Bloomberg: Americans Trade Depreciating Dollars For Bitcoin
Low-yielding dollar savings accounts aren’t cutting it for Americans anymore. Bloomberg: Americans Trade Depreciating Dollars For Bitcoin
A Bloomberg article claims that Americans are foregoing the safety of the dollar for more speculative assets like stocks, gold, and Bitcoin (BTC).
High Saving Rates, Low Yields
Because of the COVID-19 lockdown, the personal savings rate in the U.S. is at a historic high. The yield offered by the financial institutions on savings accounts, however, is close to zero. At the same time, assets as Bitcoin, equities, and gold, all have made double-digit gains since March. This is making them an attractive option for investors.
Juice The Stock Market And Destroy The Dollar!! (#GotBitcoin?)
Race To The Bottom
The article mentions a 28 year-old Californian, who told the reporter that he is going to convert his $15,000 savings held in a high-yield savings account at Ally Bank into Bitcoin. He says that he is doing so because he expects long-term economic stagnation.
The reality is even worse than what the Bloomberg article posits. It is no secret that the dollar is rapidly depreciating against other leading fiat currencies. In fact, according to the Financial Times, July is the dollar’s worst month in a decade.
With another round of stimulus checks around the corner and most of the nation still affected by COVID-19 restrictions, it is possible that this problem will only get worse. Americans may likely have more depreciating fiat on their hands in the short term, and could seek to convert their holdings into higher-yielding assets. However, there is no such thing as a free lunch. In the investment world, high-return comes with high-risk.
‘High Probability’ Bitcoin Rises As USD Sinks To 2008 Levels, Says CEO
The U.S. dollar is at risk of falling below the lower end of a 12-year trendline as some analysts argue that this may be a bullish turning point for Bitcoin’s price.
The United States dollar index is currently testing the bottom of a 12-year trendline. But some traders are calling it the “most pivotal moment” for the global reserve currency since 2008, as they believe that continuous depreciation will likely boost the price of Bitcoin (BTC).
For over three months since April, the dollar has declined against other reserve currencies. Some investors believe that the fall in the value of the dollar has affected the price of Bitcoin. Prominent cryptocurrency trader Scott Melker said:
“This is arguably the most pivotal moment we have seen for the United States Dollar since it bottomed in 2008. This channel has been intact for over 10 years. If it breaks down, hide yo’ kids and buy a metric ton of Bitcoin.”
Why The U.S. Dollar Could Have An Impact On Bitcoin
In recent weeks, as BTC rose to as high as $12,000, investors pointed at the declining dollar. Jay Hao, CEO of OKEx, said a depreciating dollar raises the chances of a BTC rally.
The value of the dollar affects Bitcoin because traders typically price BTC against it. When the dollar depreciates, the asset that BTC is trading against is lower in value. Hence, when the dollar drops, it might increase the likelihood of BTC upside. Hao said:
“If the dollar continues to depreciate, there is a high probability that Bitcoin will continue to rise.”
Mark Wilcox, a Bitcoin analyst, raised a similar point. He pinpointed the biggest monthly drop of the dollar as the driving factor of BTC in the past several months.
Wilcox explained that rather than Bitcoin increasing in value, it is the dollar that actually declined in price. He said, “bitcoin didn’t go up, the dollar went down,” referring to the U.S. dollar index.
Analysts say the dollar has been declining relative to other reserve currencies due to the slowing U.S. economy. The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases, which is causing the rate of economic growth to slow down.
“The thing that’s changed in the last few days is that it’s not just gold which has gone up against the dollar, but almost everything,” explained Société Générale’s global macro strategist Kit Juckes in a note. “That’s partly driven by a sense that the U.S. is having a harder time controlling the virus than others, which will see the U.S. economy underperform.”
Higher Chances Of A BTC Uptrend
Traders are seemingly cautiously optimistic about the near-term trend of Bitcoin. At the same time, Bitcoin trading activity is reaching new highs in various markets, including institutional venues such as the CME and its BTC futures contracts.
In recent weeks, the open interest of the CME Bitcoin futures market has risen to an all-time high. It indicates higher activity from accredited and institutional investors. The rising appetite for BTC coincides with a falling dollar, which could further improve the sentiment around Bitcoin.
One Pseudonymous Trader Said:
“Even big American banks are beginning to have doubts about the US dollar’s status as world reserve currency. If Satoshi was still around, he would have a grin on his face. The landscape literally couldn’t be better for Bitcoin.”
The confluence of an unstable dollar and the rapidly increasing demand for gold could both fuel the momentum of BTC in the short term.
Wall Street veteran Max Keiser, for example, predicted last week that Bitcoin is destined to continue beyond its all-time highs this year, possibly hitting as high as $28,000 before seeing a market correction.
Bitcoin Will Get Stronger After Crisis, Says US Congressman Emmer
United States Representative Tom Emmer is confident about the bright future of Bitcoin and blockchain technology.
The largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (BTC), is not going away once the ongoing financial crisis subsides, United States Representative Tom Emmer (R-MN) believes.
A known industry advocate, Emmer says that Bitcoin will only be getting stronger after the world eventually emerges from the economic chaos caused by the coronavirus.
Bitcoin And Blockchain Will Continue To Become More Important
“As we come out of the crisis, Bitcoin ain’t going away, it’s gonna get stronger,” the Congressman saod during an Aug. 3 interview with co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital Anthony Pompliano.
According to Emmer, both Bitcoin and its underlying technology of blockchain will “continue to become more and more important” and see further advancements due to its unprecedented value. “You just watch, it has value, when something has value, people are going to take risks and it’s going to advance,” the politician said.
U.S. Banks Are Now Officially Authorized To Custody Bitcoin
According to Emmer, Bitcoin’s future is now even more promising after U.S. regulators authorized banks to provide custody for cryptocurrencies last week.
As reported, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency officially approved federally chartered banks to store crypto like Bitcoin on July 22. According to Emmer, Brian Brooks, Acting Comptroller of the Currency at the OCC, made a significant contribution to the future of Bitcoin:
“And now Brian Brooks is saying ‘Hey, institutions, you can start banking this stuff. You can provide a home for it, you can start working with it.’”
Representative Emmer is known for advocating cryptocurrency-powered innovation. Earlier this year, he expressed concerns about regulation smothering innovation. Previously, the Congressman has called on the government to provide more regulatory clarity for the crypto industry.
Emmer is not alone in thinking that Bitcoin will become even more solid once markets start to recover. In March 2020, billionaire investor and blockchain tech supporter Tim Draper predicted that Bitcoin will be one of the most crucial tools for recovering from the global financial crisis. “When the world comes back, it will be Bitcoin, not banks and governments that save the day,” Draper said.
Bloomberg: Bitcoin Is Stabilizing At 6X The Price Of Gold
Bloomberg suggests that the price of Bitcoin is stabilizing at six times the price of gold, yet it contends that the asset is still undervalued.
In its crypto outlook for August, Bloomberg contends that the price of Bitcoin (BTC) is stabilizing at six times the price of an ounce of gold. This speculation came shortly after the correlation between the two assets reached an all-time high.
If The Trend Continues, Bitcoin May Go To $18K
Bloomberg has professed for some time now that Bitcoin is on the verge of becoming digital gold. This is due to the asset’s inherently similar qualities, such as a limited supply and a low growth rate. The company is now taking its hypothesis a step further by claiming that there is a price ratio relationship between the assets:
“Stabilizing at about 6x the per-ounce price of gold, Bitcoin’s increasing correlation and declining volatility relative to the precious metal indicate an enduring relationship for price advancement, in our view. Unparalleled global central-bank easing should remain a tailwind for the quasi-currencies.”
It is unclear why there would be a mathematical relationship between the prices of these two assets at present. However, if this relationship persists into the future, the price of Bitcoin may appreciate to $18,000. To this effect, Bloomberg sees “the potential upside in spot gold toward $3,000 an ounce”.
Bitcoin Is Undervalued According To A Key On-Chain Metric
Bloomberg also believes there is an on-chain indicator which backs up the idea that Bitcoin is currently undervalued:
“The 30-day average of addresses from Coinmetrics on Aug. 4 translated to a Bitcoin price above $14,000, vs. about $11,000 on an auto-scale basis since 2017.”
The report points to the continued expansion of Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust Fund, or GBTC, as a significant factor in diminishing Bitcoin’s available supply “GBTC inflows over the past year have absorbed about a third of new Bitcoin supply. If the inflow pace doesn’t subside, absorption will approach 50%, with less supply.”
Bloomberg says that something unexpected would need to happen to prevent Bitcoin’s advance in the face of prevailing “zero and negative interest rates”.
Bitcoin Will Continue Appreciating, Although At A Slower Pace Than In The Past, Bloomberg Analyst Explains
According to senior commodity strategist at Bloomberrg Mike McGlone, Bitcoin’s limited supply and increasing adoption will lead to steady, although gradual, appreciation.
Mike McGlone, Senior Commodity Strategist at Bloomberg, is convinced Bitcoin will continue to appreciate thanks to its fixed supply coupled with increasing demand.
“I don’t see what [could] make it stop doing what [it’s] been doing for the last 10 years. And that’s going up”, he told Cointelegraph in a recent interview.
McGlone sees Bitcoin’s capped supply as the main feature. He said that this potentially makes it a better store of value than gold, the total amount of which is unknown.
Given the fixed supply, Bitcoin is going to appreciate as demand for it increases. McGlone points at the growing number of active Bitcoin addresses and the increasing flow of Bitcoin into regulated exchanges as two main factors proving the increasing demand for Bitcoin.
Lastly, Bitcoin’s decreasing volatility compared to the Nasdaq index is another indicator pointing at the growing maturity of Bitcoin as an asset class.
When asked about Pantera Capital price prediction, according to which Bitcoin may reach $115,000 in one year from now, McGlone remains skeptical. According to the analyst, Bitcoin is too mature for this kind of massive rally to happen in such a short time.
“Bitcoin 10x? Maybe over 10 years, that makes a lot of sense”, he said.
Check out the full interview on our Youtube channel and don’t forget to subscribe!
Bloomberg: Biden Election Would Be Good For Bitcoin, Bad For DeFi
Biden’s administration may not have the same “hands-off” approach to crypto regulation, contends Bloomberg.
