Bitcoin Beat Tech Stocks This Year; Yes You Heard That Right
Bitcoin’s powerful rally this year left other assets in the dust.
Bitcoin is the best performing asset year to date. After a power-packed rally during the first nine months of the year, the crypto is up 114% at $8,308.
In comparison, ‘also-ran’ traditional investments fared as follows: Tech stocks +31%; S&P500 +21%; Gold +17%; 10-year T-bond +1.6%.
Had it not been for a recent correction from the high of $12,900 in June, Bitcoin’s returns might have been even more impressive.
Bitcoin is the best performing asset in 2019: fence-sitters may cave in
Given that Bitcoin more than doubled this year, many investors, including institutions, may have to rethink their negative impressions of the digital currency.
That’s because investing conditions have changed dramatically in recent times. Global growth is declining, and a flight to safety has pushed down bond yields to historic lows, even negative levels.
In these circumstances, yield-starved institutions may look afresh at Bitcoin if the currency starts shaping for yet another rally from current levels.
Some indicators are already pointing there. Crypto perma-bull Pantera Capital received a lot of feelers for invites to its recent crypto event in San Francisco featuring cryptographer and digital currency pioneer Nick Szabo.
[Related story: Crypto hedge fund Pantera: Bitcoin $42,000 possible in 2019 ]
Though several very ambitious targets are being trotted out for Bitcoin, it may be appropriate to consider the apprehensions about Bitcoin in the institutional mindset.
Bitcoin and naysayers
Bitcoin is the best performing asset in 2019, but here’s another fact. The digital currency is up over ten times from its level at the start of the 2017 rally, which took it to a high of $20,089. So, what’s bothering institutions?
One obvious takeaway from the above moves Bitcoin made: it is highly speculative. That takes away from its oft-stated quality of being a safe-haven asset. In fact, some people even call it Gold 2.0, only in a digital and highly portable avatar.
Another problem is the low volume. Wall Street biggies are apparently not trading bitcoin in a big way. This point was driven home recently when the newly introduced Bakkt/ICE futures contract traded a volume of just $5 million in its first week.
Some analysts have pointed to the constant overhang of a regulatory clampdown on Bitcoin as another reason for its so-far low appeal to institutions.
This one is hard to fight: It’s a computer-created asset with no fundamental value. “It’s just a made-up thing.” It gets its price from whatever the next buyer is willing to pay.
But FOMO (fear of missing out) is a powerful thing. If Bitcoin strikes out north again, institutions may decide to buy a piece of the action.
[Related story: Don Steinbrugge: Hedge funds to Buy More Bitcoin]
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