‘Long bitcoin’ is no longer the most crowded trade for big-money investors – but more fund managers than last month say it’s in a bubble, BofA survey finds

Bitcoin Bubble

“Long bitcoin” is no longer considered the most crowded trade by a group of big-money fund managers surveyed by Bank of America.

The cryptocurrency has been overtaken by commodities, with 26% of fund managers saying “long commodities” is the most crowded trade, putting “long bitcoin” in a tie for second place with “long tech stocks.” (Both received 21% of the vote.) Last month, 43% of fund managers said “long bitcoin” is the most crowded.

Despite the world’s largest cryptocurrency losing its first-place title, a growing number of managers told BofA bitcoin is in a bubble. 81% of managers said bitcoin is in a bubble, compared to about 75% of managers who said so in the May survey. These bubble concerns come even as bitcoin has lost roughly 37.5% of its value from its record high near $65,000 in April.

Though at its current levels near $40,000, bitcoin is up 38% year-to-date and 329% in the last twelve months.

The cryptocurrency’s rally in the last few days has been aided by comments made by billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones. On Monday he told CNBC he likes bitcoin as a “portfolio diversifier and store of wealth.”

“I want to have 5% in gold, 5% in bitcoin, 5% in cash, 5% in commodities. I don’t know what I want to do with the other 80% at this point in time. I want to wait and see what the Fed’s gonna do,” Jones said, referring to the policy decision the central bank is set to make during its two-day meeting beginning today.

Bank of America surveyed 224 panelists with $667 billion in assets under management from June 4-10.

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The number of active bitcoin addresses has rebounded to near-record highs, new data shows

El Salvador bitcoin

The number of active bitcoin addresses rebounded to near-record highs, driven partially by El Salvador’s passage of a law that makes it the first country to accept the digital currency as legal tender.

According to Glassnode data, on May 8 there were roughly 1.229 million active bitcoin addresses. That’s just under 15,000 addresses away from the January 8 all-time record of 1.243 million.

Glassnode chart bitcoin adresses 2

During the recent bitcoin sell-off, active bitcoin addresses fell dramatically, but now, as bitcoin’s price has stabilized, there’s been a resurgence in the number of active addresses on the network.

According to Glassnode, the rise in bitcoin addresses is a common “characteristic of bull markets” as the number of addresses rises when there is “strengthening demand for on-chain transactions, value settlement, and urgency for inclusion in an upcoming block.”

Bitcoin has been on a wild ride of late. The price of the digital asset reached an all-time high on April 15 of over $63,500 per coin before bearish news pulled the price down.

From Tesla’s u-turn on accepting bitcoin as a payment to concerns about the digital currency’s environmental impact, there was a flurry of bearish signals that hurt bitcoin.

Now though, the digital currency seems to have regained some of its previous luster after landing support at the soldout Bitcoin 2021 Miami conference and from El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele.

Bukele sent a bill to El Salvador’s congress asking to make bitcoin legal tender in the country this week, and the bill was passed with a supermajority (62 out of 84 votes).

Nicholas Cawley from DailyFX told Insider that making Bitcoin legal tender “will help the remittances trade in El Salvador, for people sending money back to the country.”

The strategist said that “if this proves successful then the other big remittance markets including Mexico will be very interested onlookers.”

Read more: Forget bitcoin and other hypervolatile cryptocurrencies. For everyday transactions, the future of money is stablecoins.

Inflation concerns could also be helping bitcoin regain its prominence as digital assets are often viewed as a way to protect capital from inflationary pressures.

Google Trends data shows terms relating to inflation have seen skyrocketing search volume over the past month as market commentators continue to question whether current inflationary forces are truly “transitory” as the Fed describes.

Wharton professor Jeremy Siegel even said inflation could spike to 20% in the next few years in a recent interview with CNBC.

If inflation does spike and investors seek uncorrelated stores of value, bitcoin could end up gaining even more traction.

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Jack Dorsey and Michael Saylor headlined the sold-out Bitcoin 2021 Miami conference. Here are their 12 best quotes from the event.