The latest Bloomberg crypto newsletter contends that the election of Joe Biden would bring greater mainstream adoption of Bitcoin (BTC), including a potential ETF approval. Further, it referred to the Trump administration’s policies with regard to crypto as “hands-off”:
“A potential Joe Biden presidency should shine favor on further appreciation in the price of Bitcoin, in our view. New leadership may change the hands-off policy of the Trump administration — to the detriment of the broader crypto market — and nudge the firstborn benchmark toward the mainstream, improving chances for an ETF.”
Considering that yesterday, the Department of Justice published a 70-page Cryptocurrency: An Enforcement Framework, the newsletter likely was written prior to that.
The author purports that the same forces would hamper DeFi’s growth. Both conclusions are based on the assumption that a “Democratic sweep” would potentially enable greater regulatory clarity for the crypto space.
The DeFi space has exploded this year in a completely unregulated environment. It is no coincidence that the perpetrators behind the KuCoin hack have been laundering their illicit proceeds through the biggest decentralized exchange, Uniswap.
Bloomberg asserts that regardless of the election’s outcome, “Bitcoin’s price will keep going up no matter who’s elected president, but at a moderating pace”. It also concludes that if Bitcoin’s price continues to grow during the next presidential term at even half of the pace it enjoyed from 2016 to 2020, it would reach $80,000 by 2024:
“Seemingly unstoppable trends in U.S. debt-to-GDP, quantitative easing (QE) and the increasing Bitcoin hash rate indicate a crypto price more likely to keep advancing during the next presidential administration, in our view. About half the 1,400% gain since the 2016 vote would get the Bitcoin price toward $80,000 in 2024.”
Yesterday, Square made an announcement that it acquired $50 million worth of Bitcoin, signifying the increased adoption of the asset by the corporate sector.
$1T Market Cap Is ‘Next Big Resistance’ For Bitcoin — Bloomberg Analyst
Bitcoin price has a clear run to an order of magnitude in gains, Mike McGlone argues as $16,000 is quickly reclaimed.
Bitcoin (BTC) hitting its all-time highs of $20,000 again is not the end but the start of its explosion to a $1 trillion asset, a senior Bloomberg analyst said.
In a tweet on Monday, as BTC/USD reclaimed $16,000, Mike McGlone, senior commodity strategist at Bloomberg Intelligence, delivered a fresh bullish forecast for the largest cryptocurrency.
Bloomberg Intelligence: BTC Will Keep Rising In 2021
Bitcoin saw lower levels over the weekend, briefly dipping to $15,800 before conspicuously rising on Monday to see highs of $16,400 at press time.
“$20,000 #Bitcoin Is Primary Hurdle Toward $1 Trillion Market Cap — The digital version of #gold but with more-limited supply and a history of adding zeros, appears to be in an early price-discovery stage and may simply continue its ascent in 2021,” McGlone wrote.
“Mainstream Adoption Is Rising.”
An accompanying chart described a $1 trillion market capitalization as the “next big resistance” for Bitcoin.
McGlone is known for his increasingly positive Bitcoin outlooks. As Cointelegraph reported, he argued in September that Bitcoin should, in fact, trade at $15,000 based on active addresses, something which soon became reality.
Brandt Signals Bull Run Still In Early Stages
McGlone is far from the only markets veteran doubling down on the lucrative prospects for Bitcoin in its current bull run.
On Monday, trader Peter Brandt suggested that based on previous bull runs from 2013 and 2017, the current price performance was only the start of the cycle.
Citigroup Says Dollar May Drop By 20% Next Year
The dollar is likely to begin a drop of as much as 20% in 2021 should Covid-19 vaccines become widely distributed and help to revive global trade and economic growth, according to Citigroup Inc.
“Vaccine distribution we believe will check off all of our bear market signposts, allowing the dollar to follow a similar path to that it experienced from the early to mid-2000s” when the currency started a multi-year downturn, Citigroup strategists including Calvin Tse wrote in a report Monday.
The Bloomberg dollar index, which has fallen about 11% from its March peak, came under additional pressure Monday following news that Moderna Inc.’s Covid-19 vaccine was effective in a clinical trial, weighing on demand for havens like the greenback, the yen and Treasuries.
Strategists have been positing for months that the U.S. election, vaccine breakthroughs and Federal Reserve policy could deal a serious blow to the currency. The election wasn’t ultimately the catalyst for a significant plunge, but Citigroup says the broad macroeconomic backdrop will be a bigger driver of the dollar going forward.
The bank expects that in addition to the impact from vaccine breakthroughs, the dollar will suffer as the Fed will remain dovish as the global economy normalizes, the rest of the world is likely to grow at a faster pace and as investors rotate out of U.S. assets and into international assets.
And “should the U.S. yield curve steepen as inflation expectations rise, this will incentivize investors” to hedge currency exposure, they said. “Given this setup, there is the potential for the dollar’s losses to be front-loaded,” with the currency spiraling lower sooner.
Citigroup is more bearish than the consensus of strategists who forecast a gauge of the currency will weaken by about 3% through the end of next year. A Bloomberg measure of the greenback is down 1.8% this month and has weakened for six of the last seven. It was down Monday.
The biggest annual decline for Intercontinental Exchange Inc.’s widely watched dollar index, DXY, came in 1985, when it sank 18.5%.
Citigroup notes that in 2001, the catalyst that kicked off the multi-year downtrend in the greenback was China’s joining of the World Trade Organization. That “spurred a wave of globalization, pushing global trade volumes higher, leaving behind the closed U.S. economy that had a much lower beta to global growth.”
