Bitcoin Why Investors Aren’t Giving Up On Bitcoins?
It’s time to dig into the reason for bitcoin’s surging price moves. The digital currency is up just under $1,000 in the past week.
While it was easy to attribute earlier rises to gamers, or to nefarious dark Web sites trading in drugs, weapons and sex, or, last year, to Chinese investors looking to move cash out of the country, these latest moves — bringing the price to more than $2,750 — are from far more deep-pocketed investors.
And that’s who is coming into the market — investors looking to capitalize on these daily 5- to 10-percent jumps.
I took a look at five minutes of bitcoin trading around the globe on Thursday morning and more than 200 bitcoins were traded, with the US taking down 150 of them. China — even though it was the middle of the night there — still bought 40 bitcoins.
In dollar terms, that’s $55,830 in purchases of bitcoin in a five-minute trading window at 7 a.m.
The most surprising participating country was South Africa, which had a big presence, accounting for roughly 2.5 percent of the sales recorded over that time.
Although this is just a snapshot, it backs up earlier observations made at different times of the global distribution of buyers.
On the Street last week, Fidelity Investments Chief Executive Abigail Johnson spoke glowingly at a conference about the growth of bitcoin.
“It’s no accident that I’m one of the few standing before you today from a large financial services company that hasn’t given up on digital currencies,” she said. “I am still a believer.”
Other financial firms are not such vocal proponents of digital currencies. Some are quietly offering well-heeled clients the ability to buy bitcoin and other digital currencies through their trading operations.
While those firms are not publicly endorsing cryptocurrencies, they realize there’s money to be made there. You would need that type of liquidity in the market to see the price jumps of the recent weeks.
Some cryptocurrency analysts are saying bitcoin has taken on the role of gold and silver as a hedge against the dollar.
Ed Yardeni, founder of Yardeni Research, sent out a note identifying the yen as the monetary unit most exchanged for bitcoin — more than 45 percent of bitcoin purchases are made with the Japanese currency.
Wall Street currency desks are the ones trading bitcoin now. So it would make perfect sense that the unencumbered bitcoin — which has no futures, options or ETFs with the ability to suppress pricing — may have replaced precious metals as the dollar hedge.