Cathie Wood, the CEO of Ark Invest, one of crypto’s biggest investment funds, has given another ringing endorsement for Ethereum, as well as providing a lofty Bitcoin price prediction.

Wood was speaking earlier this week in a live stream at the SALT Conference in New York. SALT is a global thought leadership and networking forum focused on finance, technology and public policy.

The CEO said the growth of DeFi, NFTs and the Eth2 upgrade have contributed to making Ark bullish on Ethereum’s future.

“I’m fascinated with what’s going on in DeFi,” she told CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin at the conference. “[It is] collapsing the cost of the infrastructure for financial services in a way that I know that the traditional financial industry does not appreciate right now.

“Our confidence in Ethereum has gone up dramatically as we have seen the beginning of the transition from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake.”

Wood also said that Ark Investment’s exposure to crypto in the future was likely to include a higher percentage of Ethereum, with a split more along the lines of 60 per cent BTC and 40 per cent ETH.

In terms of its crypto portfolio, the investment company has so far mostly focused on Bitcoin through the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust. However, it also has a sizeable investment in the crypto exchange Coinbase, currently being targeted by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Wood said that if instutional investors begin allocating 5 per cent of their funds towards Bitcoin, then she believes BTC’s market value will at least 10x in the next five years to somewhere “over $500,000”.

Ark Invest is one of numerous companies seeking to have a Bitcoin ETF approved by the SEC. While it waits for that to happen, though, it recently made the decision to green light one of its funds for investment in officially approved and operational Canadian Bitcoin ETFs.

 

Wood also spoke about the SEC and its chairman Gary Gensler’s recent targeting of Coinbase on the grounds it might be illegally listing securities.

She said that the exchange “shouldn’t be especially worried” and that believes no regulator would want to go down in history as being one that stifled such a significant technological breakthrough.

“I’m very happy he [Gensler] understands crypto and the merits of Bitcoin in particular,” said Wood, but added: “He is a regulator, though and he is a hardcore regulator.”