* I don’t know how much it costs to say, run the infrastructure of the stock market, but my guess is it’s a lot lower than a billion dollars a day. To run the Bitcoin network for one year, with a $1 million bitcoin price, you’d be currently paying the miners about $330 billion/yr. So a $1 million price could probably only occur after many more halvings.

  9. **Bitcoin(BTC) Basic Info:** [Website](https://bitcoin.org) – r/Bitcoin – [Abstract](https://www.reddit.com/r/CryptoWikis/wiki/Bitcoin_basicinfo#wiki_short_description) – [History](https://www.reddit.com/r/CryptoWikis/wiki/Bitcoin_basicinfo#wiki_history) – [Exchanges](https://www.reddit.com/r/CryptoWikis/wiki/Bitcoin_basicinfo#wiki_exchanges) – [Wallets](https://www.reddit.com/r/CryptoWikis/wiki/Bitcoin_basicinfo#wiki_wallets)

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  10. You forgot the possibility that a digital value transfer network that is more than an order of magnitude better will likely spur a digital renaissance that could increase the potential size of its possible outcomes significantly.

  11. I wonder if this 21 million unit cap actually matters, since you can buy small fractions of it. As long as its finite, does the actual nr matter?

    Can someone shed some light on that nr? Was there a reason for it being 21 million units?

  12. Every shred of value everywhere will be digitized/tokenized/NFT’d in order for that shred of value to be transacted in the future. The only value not represented on a blockchain will be legacy assets that owners haven’t sold. ALL stock markets will tokenize equity shares, etc. You will be paid in your company’s coin. You will be able to use every bit of value you own at any point of sale in the world instantly – buying lumber at Lowe’s with your Pepsi Coin.

    It is inevitable.

  13. actually bitcoin can keep going up forever because of a finite currency and capital goods

    check out this video and pay attention to the capital goods part

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pDlaOGA2ac

    in theory 10 time gains can happen anytime(even in a bitcoin only full on world) with bitcoin cuz its finite and it depends on what is invented in the world anywhere that inputs more value into finite bitcoin that captures everything..its amazing really

  14. Where are those 21 trillion dollars going to come from?

    US treasuries?

    US stocks?

    Corporate Bonds?

    Gold?

    Personal cash and money market funds?

    All assets compete with one another, and stocks are the darling of the world. Am curious to know how many trillions you think could be coming from each of these categories, and how that’ll add up to 21…

  15. We should also keep in mind with how fast the printers go brr the market cap of the US stock market is also a very fast moving target. In 50 years from now we could have market caps of over a quadrillion

  16. I don’t get too ahead of myself with these sort fictitious numbers because you just don’t know what happens in life and what people in power are willing to do until it happens. Stay humble people.

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What do you think?

GBTC is not as good a Bitcoin. Bitcoin is FU money. Keep on stacking sats.

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