“There is plenty of reason to be optimistic,” on vaccine developments, the strategists said. The distribution “will catalyze the next leg lower in the structural USD downtrend we expect.”
Morgan Creek CEO Says Bitcoin Doing ‘Extremely Well’ Due To Fed Reserve’s Dollar Devaluation
The U.S. Federal Reserve and the rise of “zombie companies” is prompting investors scramble to hedge against inflation using bitcoin and gold.
That’s according to Mark Yusko, founder and CEO of investment firm Morgan Creek Capital Management, who spoke with CNBC’s Fast Money host Melissa Lee on Thursday.
Yusko took aim at zombie companies (those that need bailouts at times of financial stress to stay in operation), calling them a “Ponzi finance scheme” and saying their inability to repay debt, default or restructure meant the “only choice” left for the Federal Reserve and other authorities is to devalue the currency.
That it is “exactly” what the U.S. central bank has been doing, alongside the central banks of Europe and Japan. “They’re going to continue to do that,” he said.
As a result, bitcoin and gold have been doing “extremely well,” according to Yusko. “Before people’s eyes, you’re having your wealth stolen through inflation.”
“Money is being devalued. Over the last three years, stocks are up about 6% a year – not really that great,” he said. “But if you denominate in gold instead of dollars they’re down 44%; if you denominate in bitcoin it’s way worse.”
Tyler Winklevoss Tells CNBC That ‘Cash Is Trash’
He believes that investors will eventually send Bitcoin’s price over $500,000.
Not one to mince words, Tyler Winklevoss reportedly told the business network CNBC that “Cash is trash.” In his view, it’s only a matter of time before investors dump the dollar and other fiat currencies for BTC:
“At some point, it is hard to look at those data points and say that Bitcoin isn’t an incredible store of value.”
His twin brother Cameron Winklevoss also said that Bitcoin (BTC) “just needs to be better than gold” to see its value rise to remarkable levels.
The twins, who run the United States-based cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, believe BTC will eventually hit $500,000 — mirroring a recent forecast from Catherine Wood, CEO of ARK Investment Management.
Crypto enthusiasts believe Bitcoin’s recent run-up is different from previous market cycles because of the influx of institutional investors into the space. Bitcoin’s maturation leap also suggests that the digital currency is carving out a permanent place in the financial system.
As Tyler Winklevoss implied, Bitcoin’s adoption curve is accelerating amid fears of a historic debasement in national currencies like the U.S. dollar. These debasement fears were at the heart of a June forecast from Goldman Sachs, which called for higher gold prices.
Unlike Bitcoin, the price of gold has languished in recent months, with the spot price now trading 14% below its August all-time high.
The bullion market has seen significant outflows in recent weeks, while holders of Bitcoin have accumulated even larger positions. Raoul Paul, CEO of Real Vision Group, recently told his Twitter followers that he will liquidate his entire gold portfolio for Bitcoin and Ether (ETH).
One by One, Dollar Is Dropping To Multi-Year Lows Against Peers
One by one, the dollar is dropping to multi-year lows against its peers in December.
The euro, the Australian and Canadian dollars, and the Korean won have all touched their highest levels in more than two years this week, while the Swiss franc is at its strongest since 2015. More weakness in the greenback may come as asset managers build record short bets.
Optimism over U.S. stimulus talks, bets on a successful roll-out of vaccines and China’s economic rebound are driving bets for global growth and against the world’s reserve currency. Some on Wall Street are warning that the greenback will undergo a bearish cycle with the Federal Reserve keeping rates low for years.
“A smooth vaccine roll-out soon can potentially be a game changer” as it may accelerate growth recovery and entrench dollar weakness, said Christopher Wong, senior foreign-exchange strategist at Malayan Banking Bhd. in Singapore. “Procyclical-proxy currencies including the Aussie, kiwi in developed market space and won in Asia excluding Japan can benefit while the dollar remains on the backfoot.”
The dollar has declined against major peers in seven of the first 11 months of the year, according to the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index. It has also dropped more than 8% against the Swiss franc and 4% versus the yen in 2020, two other traditional haven currencies, underlining the impact of the Fed’s unprecedented stimulus.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell said Wednesday that the central bank will keep rates low until the economy is “very clearly past the danger” from the pandemic. During the global financial crisis, when the U.S. central bank employed quantitative easing, the dollar had gone through a similar decline.
Here Are Key Levels That Were Breached This Week:
* The Euro Has Broken Through The Psychological Level Of 1.20 Against The Dollar. It Touched 1.2125 On Thursday, Strongest Since April 2018
* The Canadian Dollar Strengthened To C$1.2910 On Wednesday, Highest Since October 2018
* The Australian Dollar Rose To 74.20 U.S. Cents, Its Highest Level In More Than Two Years On Wednesday
* The Swiss Franc Soared To Its Highest Since January 2015
* The Risk-Sensitive Korean Won Rose To 1096.85 Against The Dollar, Its Strongest Since June 2018, After Breaking The Key 1,100 Level
Credit Suisse Group AG is forecasting that the euro may rise to 1.25 by the end of 2021, while Goldman Sachs Asset Management favors shorting the dollar against the yuan, and sees further gains in the euro and yen. Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc. have also forecast a weaker greenback.
