Bitcoin’s Price Determined By Investors’ Speculation On Future Usage, Says BitPay CEO Stephen Pair

Stephen Pair, CEO of crypto merchant platform BitPay, said that a “very big” component of bitcoin’s price represents investors’ speculation on future usage and adoption of blockchain technology.

In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, Pair said that it was difficult to determine bitcoin’s current valuation since a major element driving its price was still investors betting on future usage.

“A very big component of the price is certainly speculation,” Pair said. “It’s investors speculating on the future usage and adoption of this technology. A small component of the price is actual utility, and that’s what BitPay is focused on — using the platform and delivering products to our customers that they find valuable.”

When asked if bitcoin exchange traded funds (ETF) would push the cryptocurrency back to its high last year, Pair said that “not just ETF adoption or ETF launches” could be catalysts for price movement, but that “adoption will push the prices higher.”

“I think in our business we’ve processed more a billion dollar worth of payments a year,” Pair said. “We would like to see that grow to $10 biliion or $100 billion, and our customer base that uses and needs cryptocurrency, that adoption would push the prices higher. But I do think we would see those kind of prices again at some point in the future, if history is any guide.”

Pair was also asked about the global adoption of blockchain technology. Pair responded by saying that he expects such adoption to occur in under half a decade.

“Our thesis at BitPay is that most digital assets will be issued on a blockchain and most payments will be issued on a blockchain. We are building a platform for that future,” Pair said. “I used to say 10 years, but now I think it’s more like 3-5 years until you can go into a restaurant, a retail establishment, and just everybody’s going to expect that that store will be able to accept a blockchain payment. Remember this is not just about bitcoin or the various tokens that we see today. It’s also about issuing dollars or euros on a blockchain. So we’re not just talking about payments denominated in bitcoin terms when we speak about blockchain payments. We’re talking about all kinds of digital assets that could be used for that payment.”

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