Bitcoin bull Tom Lee still sees $100,000 by year-end

Wall Street strategist Tom Lee told CNBC on Monday that last week’s bitcoin collapse has not shaken his bullish resolve, saying he’s standing by his $100,000 per token year-end price target.

“I think bitcoin is hyper-volatile. That’s the nature of it, but that’s what creates the reward for people,” Lee said in an interview on “TechCheck.”

“Again, even though bitcoin is in the penalty box now, I still think it could exit the year over $100,000,” said Lee, co-founder and head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors.

Lee told CNBC he first offered that end-of-the-year bitcoin target in December — and he’s not backing away, even as the world’s biggest cryptocurrency struggled since reaching an all-time high near $65,000 in mid-April.

Bitcoin has had a particularly volatile stretch in recent days, including last Wednesday’s session in which it was, at one point, down more than 30% to just above $30,000 per token. It recovered some losses and was back over $40,000 apiece at times on Thursday and Friday. However, over the weekend, bitcoin sold off again, dipping below $32,000 apiece.

The rally was back on Monday, with bitcoin rising around 12% to trade above $37,000.

“Bitcoin volatility is sort of systematic to the network itself, so I think anybody who buys bitcoin has to be aware it’s always going to be hyper-volatile. That’s the opportunity,” Lee said.

Among the headwinds facing bitcoin recently have been comments from Tesla CEO Elon Musk and regulatory concerns in China and the U.S. Some strategists also see the size of the pullback being related to a buildup of leverage in the crypto markets.

“This is essentially a bit of a wake-up call” for investors who got into bitcoin when it was on a big run higher, Lee said. “When you look at where the selling is taking place, it’s not from the original holders of bitcoin, but it’s a lot of new accounts.”

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