“Risk-on sentiment seemed to catch another leg higher this week — we think this should accelerate the USD’s tilt lower in the near term,” said Terence Wu, FX strategist at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. in Singapore. “This round of USD weakness is still more focused in the G-10 space” although “we expect USD-Asia downside to open up in time.”
Worsening US Dollar, Inflation Metrics Bode Well For Bitcoin’s Continued Rally
Bitcoin’s price has nearly doubled in the past eight weeks as several major publicly listed companies bought the cryptocurrency to hedge against an inflation-led decline in the value of their cash holdings.
Hedging demand for the cryptocurrency may now be set to rise further, with expectations for long-term inflation reaching 19-month highs.
The U.S. 10-year breakeven inflation rate, which represents how the market foresees long-term inflation, rose to 1.85% on Wednesday. That’s the highest level since May 2019. The metric bottomed out at 0.5% in March, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank.
The money supply-boosting policies adopted by the Federal Reserve to counter the coronavirus-induced slowdown have done much to fuel the rise in inflation expectations, as well as the devaluation, or debasement, of the dollar.
The Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback’s value against major currencies, is seen near 91.00 at press time, a level last seen in April 2018, according to TradingView. The dollar peaked near 103.00 in March.
Such factors typically force both institutions and retail investors to buy traditional store-of-value assets such as gold. This year, institutions have increasingly poured money into bitcoin (BTC, +1.73%), strengthening its appeal as an inflation hedge.
“What we’re trying to do is preserve our treasury. The purchasing power of cash is debasing rapidly,” Nasdaq-listed MicroStrategy’s chief executive, Michael Saylor, told CoinDesk last month while explaining the rationale behind the company’s decision to buy bitcoin. According to Saylor, bitcoin is a better store of value asset than gold.
Several other firms have turned to bitcoin over the past few months. The trend may well continue, with Morgan Stanley predicting another 10% decline in the dollar over the next 12 months.
Bitcoin’s meteoric rally from the March low of $3,867 to Monday’s record price of $19,920 has taken place alongside a steady downtrend in the U.S. dollar (above left).
The cryptocurrency has established a trading range of $18,000 to $20,000 in the past two days. Large sell orders near $20,000 and consistent dip demand have led to price consolidation, according to Patrick Heusser, a senior cryptocurrency trader at Zurich-based Crypto Broker AG.
“If either side breaks, I believe we would see fireworks, especially to the upside,” Heusser said. Bitcoin is trading near $19,372 at press time, representing a 1.16% gain over 24 hours.
Bitcoin ‘Making Progress’ On Bid To Oust Dollar, Morgan Stanley Chief Global Strategist Says
Morgan Stanley Investment Management’s Chief Global Strategist Ruchir Sharma waxed bullish on bitcoin’s potential to usurp the U.S. dollar for payments in a Wednesday Financial Times op-ed.
* “Today, most bitcoins are held as an investment, not used to pay bills, but that is changing,” Sharma wrote. He cited increasing BTC usage in small pockets of international trade and PayPal’s recent move to tap cryptocurrencies as a funding mechaism.
* Considered in the context of falling faith in ever-growing dollar reserves, this trend could bode well for the market-leading cryptocurrency. Sharma argued that “bitcoin will gain” as its traditional competitors falter.
* Sharma cautioned the bitcoin bubble may yet burst. Even if it does, governments and their money printers should be shaken.
* “Do not assume that your traditional currencies are the only stores of value, or mediums of exchange, that people will ever trust. Tech- savvy people are not likely to stop looking for alternatives until they find or invent one,” Sharma warned.
Bitcoin Will Gain From Distrust In Traditional Finance, Says Bank Strategist
Will Bitcoin end the dollar’s supremacy one day?
Bitcoin (BTC) poses a significant threat to the world’s reserve currency, the United States dollar, according to a strategist at major American investment bank Morgan Stanley.
Ruchir Sharma, chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, believes that the dollar’s reign is likely to end due to global distrust in traditional finance, while Bitcoin is likely to capitalize on that lack of confidence.
In a Dec. 9 article in The Financial Times, Sharma provided a brief outline on the history of the world’s reserve currencies, noting that the dollar’s run had lasted 100 years at the start of 2020. According to the strategist, other major global fiat currencies like the euro or China’s yuan have failed to gain the world’s trust, underlining the lack of a successor for the dollar.
Sharma said that a new class of decentralized contenders — cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin — are likely to threaten the dollar’s supremacy. Bitcoin has already established itself as one of the hottest investments of 2020 by quadrupling in price since March amid the pandemic and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s continued money printing, he noted:
“The dollar’s reign is likely to end when the rest of the world starts losing confidence that the US can keep paying its bills. […] Money printing is likely to continue, even when the pandemic passes. Trusted or not, Bitcoin will gain from widening distrust in the traditional alternatives.”
Sharma also pointed out that Bitcoin is beginning to make “progress on its ambition to replace the dollar as a medium of exchange.” The strategist said that Bitcoin’s adoption is steadily growing from investment to international trade and other use cases.
“In recent weeks PayPal and its Venmo subsidiary have started storing Bitcoin with an eye towards accepting it as payment next year,” he added.
