Longtime crypto bull Meltem Demirors said Tuesday that bitcoin‘s ascent has built wealth for a different kind of investor.
The comments on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” came one day before a major milestone for the crypto world is scheduled to take place: Coinbase’s Nasdaq debut.
“Here’s what’s great about it for me: Bitcoin has created a lot of wealth for people who weren’t part of the traditional financial system, weren’t money managers,” said Demirors, the chief strategy officer at CoinShares, a digital asset investment firm.
She said she got into bitcoin when it was around $150 per coin. On Tuesday, it hit yet another record high, trading above $63,000 as investors awaited Coinbase’s direct listing.
The digital currency exchange’s public debut Wednesday “is going to mint hundreds, if not thousands, of multimillionaires and billionaires who all love crypto and are probably going to take some of their listing proceeds and continue to invest in the crypto ecosystem,” Demirors said.
“There’s really this nice recursive effect where this industry isn’t just about the assets. It’s now really about the companies, which we’ve been investing in for almost a decade now,” she added.
Indeed, Soona Amhaz, a general partner of crypto venture firm Volt Capital, said Coinbase’s direct listing is far from the only exciting development for digital assets.
“The crypto story doesn’t end with Coinbase going public,” she said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” “This is very much a stake in the ground for crypto companies being built now.”
Some believe Coinbase may fetch a valuation as high as $100 billion. While such a market cap would be monumental for the crypto industry, Amhaz said what’s more important is continuing to expand the number of people who own digital assets around the globe.
“We’re going to see more crypto companies that are building to help on-ramp the next 100 million users into crypto and be exposed to this new financial paradigm,” she said.
Created in 2009, bitcoin is the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market value. Its price has soared particularly high in recent months. As recently as October, bitcoin traded below $11,000 per coin.
One key factor fueling the rise has been further institutional adoption. Some companies, such as Tesla, have bought bitcoin using cash on its balance sheet.
Last month, Morgan Stanley was the first major U.S. bank to announce it would provide access to bitcoin funds for its wealth management clients. Another Wall Street titan, Goldman Sachs, is also expected to take similar steps for clients of its private wealth management group.