The nominal GDP of the world economy (as of 2016) is $78 trillion. By 2020 the IMF estimates the nGDP will be $91 trillion.
Ask yourself, in three years, do you think that 5% of the world’s GDP could be stored and exchanged using blockchain technology?
Me too — for many reasons: The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance; the massive investment that world banks are making in blockchain technology; the interest in digitizing the currencies of countries like Russia, China and others; the leveling of global political power; because it’s cheap, faster and more secure than current financial technologies.
Ok, assumption granted. Now some math. If 5% of the world’s GDP in 2020 is housed on the prevailing blockchains, then the value of crypto will be ~$4.55 trillion.
If ETH/BTC are the anointed blockchains, what are the value of those networks?
For simplicity and bi-partisanship, let’s assume that BTC & ETH are equally dominant, each with 25% of the total market size of crypto, with the remaining 50% distributed across hundreds of other coins, perhaps private bank and treasury networks.
This means that BTC and ETH would each represent 25% of that $4.55 trillion, or $1.1375T each.
How much could one Bitcoin be worth?
In 2020, there will be ~18,375,000 BTC in circulation. $1,137,500,000,000 divided by 18,375,000 = $61,900 per coin, ~+2,200% from today.
How much could one Ether be worth?
This is a little harder to calculate due to the somewhat unknown supply of Ether in the future, how Proof-of-Stake might change new Ether issuance, and the impact that the Ice Age will have on time between new ETH issuance.
The original 2014 issuance model, stated a projection of ~162M ETH in circulation in 2020, however /u/manly_ pointed out that Vitalik has said it would be closer to 100M, so for our rough math we’ll use 100M ETH.
$1,137,500,000,000 divided by 100,000,000 = $11,375 per coin, ~+4,000% from today.
Ok, what if BTC and ETH are much more dominant than a combined 50% of crypto?
If BTC and ETH represent 33% of the total market opportunity each, then each would have a total value of $1.502 trillion.
BTC would be worth $81,742 ~+2,900% from today.
ETH would be worth $15,020 ~+5,300% from today.
Again, this is just an apples to apples comparison, it doesn’t take into account market speculations, dividends from Proof-of-Stake or incentives from new BIPs or EIPs, or other external forces that could factor in.
So, if 5% of nGDP by 2020 is achieved, the question becomes which could be the dominant coin?
I don’t know the answer to that. However, I do believe that there is room in the sandbox for not only BTC and ETH, but others as well. If I had to choose, I think ETH is not only at parity to BTC in it’s ability to store and transmit value, but is also the underpinning for additional value-add networks to be built on top of it, in any industry. This might tip the scales in ETH’s favor, but I do not believe this is a winner take all, zero sum game. What’s good for BTC is good for ETH, what’s good for ETH is good for BTC.
What’s good? Adoption.
Don’t FOMO your coins, the long term implications of blockchain technology are bigger than any one company, bigger than any one market segment. Keep your eye on the long term and hold your investment through short-term dips.
I’m not saying my projections are correct either, I simply want to put into world how I foresee the value of ETH/BTC, where I get my justification for holding long-term, and how I am at peace during FOMO or any other market volatility.
Edit: some readers pointed out a mistake in my math. I actually did the calculations based on 5% of the current GDP and not 2020’s. I’ve corrected the mistake.