The Strategist Warned Central Banks To Pay More Attention To Their Monetary Policies If They Want To Maintain Their Position Of Power:
“Bitcoin’s surge may still prove to be a bubble, but even if it pops, this year’s rush to cryptocurrencies should serve as a warning to government money printers everywhere, particularly in the U.S. Do not assume that your traditional currencies are the only stores of value, or mediums of exchange, that people will ever trust.”
Bearish Dollar Bets Near Decade High As 2020 Draws To An End
Speculative traders are ending the year doubling down on their bets against the dollar.
Net short non-commercial positions in futures linked to the ICE U.S. Dollar Index have surged to the most since March 2011, according to the latest Commodity Futures Trading Commission data. The gauge of the U.S. currency has fallen over 6% this year as investors turned against the greenback amid unprecedented monetary easing from the Federal Reserve and a move away from haven assets.
“Hedge funds are spoilt for choice when looking for reasons to be short the dollar,” said Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank Ltd. in Singapore. “We have a Fed that is committed to a paradigm shift in its policy that materially lowers the risk of policy normalization, and a rapidly widening twin deficit makes it easier for short dollar bets.”
A combination of negative U.S. real yields, extended valuations across American assets and a current account deficit that requires dollar depreciation to finance will likely weigh on the currency into next year, strategists at Goldman Sachs Asset Management wrote in a recent note.
“We see depreciation in the dollar continuing into 2021,” the Goldman team said. “Liquidity dynamics and virus news flow may influence the timing of dollar weakness, but not necessarily the medium-term downtrend.”
Dollar Drops On First Trading Day, Portending More Losses Ahead
The world’s reserve currency fell on the first trading day of 2021, foreshadowing more losses to come, after a slew of improving Asian manufacturing data bolstered risk assets.
The dollar hit 2018 lows against currencies including the Chinese yuan and the Malaysian ringgit, while also declining against every Group-of-10 peer. Purchasing managers indexes from Japan to Indonesia showed gains for the last month of December, data showed Monday.
“Uncertainty is diminishing and the strong global growth recovery should favor the rest of the world, so we think the USD has some overvaluation to work off,” Patrik Schowitz, global multi-asset strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, wrote in a note. The dollar’s weakness is likely to be most notable “against the emerging markets FX complex, which should have cyclical upside and is still relatively cheap.”
Onshore yuan breached the 6.5 level for the first time since June 2018, while the ringgit crossed the 4 level mark against the dollar. The Indonesian rupiah jumped more than 1%, while the risk-sensitive Australian and New Zealand dollars rose.
“China’s growth remains strong while the U.S. and Europe struggle to contain the virus, and that is helping the yuan to extend a rally into the new year,” said Ken Cheung, chief Asia foreign-exchange strategist at Mizuho Bank Ltd. “We expect the yuan to gain even further from here, as China will lead the world in terms of economic recovery in the first half. The currency may test 6.3 in the coming months.”
Vaccine optimism and hopes for additional U.S. fiscal stimulus has ramped up demand for risk assets and weighed on the dollar. Calls for greenback declines are also gaining momentum with the likes of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and BlackRock Inc. favoring emerging market currencies over the greenback.
Veteran Investor Bill Miller Says Bitcoin Is Cash’s ‘Rat Poison’
Investor Bill Miller, whose flagship mutual fund in 2020 beat the S&P 500 index for the straight second year, said he believes bitcoin could replace cash and markets are underpricing inflation risk.
“Warren Buffett famously called bitcoin rat poison. He may well be right. Bitcoin could be rat poison, and the rat could be cash,” Miller noted in this Q4 market newsletter, adding that the cryptocurrency has many advantages over gold as an inflation hedge.
Legendary investor Buffett referred to bitcoin as “probably rat poison squared” and as a gambling instrument in 2018. However, several public-listed companies such as MicroStrategy and Square diversified their cash holdings into bitcoin in the second half of 2020, boosting its appeal as a store of value.
Bitcoin has rallied by over 160% in the past three months and rose to record highs above $35,000 early Wednesday. The cryptocurrency’s market capitalization now stands at $670 billion, more than Berkshire Hathaway, the company Buffett helms.
According to Miller, the current relative trickle into bitcoin would become a torrent if more companies invest in the cryptocurrency, irrespective of inflation.
So far, the cost of living in the U.S. has remained well below the Federal Reserve’s 2% inflation target despite the central bank’s massive stimulus measures launched to counter the coronavirus-induced slowdown. However, Miller believes the market is likely “underestimating the risks of inflation.”
“Savings rates are unusually high and, as the economy becomes more “normal” in the second half of the year, it is likely that consumption will accelerate and, with it, money velocity. Lots of liquidity and increasing money velocity could quickly put upward pressure on inflation,” Miller noted.
The crypto community strongly believes that bitcoin is a better inflation hedge than gold, and the cryptocurrency could eventually replace the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency. Analyst at JPMorgan said last month the cryptocurrency’s growing popularity could have a bearing over gold’s price in the long run.
Bill Miller Says Corporate Cash Could Fuel A Bitcoin ‘Torrent’
Bill Miller says the surge of attention generated by Bitcoin’s frenzied rally could ignite further gains by encouraging corporate treasurers to use the cryptocurrency for diversification.