Saylor,Dorsey
  • Jack Dorsey and Michael Saylor were among the headliners at the star-studded Bitcoin 2021 Miami conference.
  • The pair discussed ESG concerns, how they got into bitcoin, and why they believe it is the digital currency of the future.
  • Insider compiled the best quotes from the Twitter and Microstrategy chief execs.
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Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey and Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor headlined the sold-out Bitcoin 2021 Miami conference on Friday along with a star-studded lineup that included everyone from Tony Hawk to Floyd Mayweather Jr.

In front of 12,000 attendees, with thousands more watching online, the two discussed why they are so bullish on bitcoin, how they got started in the business, their thoughts on recent ESG concerns, and much more.

Here are Saylor and Dorsey’s 12 best quotes from the interviews, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:

Jack Dorsey

  1. “For me, bitcoin changes absolutely everything. What I’m drawn to most about it is the ethos, what it represents. The conditions that created it are so rare and so special and so precious and I don’t think there’s anything more important in my lifetime to work on. I don’t think there’s anything more enabling for people around the world.”
  2. “Whatever I can do, whatever my companies can do to make it more accessible to everyone is how I want to spend the rest of my life. If I were not at Square or Twitter I’d be working on bitcoin. If it needed more help than Square and Twitter, I would leave them for bitcoin. But I think both companies have a role to play.”
  3. “They’re missing everything. They’re not getting out of New York, they’re not getting out of the country, they’re not talking to people. Go to Nigeria for one day and see the struggle that people have to put up with, with their government and with their money. Go to Ghana that has a bunch of transplants from all over the continent and you witness the same thing every single day. Go to India and you’ll see the same.”
  4. “Everything about it is why we’re into it. There’s nothing else that compares to it. And we have no interests other than making sure we are building a native currency for the internet and helping in every way that we can. So all the other coins to me, don’t factor in at all.”
  5. “You just look at the economics of it and, you know, ultimately miners have to make a profit and getting cheap renewable energy maximizes their potential for profit, it’s really that simple. I thought I had some agreement with some notable figures out there and then that seemed to change in a matter of a few weeks…but I believe fully that bitcoin over time and today does incentivize more renewable energy…and gives people more freedom to convert unused, wasted power into something that actually creates value for billions of people around the world.”
  6. “That realization that we finally have a currency that can be traded at any single point on the planet is pretty incredible and what that enables going forward is pretty mind-blowing and I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that that happens.”

Michael Saylor

  1. “When I discovered bitcoin I thought this is digital gold on a big tech monetary network and it’s going to grow by a factor of a hundred. Then I thought, well, I should buy as much as I can…I was buying it and I was thinking I have to buy as much as I can, as fast as I can or someone will figure this out and I won’t be able to.”
  2. “Bitcoin is the apex property of the human race. It’s the first time we figured out how to create true property that you can take possession of with full custodial rights that’s least likely to be impaired, that’s most mobile….bitcoin is truly a seminal invention of the human race because for the first time in history we can grant property rights to 8 billion people.”
  3. “I think bitcoin is an extraordinary, disruptive, beneficial technology to the whole energy industry. As I studied it, it became clear that it’s the highest value use of intermittent energy. It’s the highest value use of renewable energy. It’s the highest value use of wasted or stranded energy. And it’s just the highest value use of energy, period. It’s the solution to developing power plants in remote locations, to driving up efficiency of plants and driving down costs…I think as the world understands it, they’re going to embrace it.”
  4. “What I was doing with bitcoin was, I was saying I don’t want to decapitalize the company. I want to keep the capital or grow the capital, but I want to put an asset on the balance sheet. The big breakthrough is I can convert my cash from a liability to an asset and then we realized that if that asset is going to go up by more than 10% a year and you can borrow money at 5% or four, or three, or two, then you should pretty much borrow as much money as you can and flip it into the asset.”
  5. “Bitcoin links together 8 billion people, links together a hundred million companies, it synchronizes the world across political jurisdictions, and it returns rationality to the entire financial system, and it returns freedom and property rights to the entire human race.”
  6. “We say bitcoin is hope. Bitcoin fixes everything…that certainly was the case with our stock….it imbued life into the company…morale was dramatically boosted. We just had the best first quarter we’ve had in a decade.”
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The number of bitcoin whales fell to a more than 5-month low on Monday in a bearish sign for the cryptocurrency

humpack whales breached in perfect unison
Humpback whales breached in unison off the coast of Sydney, Australia

