Former Bitmex CEO Arthur Hayes is expecting to see significant Bitcoin volatility in the latter half of the year, caused by a “powder keg” explosion from the United States banking crisis and soaring national debt.
Hayes, who currently runs a crypto-focused investment fund Maelstrom, spoke on the What Bitcoin Did podcast on May 26, making a number of predictions about the current economic outlook and the price of Bitcoin. Notably, Hayes said that he expected Bitcoin (BTC) not to reach the $70,000 mark until 2024.
“I don’t think we get up to $70,000 this year, I think next year is when we cross that barrier, then we get the blow off top ,  and then it’s Armageddon.”
He pointed to the practice of quantitative easing — increasing money supply — and broader social disquiet as the two primary drivers of such an event, which could cause a drastic decline in the price of equities and cryptocurrency.
“With the banking crisis, and you have the federal government issuing trillions of dollars of debt because they need to fund themselves, you’re basically putting this powder keg together of a situation that’s going to be exploding in Q3 or Q4 of this year,” he said, adding he doesn’t think that Bitcoin will reach a new all-time-high anytime this year:
“While I think ultimately it will be good for Bitcoin, it could be quite volatile on the up and the downside.”
Other analysts have also made positive comments on the price of Bitcoin in the short term. Speaking to Bloomberg, Tommy Honan, the head of market analysis at crypto exchange Swyftx said that it’s possible the relief of a debt deal “will bring traders back to the table and trigger the next big leg-up in the price of Bitcoin.”
Last week, JPMorgan strategists reportedly said that the current price of gold could imply a Bitcoin price of $45,000, according to a May 24 report from Barron’s. The analysts saw Bitcoin’s halving event next year to support this potential price forecast. They however also saw the U.S. regulatory crackdown on crypto and reverberations from the FTX collapse to “constrain any potential upside.”
Interestingly, Hayes also mentioned some of his own personal investment strategies, noting that he was looking at staking Ether (ETH) and was closely watching the development of Bitcoin Ordinals. He also mentioned that he invested in Pepe (PEPE), a frog-themed memecoin that launched on April 14 and proceeded to rally more than 5,000%.
Hayes is well-known for making outsized price predictions. In April 2020, he warned that the price of Bitcoin could potentially plummet 57% from $7,000 to $3,000. Bitcoin however held steady and rallied 28% to $9,000 in the following three months.
More recently, Hayes predicted that the price of ETH would reach $5,000 following The Ethereum Merge upgrade. Immediately following a successful implementation of The Merge, the price of Ether slumped for months before recovering along with the rest of the crypto market at the beginning of this year.