“If inflation picks up, or even if it doesn’t, and more companies decide to diversify some small portion of their cash balances into Bitcoin instead of cash, then the current relative trickle into Bitcoin would become a torrent,” Miller of Miller Value Partners LLC wrote in a blog post published Jan. 5.
Miller joins a growing but still small chorus of names suggesting Bitcoin could be a part of corporate treasuries, something a handful of companies have already taken up. MicroStrategy Inc.’s Michael Saylor set the trend off last year when he said the Federal Reserve’s relaxing of its inflation policy helped convince him to invest the enterprise-software maker’s cash into Bitcoin. Long-time crypto advocate Jack Dorsey’s Square Inc. has put about $50 million in Bitcoin.
The price of Bitcoin hit a record high on Wednesday, crossing above $35,000 for the first time. The coin gained more than 300% last year and is up about 20% since the start of 2021. It was up 3.7% to around $35,049 as of 8:03 a.m. in New York.
The statement of support for Bitcoin is not the first by Miller, who is best known for his value stock picks at Legg Mason Inc., where he outperformed the S&P 500 for 15 years through 2005. He has been a fan of Bitcoin since 2014, saying back then that he owned the coin through his personal investments.
“Warren Buffett famously called Bitcoin ‘rat poison,’” Miller wrote in his post. “He may well be right. Bitcoin could be rat poison, and the rat could be cash.”
Consumer Prices Rise As Gas Prices Surge. An Inflation Burst Could Come In The Spring
Consumer prices accelerated last month as gas prices leapt, bolstering growing expectations from some economists for a burst of inflation that could top 2% in coming months as Americans emerge from the pandemic.
The consumer-price index rose 0.4% in February on a seasonally adjusted basis, picking up from a 0.3% increase in January, the Labor Department said Wednesday.
Core prices, which exclude the volatile food and energy categories, rose 0.1% in February. That represents a pickup from no change in core prices in the prior two months.
Over the past 12 months, the overall index rose 1.7% on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, a larger increase than the 1.4% seen in the same period ended in January. Core prices rose 1.3% over the past 12 months, down 0.1% from the year-over-year increase seen in January.
Stocks climbed in midmorning trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1% at 32,155. The S&P 500 was up 0.6%, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.5%.
“Outside of another buoyant advance in energy prices in February, consumer price inflation remains very tame. Contributing to the softness, core commodity prices fell modestly on the month, registering the first decline since May,” wrote Oxford Economics economists Kathy Bostjancic and Gregory Daco.
Still, they and other economists expect to see a temporary pickup in prices in the spring as the economy emerges from the pandemic.
“As COVID-19 levels drop and the economic expansion accelerates, we’ll likely see 2% annualized inflation, or even above, but that just means all the money saved from stimulus is being put to good use,” wrote Robert Frick, corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union. “The odds of anything more than an inflation spike are low given employment will be increasing gradually and for other reasons, such as demographics.”
Within the report, the gasoline index was up 6.4% in February, accounting for over half of the increase in the overall index. The energy index rose 3.9% in February. The food index rose 0.2% in February, with gains in both the at-home and away-from-home indexes.
Bitcoin Can Reach $400K In 2021 As ‘Risk-Off Reserve Asset’ — Bloomberg
With institutions demanding protection from inflation and dollar depreciation, historical trends could see BTC/USD 8X from current prices, says Bloomberg Intelligence.
Bitcoin (BTC) still gets criticized for being too volatile, but one Bloomberg analyst believes that it conversely is becoming a “risk-off” choice for investors.
In a tweet on March 25, Mike McGlone, senior commodity strategist at Bloomberg Intelligence, said that this year marked a watershed moment for the largest cryptocurrency.
$400,000 BTC Would “Rhyme” With History
McGlone uploaded a chart of the BTC/USD average price and the Bitcoin Liquid Index, a price ticker specially created for institutional use.
“Well on its way to becoming a global digital reserve asset, a maturation leap in 2021 may be transitioning Bitcoin toward a risk-off asset, in our view,” he wrote.
A potential price peak this year, with previous behavior as context, could be as much as $400,000 per coin, the chart shows. This dwarfs other estimates, such as that of stock-to-flow, which calls for an average of $288,000 between now and 2024.
While McGlone did not provide exact details of the factors behind Bloomberg’s view, the idea of Bitcoin reducing, rather than increasing portfolio risk is the talking point of the year among corporates. New reports of treasury allocations to BTC appear frequently, with appetite unfazed by price action.
“My mission right now is to fix the balance sheets of the world,” Michael Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy, one of the largest Bitcoin treasury investors, said in an interview with TIME this week.
Saylor kickstarted a trend among public companies last summer, which has seen over $52 billion converted to BTC on a cost basis, now worth over $73 billion, according to monitoring resource Bitcoin Treasuries.
Ahead of Morgan Stanley becoming the first major bank to open up access to Bitcoin funds for high net worth investors next week, however, naysayers continue to peddle familiar arguments against exposure.
“Morgan Stanley limiting crypto access to 2.5% of high net worth individual accounts, that have over $2 million in assets and have been active for over six months, shows that the bank realizes Bitcoin is very risky and wants to limit legal liability from investors who lose money,” gold bug Peter Schiff recently claimed.
Meanwhile, Fed Chair Jerome Powell likened Bitcoin to a “substitute” for gold, to Schiff’s displeasure, but added that it did not pose a risk to the dollar or to financial stability.
