For investors looking to speed up the time they reach retirement, investing in stocks is a necessary endeavor. The S&P 500 has risen at roughly 10% per year on average over the past century, which would indicate it has the capability to turn seemingly small amounts of money into massive wealth given enough time. 

But the rise of cryptocurrencies -- particularly Bitcoin (BTC 1.15%) -- has introduced another powerful tool to the investor's kit. That's because even considering the increased risk, the potential to attain life-changing returns faster is certainly a possibility now. 

Here's why Bitcoin just might help you retire early.

The chance for high returns 

Key areas of focus for anyone thinking about retirement should start with trying to increase income, as well as putting away a meaningful amount of money as long-term savings. These are important things that someone actually has control over, and they have a profound impact on your financial well-being. 

The next point of emphasis should be on trying to achieve satisfactory returns. And this differs for everyone because it's based on the number of years until retirement, risk tolerance, and desired lifestyle, among other factors. Talking to a financial advisor about your goals will help with figuring out what returns to target. 

Bitcoin can certainly boost a portfolio's ability to produce stellar returns. Since April 2013 (the earliest data provided by, the digital coin has generated a monster return of nearly 12,000%, easily crushing the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite Index. The ride up has seen an extreme amount of volatility. And this is evident now, as the cryptocurrency is down 65% in 2022 as of this writing. The returns have still been great from a multi-year perspective, but investors need to be able to stomach the inevitable ups and downs. 

Trying to find ways to raise the potential returns of your portfolio, while keeping risk at a level that you are comfortable with, is the name of the game to getting to retirement sooner rather than later. 

Possible scenarios 

Bitcoin's most realistic use centers on it continuing to become a more prominent store of value across the globe. And with this framework in mind, I think ARK Invest provides a holistic picture of its future expected value. 

According to the growth-oriented investment firm headed by Cathie Wood, Bitcoin could gain greater acceptance as an asset to be purchased and held by central banks (for 1% of their asset reserves), high-net-worth individuals (for 5% of their wealth), institutional investors (2.5% of assets), and corporations (5% of cash on balance sheets). Plus, it could slowly rise in value to equal 50% of the entire global value of gold. If we consider ARK Invest's projections based on these factors, the price of a single Bitcoin could exceed $1 million by 2030, versus approximately $16,000 today. 

This excludes the potential gains from Bitcoin being used for remittances, as a currency in emerging markets, and as a settlement network -- other functions Ark Invest believes Bitcoin could serve. I'm only focused on Bitcoin as a store of value in this analysis, not as a transactional tool, which is a more uncertain idea and probably much further down the road. 

A $1 million price target implies a more than 62-fold gain between now and the end of the decade, meaning a $100,000 investment in Bitcoin today would be worth roughly $6.2 million in 2030. And at that level, Bitcoin's market capitalization would be a whopping $21 trillion. 

Compared to traditional stocks, which represent actual businesses that produce revenue and cash flow, it's not exactly easy to do a valuation analysis on Bitcoin. So, to be clear, it's anyone's guess as to whether or not Bitcoin can hit this lofty goal by 2030 -- or at all. But you get the idea of how gigantic the potential upside might be. 

And I'm almost positive that you would struggle to find any stock that has the potential to beat Bitcoin's return over the next decade based on the scenario I just discussed. As a result, a small allocation to this top digital asset could supercharge your portfolio and put you on the fast track toward retirement.