  • The number of bitcoin whales fell to a five and a half month low on Monday, according to data from Glassnode.
  • There are now just 1,943 total bitcoin whales-defined as wallet addresses from a single network participant with more than 1,000 BTC.
  • That figure represents a 13% drop from February 7’s record high of 2,237 bitcoin whales.
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The number of bitcoin whales fell to a five and a half month low on Monday in a bearish sign for the cryptocurrency, according to data from Glassnode.

Specifically, the number of bitcoin whales – defined as wallet addresses from a single network participant with more than 1,000 bitcoig – fell to 1,943 on Monday.

That’s a 13% drop in the number of bitcoin whales since the record figure of 2,237 on February 7.

Bitcoin has lost more than 60 whales or 3% of the total in the past five days alone.

“The data looks bearish, as it shows a clear trend of whales offloading their holdings,” Pankaj Balani, co-founder and CEO of the Singapore-based Delta Exchange, told Coindesk.

Despite the recent fall in big-time bitcoin holders, the total number of bitcoin whales is still up roughly 8% since June of last year.

Still, some experts have warned Ethereum’s recent rise may be taking attention away from the leading cryptocurrency.

Ethereum has pushed past record highs to trade at over $4000 per coin recently. The cryptocurrency is up 87% in the past month compared to bitcoin’s roughly 6% decline over the same period.

Experts at Vanda Research warned the rotation into Ethereum from bitcoin could point to a looming 2017-style correction in the cryptocurrency market in a note to clients on Monday.

Pankaj Balanihe, the chief executive officer of the crypto derivatives exchange Delta, told Insider that bitcoin could slide as low as $40,000 per coin after breaching a key resistance level as well.

Of course, not all bitcoin news has been bearish lately. There are a number of signs institutional investors are still interested in gaining more exposure to the cryptocurrency space, and bitcoin in particular.

Palantir said on Monday that it is accepting bitcoin as a form of payment and has even considered holding cryptocurrencies on its balance sheet.

Billionaire Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel, Galaxy Digital’s Mike Novogratz, and a number of other big-name investors also announced they are backing a new cryptocurrency exchange called Bullish Global this week.

Bullish now has $10 billion in investor support and is set to bring more cryptocurrency exposure to institutions, according to a press release from Block.one, Bullish Global’s parent company.

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Bitcoin’s momentum will slow for months if it’s unable to quickly climb back above the crucial $60,000 level – and 2 main hurdles stand in its way, JPMorgan says

Bitcoin Bubble
  • A decay in momentum could represent a big problem for bitcoin, JPMorgan said in a Tuesday note.
  • A steep liquidation in bitcoin futures contracts has transpired over recent days, suggesting future weakness in the cryptocurrency.
  • “The challenge for bitcoin momentum in the current conjecture is to break above $60,000,” JPMorgan said.
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A decline in momentum could set bitcoin up for weakness going forward, according to a Tuesday note from JPMorgan.

Over the past few days, bitcoin futures contracts have faced a steep liquidation, which in the past has occurred near big round price levels. Certain thresholds like $20,000 in November, $30,000 in mid-January, and $50,000 in mid-February were all met with a brief decay in momentum.

According to the bank, it’s likely that momentum traders are behind the buildup and decline of long bitcoin futures in recent week.

“Each previous episode presented a challenge for bitcoin momentum to break out above the certain price thresholds,” JPMorgan said.

