IBM Vice President of blockchain Jesse Lund expects that bitcoin could grow to $1 million in the long term. IBM develops its own blockchain-based payment system aimed at competing with SWIFT.

Maybe $5,000, maybe $1,000,000

Answering a question about what the bitcoin price will be on New Year's Eve, Lund suggested that it could climb to higher levels than it is currently trading.

“I see maybe $5,000 at the end of the year, but I see a way higher upward trajectory.”

According to Lund’s calculations, the cryptocurrency market evaluation could reach $20 trillion, which in turn will cause changes in the area of corporate payments.

“I have a long-term outlook. […] It goes back to that discussion about the utility of the network with a higher price. I see Bitcoin at a million dollars someday. I like that number because if Bitcoin’s at a million dollars, then the satoshi is on value parity with the US penny. And that means there’s over $20 trillion of liquidity in this network. Think about $20 trillion in liquidity and how that changes things like corporate payments,” he said.

Among other things, Lund touched upon IBM's collaboration with Stellar and the use of its cryptocurrency, XLM, in the Blockchain World Wire, a cross-border payment network. Earlier, IBM announced that it would use XLM as an intermediate currency for clearing payments. According to Lund, IBM may start working with other cryptocurrencies, because it seeks to create an “ecosystem of, a variety of digital assets that provide settlement instruments that enable these cross-border payments, and the participants in the network should be able to choose and negotiate their choices in real-time.”

“It could be Ripple, it could be XRP even, it could be Bitcoin, but it would also probably include other instruments, like stablecoins, and even eventually soon – hopefully – central bank-issued digital currencies,” he said.

Payment system from IBM

The payment system Blockchain World Wire announced by IBM in September 2018, is supposed to be based on the Stellar protocol.

IBM intends to provide banks with a method for clearing and settling cross-border transactions in a matter of seconds. Thus, the new IBM platform can become a direct competitor to the SWIFT payment system and the xRapid transaction solution from Ripple.

According to the web site of the system, the Blockchain World Wire concept is as follows:

“The institutions use their existing payment systems – seamlessly connected to World Wire’s APIs – to convert the first fiat currency into the digital asset. World Wire then simultaneously converts the digital asset into the second fiat currency, completing the transaction. All transaction details are recorded onto an immutable blockchain for clearing.”