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Fidelity says “there is almost no relationship between the returns of Bitcoin and other assets”

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In recent years, a battle of the minds has surfaced on whether or not Bitcoin’s price is correlated with other financial assets, such as stocks. A recent report from Fidelity Digital Assets brings clarity to the argument. 

Fidelity’s lengthy report, titled Bitcoin Investment Thesis: Bitcoin’s Role As An Alternative Investment, shows not only a lack of correlation between Bitcoin’s price and mainstream financial assets, but higher returns for BTC investors over a long-term time horizon. 

The report said:

“Bitcoin’s correlation to other assets from January 2015 to September 2020 (displayed in the table below) is an average of 0.11, indicating there is almost no relationship between the returns of bitcoin and other assets.”

A 0.11 correlation exists on a scale between -1 and 1, with a score of 1 meaning flawless correlation, and -1 yielding opposite price action, the report clarified. If Bitcoin had a -1 score, for example, then the asset would rise in price whenever stocks fall. A 0 score would mean no other asset movements would affect Bitcoin’s price. 

In recent years, Bitcoin has seemingly traveled a price path in line with mainstream markets at times. BTC dumped alongside stocks in March 2020 during initial COVID news. The digital asset, however, recovered much faster, with higher relative gains. More recently, Bitcoin suffered a slight drop in line with stocks on the news of delayed stimulus funding.

But despite these short-term effects, Fidelity reported that “Bitcoin has distinct underlying fundamentals that are not affected by the health and economic situation created by COVID-19.”

In the report, Fidelity noted that the uncorrelated nature of Bitcoin could be partially due to a new era of retail interest in investing, driven by social media interest. 

The report further discussed the fact that Bitcoin has a number of narratives that are of interest to different investing constituencies, arguing that despite the argument over whether Bitcoin is a store of value or a means of exchange, “One of the beautiful things about Bitcoin is that its success is not predicated on serving a singular purpose.”

The digital asset has soared in price over the past decade, surpassing parity with the U.S. dollar, gold and other benchmarks, as previously described by crypto analyst and stock-to-flow model creator PlanB. On that journey, some people’s perception of Bitcoin has changed from a transactional currency to a store of value. 

Bitcoin’s age also plays a part in its lack of correlation. “Bitcoin is a young asset that, until recently, was untethered to traditional markets,” the report said. “As it is integrated in institutional portfolios, it could become increasingly correlated with other assets.”

Mainstream Bitcoin trading products have trickled into the crypto space since the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s Bitcoin futures trading product launch in 2017. Since then, Bitcoin options have also surfaced on the mainstream market. As noted by the Fidelity report, correlations may begin surfacing, possibly now partially visible in the “Bitcoin CME gap” theory, around which many crypto traders place importance.

In general, however, Fidelity noted a lack of mainstream correlation for crypto asset prices, citing a study from Yale University which looked at several top cryptocurrencies, including BTC and Ethereum (ETH). 

Fidelity reported:

“Based on their analysis, the return behavior of all digital assets, including bitcoin, could not be explained by the risk factors that account for the returns in stocks, currencies, or precious metal commodities or by macroeconomic factors such as non-durable consumption growth, durable consumption growth, industrial production growth, and personal income growth.”

Morgan Creek Digital co-founder and crypto industry expert Anthony Pompliano has spoken many times on Bitcoin as a non-correlated asset. Amid an uncertain global situation, such an asset might serve as a hedge, at least according to MicroStrategy, a large financial player that recently put $400 million into BTC. 

UPDATE Oct. 13, 21:33 UTC: This article has been updated with added information.



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Athena confirms plans to bring 1500 Bitcoin ATMs to El Salvador

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U.S. company Athena intends to supply El Salvador’s new crypto-based economy with 1500 Bitcoin ATMs, a company representative has confirmed.

The rollout will start small, trialing a few dozen machines to establish a business model. The Chicago headquartered firm plans to invest more than $1 million to install cryptocurrency ATMs, targeting regions where residents receive remittances from abroad.

Along with installing the new machines it will also hire staff and open an office to carry out operations in El Salvador.

Athena currently operates just two ATMs of this type in El Salvador, one at El Zonte beach as part of an experiment called “Bitcoin Beach” aimed at making the town one of the world’s first crypto economies, and the other in El Tunco, according to CNN.

Athena’s director for Latin America, Matias Goldenhörn, told Reuters that Salvadorian President Nayib Bukele had “presented us with a tough challenge of 1,500 ATMs, we will go for that, but in phases. We are a private company and we want to ensure that our development in the country is sustainable.”

On June 17, Athena posted about its plans to expand in the country in the wake of lawmakers passing a bill to make Bitcoin legal tender. The company tagged President Bukele asking if a thousand machines would be enough. He responded he had set his target on a larger figure.

