Is bitcoin set to skyrocket to $318,000 by the end of 2021? That is the forecast made by Thomas Fitzpatrick, managing director at Citi, who has argued the cryptocurrency will carry on from its monumental rally this year.

In an internal note, Fitzpatrick highlighted how the rallying performances for the leading digital asset is getting longer and longer. With initial rallies lasting for 10 months, the current price rally is expected to last four years in total, ending in 2022.

Fitzpatrick said the price action is ‘more symmetrical’ over the past seven years which provides a more defined timeframe of future rallies and prices that follow.

His model suggested the value of bitcoin could move as high as $318,000 by December 2021, however, argued this would be the “weakest rally so far in percentage terms”.

Whether this is accurate or not is debatable. In 2013, Fitzpatrick forecasted gold to rally to $3,500 an ounce by 2015, however, the yellow metal fell below $1,200 an ounce at the beginning of that year.

Citi Research also questioned this potential valuation with a discussion between Ronit Ghose, global head and banks research at Citi and Ajit Tripathi, executive director at Binance.

Referring to the market commentary note from Fitzpatrick, Tripathi said: “I am not betting my career or my financials on that.”

Citi clarified the market commentary did not come from Citi Research and in fact, the research arm of the group does not have a view on bitcoin value.

The accuracy of this forecast does not take away from the fact that bitcoin has had a remarkable year in terms of performance. Between January and November, bitcoin climbed 172.4% to $19,684, quickly approaching its all-time high last seen in December 2017.

A large portion of this growth has come in November as it climbed from $13,748 at the beginning of the month to its near $20,000 come December.

Bitcoin ETP landscape hots up

During the week commencing 23 November, global crypto ETPs captured $198m net new assets with $150m going into bitcoin tracking products, according to CoinShares, despite facing a selloff on 26 November.

Year-to-date, bitcoin ETPs have captured $3.6bn bringing the total AUM to $11.8bn. The minor sell-off of $3m last Thursday was followed by $48m inflows, suggesting investors were taking advantage of the cheaper valuation.

CoinShares said the weakening US dollar has encouraged the inflows into digital assets as investors sought the investment opportunity.

While this does not suggest the valuation of $318,000 is achievable, it does suggest investor appetite for cryptocurrencies has returned and potentially surpassed that last seen three years ago.