Now, that price threshold is the $60,000 level. If bitcoin fails to break out above the $60,000 level, momentum signals “will naturally decay from here for several months, given their still elevated level,” JPMorgan said.

Bitcoin currently trades near $55,500 after topping out around $64,000 last week amid the Coinbase direct listing frenzy.

The recent decline in bitcoin has investors watching key technical levels, including the 50-day moving average, which would signal further downside to $42,000 if that level doesn’t hold as support, according to one technical analyst.

Read more: A 29-year-old self-made billionaire breaks down how he achieved daily returns of 10% on million-dollar crypto trades, and shares how to find the best opportunities

JPMorgan is doubtful that bitcoin will be able to break above the key $60,000 level amid a decline in momentum for two reasons.

“First, the decay in our bitcoin momentum signals seems more advanced, reminiscent of the second half of 2019, and thus more difficult to reverse than in the previous three episodes. Second, the flow into bitcoin funds appears weak, raising concerns about the strength of the overall bitcoin flow picture at the moment,” JPMorgan concluded.

bitcoin chaa.JPG
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Bitcoin eyes new record above $61,000 as the crypto market’s focus turns to Coinbase IPO

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Bitcoin rose as much as 2.6% to $61,229 on Monday as the crypto world prepared for a week dominated by Coinbase’s direct listing on Wednesday. The surge took the coin close to its all-time high of $61,742 reached on March 13.

The world’s biggest cryptocurrency has since pared gains slightly, trading at $60,429.68 as of 9:05 a.m. in New York.

“There’s a lot of anticipation, some restlessness, maybe some anxiety in crypto markets today,” Justin d’Anethan, head of sales at Nasdaq-listed exchange Equos, told Insider.

“With BTC solidly in the upper 50Ks, everyone is looking to see if we can reclaim or surpass that last all-time high… seen a couple of weeks back,” he said.

The big event of the week in the cryptocurrency world is the direct listing of crypto exchange Coinbase on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.

It will be the first listing of a major crypto company, with Coinbase pulling in around $1.8 billion of revenue in the first quarter of 2021. The exchange said private market transactions valued the firm at about $68 billion in March.

D’Anethan added: “Coinbase’s IPO is definitely a supportive move for the space as it is bolstering the legitimacy of the asset class and offering investors new ways to interact with it.”

Edward Moya, senior market analyst at currency firm Oanda, said in an email “a disappointing IPO or excessive concerns over enhanced regulatory oversight could weigh on bitcoin and the other altcoins.”

Bitcoin has more than doubled in 2021 thanks to a renewed interest in digital currencies supported by huge amounts of stimulus from governments and central banks.

Now, many major institutions are moving into the crypto space, adding legitimacy to bitcoin and other currencies.

Yet cryptocurrencies continue to divide the financial world, with many figures saying they are too volatile to become serious investments for major players. Others argue they serve little purpose except speculation.

Read more: A 29-year-old self-made billionaire breaks down how he achieved daily returns of 10% on million-dollar crypto trades, and shares how to find the best opportunities

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Bitcoin has been declared ‘dead’ 402 times since its inception. Here’s how you can track the number of times it has ‘died’ in mainstream media.

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  • Interest in bitcoin continues to grow, and its meteoric rise is difficult to ignore.
  • But many skeptics have debated its potential ever since the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto released a whitepaper explaining its technology in 2009.
  • Disbelief in bitcoin’s use as a currency has led to the token being declared “dead” about 402 times since then.
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Bitcoin has had a tumultuous ride ever since its inception on Jan 3, 2009. The token is an extremely volatile asset class that has been ridiculed by numerous skeptics. Dr Doom economist Nouriel Roubini recently said the “Flintstones had a better monetary system” than bitcoin and that it shouldn’t be considered a currency.

Harvard professor Kenneth Rogoff has said he doesn’t see bitcoin succeeding and that it “could have some use in a dystopian future.”

‘Shark Tank’ star Kevin O’Leary previously called bitcoin “garbage.” He recently changed his mind, saying he’s planning to allocate 3% of his portfolio to the world’s most popular cryptocurrency. 