Goldenhörn stated that the business model is likely to be different from that in the U.S., which currently has a total of 19,325 BTC ATMs according to Coinatmradar.

“Initially we are going to bring dozens of machines, (we’ll) test what the business model is like in El Salvador, which will probably be different than in the United States,”

Related: Athena Bitcoin installs the first Bitcoin ATM that operates with dollars in Argentina

El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption plan has already experienced pushback from the World Bank, which refused to assist the country in its transition, citing “the environmental and transparency shortcomings” associated with the digital asset.

On June 22, Cointelegraph reported that an opposing political party filed a lawsuit alleging the new Bitcoin law could be unconstitutional and harmful to the country.





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PlanB feeling ‘uneasy’ as 41% of his followers tip $100K BTC won’t happen this year

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PlanB, the brainchild behind the Bitcoin stock-to-flow model, has revealed he is feeling “uneasy” about his renowned price predictions due to the recent downtrend in markets.

The stock-to-flow (S2F) model, which has predicted BTC prices with some degree of accuracy over the past two years, has been called into question by some of his followers in a recent Twitter poll.

The anonymous analyst surveyed his followers on June 21 asking them what price they thought BTC would reach by the end of the year. He used the results to compare them to a similar survey in March when market sentiment was overwhelmingly bullish.

Of the 124,595 respondents to the latest poll, 41% thought that BTC prices would remain below $100K by the end of the year, which would invalidate the S2F model. That’s two and a half times the 16% in the previous poll who thought the lazer eyes crowd would be disappointed this year.

PlanB who originally published the price predictor in March 2019, pinned a message admitting that even he feels a little “uneasy” when BTC prices deviate from the model. However, the analyst noted that the model had managed to hold previously in March 2019, again in March 2020 when the pandemic caused a global market meltdown, and once more in September 2020.

Preston Pysh, the founder of The Investors Podcast Network, commented that it was difficult for a model to account for a blizzard of bad news that has accelerated the market downturn.

“You mean your model doesn’t account for 40%+ of mining rigs getting banned & forced to turn-off & relocate to various parts of the world…and with no forward notice to companies/entitles for the extraordinary expense to their heavily denominated BTC treasuries/retained earnings.”

The model is a calculation of a ratio based on the existing supply of Bitcoin against how much is entering circulation. The scarcer the asset becomes due to the four-year halving cycles the higher the price. PlanB’s model predicts an average price of $288K over the next three years.

Related: $288K BTC price ‘still in play’ says PlanB as Bloomberg champions Bitcoin halving

At the time of writing, Bitcoin had gained 2.9% over the past 24 hours to trade at $34,450 according to CoinGecko. The asset is currently 45% down from its all-time high of $64,800 on April 14.





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Bitcoin in uptrend but BTC may never beat gold’s $10T market cap — ex-NYSE head

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Bitcoin (BTC) is on a “lower left to upper right trend” and its volatility should not scare investors, the former head of the New York Stock Exchange says.

In an interview with CNBC on June 23, Thomas Farley revealed long-term convictions about Bitcoin and dismissed concerns over BTC price losses.

Bitcoin: Going up, but not “up only”

Coming a day after CNBC pundit Jim Cramer admitted that he sold his Bitcoin stash, suggesting that BTC/USD was going as low as $10,000, Farley provided some much-needed mainstream bullishness.

“With respect to the recent price moves, I’m kind of sanguine about them — Bitcoin’s a very volatile asset class, in part because it’s a new asset class,” he told the network.

“I have no doubt it’ll go up, it’ll go down over the long term — I still think it’s a lower left to upper right trend and I think we’re going to see that play out over five years.”

With mining upheaval coming from China still on everyone’s lips, popular mainstream criticism of Bitcoin’s energy usage was also swiftly cast aside as a temporary issue.

“I think this kerfuffle is an interesting conversation, but by and large I think it’ll be resolved because I think the blockchain at its core adds to its efficiency and in fact will add to energy efficiency over time,” he continued.

Less convinced on gold. vs. Bitcoin

When it comes to Bitcoin as “digital gold,” however, Farley was more conservative in his predictions.

Now firmly beneath a trillion-dollar market cap, Bitcoin must transform in order to take on store-of-value safe-havens.

Related: Joining the ranks: Bitcoin’s correlation with gold and stocks is growing

“I think the upper bound for now is gold, which is about a $10 trillion market cap,” he added.

“In order for Bitcoin to one day exceed gold, it’ll have to be more of an accepted form of currency — I’m not sure, frankly, if it ever gets there.”

Proponents argue that Bitcoin, by its very nature, faces just a matter of time before eclipsing gold thanks to the latter’s ultimately infinite supply and inability to beat Bitcoin in all aspects of “money.”

The precious metal saw a major sell-off last week after comments on policy from the United States Federal Reserve.

To beat gold, Bitcoin would need to trade at more than $533,000 with the current supply.