FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said he’d be happy if Bitcoin ended the year at $35,000

Bitcoin has taken a beating since its highs in November, but billionaire FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried thinks the pain may soon come to an end.

“I think we’ve seen the worst already in crypto, I think the carnage is mostly over, there’s a little more to come but it’s not very bad,” he told Fortune for an exclusive cover story.

The world’s most popular cryptocurrency is down 67% from its high of about $69,000 last November and has been trading below $25,000 since mid-June. Even after a temporary jump to a 30-day high of $24,572 gave investors hope of an extended rally last week, Bitcoin was teetering on the $23,000 mark on Tuesday.

Despite Bitcoin’s setbacks, Bankman-Fried, commonly known as SBF, said it’s still possible the cryptocurrency could hit $100,000—although he’d be content with a much lower price.

“If you told me at the end of the year, Bitcoin is gonna be at $35K, I’d fucking take that,” Bankman-Fried told Fortune.

As the leader of one of the biggest crypto exchanges, FTX, as well as the quantitative cryptocurrency trading firm Alameda Research, Bankman-Fried has a lot of influence on the crypto sector, but what really makes or breaks the cryptocurrency’s price are macroeconomic factors outside of his control like high inflation and a possible recession, he said.

Barring a severe deterioration of the overall economy, crypto is in for “a really healthy, and robust, and pretty quick recovery, frankly,” Bankman-Fried said.

A drop to $21,000 isn’t likely to cause further carnage in the crypto sector, he said. But if other macro factors like a stock market rout, sky-high interest rates, and a recession hit the market, those effects are likely to flow through crypto.

“If the Nasdaq has another 25% left to drop, and if interest rates are actually going up to 7%, and if we’re going to be in a recession for two and a half years—in that world, I think Bitcoin might go down to $15 K or $10K. Then there may be a new round of carnage that comes from that,” Bankman-Fried told Fortune.
To learn more about where SBF sees crypto prices going, as well as his insights on deal-making and the future of the industry, be sure to check out the full Fortune conversation.

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