At the time of writing, bitcoin has been declared “dead” in mainstream media 402 times. Despite the scores of times various personalities and publications have pronounced it dead, the asset continues to rise in value and get adopted by major Wall Street institutions.

Bitcoin’s “death” can be tracked at Bitcoin Obituary, a parody website that collates news articles and blogs. It has already been declared dead nine times this year and 14 times in 2020. But the highest number of “deaths” it recorded (124) was in 2017, when its market cap hit $100 billion for the first time. 

The token’s most recent death was announced on February 24, 2021 by Steve Hanke, an American applied economist at Johns Hopkins University, who said it’s only a matter of time before bitcoin “death spirals” to its intrinsic value which is $0. 

Its earliest death was recorded on December 15, 2020 – almost two years since its creation – by a blogger called “The Underground Economist,” who predicted bitcoin would either remain a novelty forever or it would be “dead faster than you can blink.”

The price of bitcoin slipped on Friday by 0.4%, to $48,155, but is up 70% year-to-date.

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Bitcoin’s energy use is ‘staggering’ and a worry for big investors, Kleinwort investment chief says

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Bitcoin mining uses vast amounts of electricity.

  • Bitcoin uses a “staggering” amount of energy each year, the chief investment officer of Societe Generale’s UK private bank said.
  • Fahad Kamal said it means bitcoin clashes with the new focus on environmental investing.
  • Yet advocates say that bitcoin mining can be powered by renewable energy.
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The energy use of bitcoin is a key factor that makes the cryptocurrency unattractive to institutional investors, the chief investment officer of Société Générale’s UK private bank has said.

“We are very alarmed, I’m sure as others are, by the environmental aspects of bitcoin,” Fahad Kamal, the investment boss at SocGen’s Kleinwort Hambros bank, told Insider. He said the energy it used was “staggering.”

Estimates from the University of Cambridge suggest that bitcoin uses more electricity each year than Argentina and Ukraine, due to the energy-intensive mining process.

As the price of bitcoin has soared in recent months, a number of investors have raised questions over bitcoin’s energy consumption. Yet others argue that bitcoin increasingly uses renewable energy – and will do so more in the future.

Bill Gates told CNBC’s Andrew Sorkin in a live-streamed Clubhouse session last week that the currency “uses more electricity per transaction than any other method known to mankind.”

Kamal said bitcoin’s energy use means it clashes with environmental, social and governance investing, which is becoming increasingly important in the financial world.

“If you think about various trends that are occurring in the market, right now, bitcoin is one but ESG is a much bigger one.”

The issue of bitcoin’s energy use has come to the fore in recent weeks, after Elon Musk’s electric car company Tesla announced it had bought $1.5 billion of the currency in January.

Bitcoin is “mined” when computers are hooked up to the cryptocurrency’s network to verify transactions. As a reward for this work, which involves solving puzzles, miners can sometimes receive small amounts of bitcoin.

Read more: MORGAN STANLEY: Buy these 14 infrastructure stocks now as Congress gets ready to pass a deal later this year – including 8 that could rise at least 55%

Some miners have hooked up whole warehouses of computers to try to get more bitcoin, using vast amounts of electricity.

Yet Matt Blom, head of trading at Nasdaq-listed crypto exchange group Diginex, said fears about bitcoin’s environmental impact were overblown, because in the future almost all mining could be done through renewable energy.

“As time goes by I think that is the way things are going to be,” he told Insider.

A report from Cambridge University in September 2020 estimated that 39% of proof-of-work mining is powered by renewable energy, primarily hydroelectric. And it said more than 70% of miners used renewables as part of their energy mix.

Kamal said: “You can imagine that bitcoin gets environmentally friendly too and is only mined using solar power, but we’re not there yet.

“As of right now, it’s a huge consumption of electricity used to mine it. And that electricity is produced in very dirty ways.

“And for us, that is a big factor,” he said. “The fact that bitcoin is dirty, relatively speaking, is a pretty big issue.”

However, