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The Motley Fool: 3 High-Growth Coins That May Be Worth $1 Trillion by 2030


In the cryptocurrency market, only one coin has ever attained a trillion-dollar market capitalization: Bitcoin (BTC -4.30%). But a growing number of analysts and investors now think the next crypto bull market will result in multiple coins attaining a trillion-dollar valuation. 

Just how likely is that scenario? After all, the highest-ever market capitalization of all cryptocurrency combined -- which encompasses thousands of different coins -- was $3 trillion. So, unless the size of the crypto market expands dramatically, the path to a trillion-dollar valuation for any coin is difficult at best. Here's a closer look at three high-growth coins that might get there.

1. Bitcoin

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The case for Bitcoin attaining a $1 trillion valuation in the next bull market is more reasonable than it might sound, given that it topped out at $1.28 trillion in the last bull market. At a current market cap of $458 billion, Bitcoin needs to slightly more than double in value to reach the trillion-dollar mark. Given its current price of $23,785, that would imply a future price near $50,000 -- well below Bitcoin's all-time high of $68,789.63.

There are other, more sophisticated ways to think about a trillion-dollar valuation for the token. For example, prominent Bitcoin bull Michael Saylor has focused on the world's physical gold supply.

If you buy into the notion that Bitcoin is "digital gold," then at some point, the value of Bitcoin and the value of the world's physical gold supply should start to converge. Right now, the value of the world's physical gold supply is estimated to be between $10 trillion and $15 trillion, so Bitcoin's maximum possible valuation could also rise to that level.

That logic might sound far-fetched, but Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs has applied a similar reasoning process, arriving at a $100,000 price target for Bitcoin in January 2022.

2. Ethereum

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The case for a trillion-dollar valuation is harder to make for Ethereum (ETH -6.57%), which currently has a nearly $200 billion market cap. It would need to increase in value fivefold to hit $1 trillion.

Even at its all-time peak, the digital coin only reached a market cap of $571.67 billion, so there's clearly work to do. Slow, incremental growth is not the path to a trillion-dollar valuation for Ethereum.

One approach to valuing Ethereum is to separately value all of its business lines -- e.g. non-fungible tokens (NFTs), gaming, decentralized finance (DeFi), and the metaverse. You would then need to make a growth projection for each of these business lines.

But are any of Ethereum's core business lines capable of growing at a 5X rate? Take, for example, the NFT market, which was worth $25 billion in both 2021 and 2022. Assuming that Ethereum currently controls close to 75% of the NFT market, that's roughly $20 billion in annual sales. A 5X scaling factor would imply $100 billion in annual NFT sales for Ethereum.

That's possible over a long-enough time horizon, but most likely we would need to look elsewhere for a huge 5X impact. That's why many analysts are focused on sectors like the metaverse, where growth could be truly exponential.

Analysts have suggested that the metaverse could be a trillion-dollar market opportunity, so even if Ethereum claims just a 10% market share, that's still $100 billion, more than enough to make up for any sluggishness in the NFT market.

3. Solana

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Lastly, there's Solana (SOL -0.42%), which had been a crypto market darling before the events of 2022 unfolded. Solana is up more than 100% in 2023, so things are looking sunnier for the crypto. Even with that rapid rise, its market cap is still less than $10 billion, so a trillion-dollar valuation would imply a more than 100X gain in value. 

This presents enormous challenges from a financial modeling perspective. Is there anything Solana can do that will lead to 100X returns? Most likely, it would require several high-risk, high-reward strategies and a lot of good luck.

The good news is that it is making a big bet on mobile crypto with its new Solana Mobile initiative. And its expanding network of retail stores (which Solana prefers to call "embassies") could be one way to supercharge growth with retail investors.

Solana is also going big on its global expansion strategy, investing in new initiatives across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. 

A long-term view of crypto

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There's a good reason why venture capitalists like to refer to start-up companies that attain a billion-dollar valuation as "unicorns." They are extremely rare. And rarer still are companies that obtain a trillion-dollar valuation. Right now, only a handful of publicly traded companies have ever topped that figure.

That's why I think it might take nearly a decade before we see multiple cryptos obtain a trillion-dollar valuation. For now, I'm pinning my long-term investment hopes on Bitcoin and Ethereum, which are both capable of reaching that peak without dramatic changes to their overall growth plans. If you are looking for cryptos to buy and hold for the long haul, Bitcoin and Ethereum are potential options.

Dominic Basulto has positions in Bitcoin and Ethereum. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Bitcoin, Ethereum, Goldman Sachs Group, and Solana. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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