Donald Trump is one more reason investors might want to take another look at Bitcoin.
A recent report from Juniper Research predicts that the transaction volume for Bitcoin will more than triple in 2016, due in part to the prospect of a turmoil-inducing Trump presidency. The U.K.-based market intelligence and analysis firm believes transactions of the cryptocurrency will reach $92 billion in 2016, up from less than $27 billion in 2015.
The price of Bitcoin has climbed more than 50% already this year, opening Friday priced at $659.64, according to the Coindesk price index. The price of the Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) , which tracks Bitcoin, has soared by nearly 150% to $118.25.
The presumptive Republican nominee has pledged to get tough on trade with China and Mexico, renegotiating agreements, imposing tariffs and taking other aggressive actions towards the country. He has also said he would clamp down on remittances in an effort to force Mexico to pay for his wall at the border. Such a maneuver could push those needing to transfer money away from companies like Western Union (WU) and Moneygram (MGI) and instead toward Bitcoin.
Global events, including the U.K’s Brexit vote and the continued weakness of the Chinese economy, and the recent “halving” of Bitcoin resulting in a reduction in supply, are the factors largely contributing to an increase in Bitcoin transactions thus far this year. Trump in the White House, or the prospect of it, could drive up trading as well.
“If a Trump presidency becomes more likely, then in the run-up towards that occurring, we would see the value of Bitcoin against the dollar increasing significantly, and we would imagine that there would be a significant amount of action on the exchanges that would be directly attributable to that,” said Windsor Holden, head of forecasting and consultancy at Juniper Research, in a phone interview.
Bitcoin exchanges often see spikes in activity during periods of uncertainty and instability. For example, the day of the Brexit vote, when it appeared as though the U.K. would vote to stay in the European Union, its price dropped to about $550. The day after the vote, as the British pound tanked, it soared to over $650.