As Cointelegraph reported, average returns for BTC/USD have topped 200% every year since the cryptocurrency’s inception.
“Bottom line, inflation pressures remain very tame despite inventory shortages, shipping bottlenecks and surging commodity prices,” wrote Jefferies economists Aneta Markowska and Thomas Simons. “Despite these cost pressures, retailers and/or producers are unable or unwilling to pass them through to consumers. It’s likely that businesses expect these cost pressures to be transitory, and are therefore choosing to absorb them in order to avoid undue price volatility.”
Faster Inflation Is Coming. How Bad Will It Be?
The potential consequences of higher prices fall largely into three camps: transitory, irritating or troubling.
An economic debate that has been heating up for a few weeks in markets and the academic world made a notable appearance in Congress last week when lawmakers questioned Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen about inflation. This is understandable given that the answers about the scale, scope and duration of a possible surge in inflation have implications that go well beyond economic well-being and the country’s borders.
Economists are mostly split into three camps when it comes to higher inflation, which has not been on the radar screen in any meaningful sense for more than a decade. The first camp, which seems to include both Powell and Yellen, considers any surge in inflation as primarily transitory with few if any consequential spillovers.
The second thinks it could be a longer-lasting phenomenon whose potentially wider and more risky consequences would, nevertheless, be temporary and reversible. The third one fears that higher inflation could prove to be a more durable and consequential problem with multifaceted domestic and international effects.
All three camps agree that, statistically, the U.S. will experience a notable pickup in the measured inflation rate. This is due to “base effects”— comparison with an abnormally low number in a previous period; in this case specifically, the readings that followed the Covid-related lockdown a year ago were particularly stunted.
Should they remain essentially statistical anomalies, the higher inflation rates should have minimal consequences in the short term and none over the longer one. This is where the first camp loses interest in the inflation debate; it doesn’t see it posing any challenges either to the Biden administration’s fiscal plans or the Fed’s continued pursuit of ultra-expansionary policies.
The two other camps think that the base effects will be amplified soon by what, in the old inflation literature, was known as demand-pull inflation. Here, a boom in both private and public demand outpaces the ability of the supply side to respond, putting upward pressure on prices.
Already, there are initial signs of supply bottlenecks and higher transportation costs, most of which appeared before last week’s blockage in the Suez Canal, which is now disturbing supply chains more meaningfully and, once again, highlighting their lack of resilience.
The combination of base effects and demand-pull would likely keep the inflation rate above the Federal Reserve’s 2% target for a few months after years of undershoots.
The third camp thinks that either the prospect or emergence of such an outcome would, in turn, alter inflationary expectations and related behaviors, adding a “cost-push” element to the inflationary dynamic. This would be supported by structural changes in the production and labor landscapes, including intensified corporate concentration, deglobalization, disrupted movement of people and more skill mismatches.
Seeking to protect their profits from higher input costs and emboldened by lower internal and external competition, companies would opt for preemptive price increases. Meanwhile, wage earners would also seek to protect themselves, reminiscent of the “real wage resistance” of a few decades ago.
The third camp’s scenario, with its possibility of a self-feeding dynamic that would keep inflation high and rising, would pose bigger risks for the country’s longer-term economic and social well-being. The Biden administration’s drive to reshape the economy, a main driver in the transition of fiscal intervention from relief to recovery, would risk being delayed if not derailed.
This would add to inflation’s regressive influence on American society which, by imposing a disproportionate burden on the less fortunate segments, would worsen an already concerning inequality trifecta of income, wealth and opportunity. And all this would be taking place in the run-up to the 2022 midterm elections.
Meanwhile, the Fed would find itself fighting criticism of a discredited policy framework revision that naively shifted its emphasis too far away from preemptive measures based on inflation forecasts to reactive ones based on outcomes.
In this scenario, the Fed would probably feel compelled to hit the brakes hard, risking what would still be a less than full and sufficiently inclusive recovery. All of that would be bad not just for the U.S. but also for the global economy and markets.
The third scenario is not the only one posing risks. Even the second, more benign one does because of possible market reaction.
While economists and the Fed would view a spike in inflation through a longer lens, markets might well end up living more in what Bloomberg’s Jonathan Ferro labels “the moment” — that is, reacting in the short term by rapidly taking bond yields higher and risking to destabilize stocks and other risk assets that have benefited enormously from the widespread market confidence in continuing ample and predictable liquidity injections.
Coming at a time of excessive and, in some cases, irresponsible risk-taking, this could have adverse economic spillovers.
Such effects would be felt well beyond the U.S. Already, European Central Bank officials have complained about the “undue tightening” of euro-zone financial conditions because of higher U.S. bond yields. This has also contributed to a slowly widening cycle of interest rate increases by central banks in emerging economies.
In assessing all this, I end up with rather high conviction that the U.S. will experience rising inflation in the next few months because of base effects and demand-pull. While, on balance, a subsequent phase of significant cost-push effects is not strictly in my baseline, it is enough of a meaningful threat to require close and frequent monitoring.
With that comes the risk of higher market volatility and, on the political front, the prospects of more heated congressional deliberations on economic and social well-being that could make subsequent fiscal packages harder to pass quickly notwithstanding their importance for a lasting U.S. recovery.
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