Tom Lee, co-founder and Wall Street strategist at Fundstrat Global Advisors, seems confident that the market is still going through a “price discovery process”, predicting Bitcoin could “easily double” in an interview with CNBC Jan. 9.

In late November 2017, Lee was similarly bullish about the leading cryptocurrency, encouraging his clients to invest, and likely making many a small fortune as a result.

In August 2017, Lee confidently predicted highs over $6,000 by the end of 2017, but his prediction was way outperformed, as Bitcoin hit $10,000 by late November, 2017.

Basing his prediction today on steady growth in the first quarter of 2018, Lee went on to suggest that Bitcoin could well surpass the highs seen late in 2017.

“We think that by mid-2018, we're going to be part of the way there, and that's why we get Bitcoin to $20,000. If Bitcoin can actually rise close to that level in the first half of this year, I think in the second half of 2018, we'll see a move bigger than that. So I think Bitcoin is still something you should own.”

Lee also believes that younger generations are more likely to invest in Bitcoin in the long term, the way older generations used gold as a store of value:

“We still think the easiest way to look at Bitcoin, on a long term basis, is as a store of value. As the millennials generate income, they’re going to use it as a replacement for gold. If Bitcoin gets 5 percent of the gold market, that’s roughly $50 000 (per Bitcoin).”

Despite the tough past few weeks of volatility in the cryptocurrency market, large traditional financial institutions have also been showing bullish sentiments of late.

Following in the footsteps of the CME and CBOE, who launched Bitcoin futures contracts in December 2018, the New York Stock Exchange has applied for authorisation to launch Bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) linked to the CME and CBOE futures. Meanwhile, NASDAQ and Goldman Sachs are working on their very own cryptocurrency trading desks.

These types of moves in traditional finance have previously stoked the markets, as we saw in the run up to the futures launch in a bull run that saw Bitcoin hit an all time $20,000 high.