ETF Leader Matt Hougan Predicts Trillion-Dollar Crypto Market in 2018

After 15 years in the ETF industry, Matt Hougan is taking a career-changing plunge into the cryptocurrency market. The impetus behind the decision is simple: in his view, cryptocurrencies will transform the investment world just like ETFs did over the past decade.

Trillion-Dollar Market

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Matt Hougan described cryptocurrency as an “early-stage technology,” but one that is primed to grow manifold in the not-too-distant future. This includes a trillion-dollar valuation as early as 2018.

“The pathway to $1 trillion eventually is fairly certain,” Hougan told Bloomberg. “How we get there is going to be volatility and uncomfortable. I think we’ll get there pretty soon, though. I wouldn’t be surprised if we ended the year with a cumulated market cap of over $1 trillion. But I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a significant drawdown again before we got there.”

Earlier this year, the cryptocurrency market looked poised to cross the $1 trillion mark. The total market cap peaked above $830 billion before undergoing a series of massive corrections that saw the total market bottom near $276 billion.

Hougan, who is currently serving as an executive with Bitwise, has also described bitcoin as the millennial generation’s gold for its safe haven characteristics. Although coins such as bitcoin have struggled to achieve mainstream adoption as money, they have succeeded as stores of value.

Crypto Market Cap

The cryptocurrency market has declined sharply over the past week, offsetting an equally large gain during the previous seven-day period. At the time of writing, the total market cap of bitcoin and 1,518 other cryptocurrencies was $435 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

As we reported earlier, there was no apparent catalyst behind the market’s latest slide, a sign that profit-taking may have been in play. Speculators are slowly returning to the market in the wake of favorable regulatory signals from countries such as the United States and South Korea.

Although many analysts still consider cryptocurrencies to be a bubble, they expect the market to continue growing in the near term. As Hougan indicated, the path higher will be volatile, with double-digit percentage drops likely to remain a staple of the market trend.

To those who doubt the idea of a multi-trillion-dollar cryptocurrency market, it’s important to bear in mind that technological growth is usually exponential. There’s little to suggest that cryptocurrency, or the underlying technology behind it, is even close to hitting full stride.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi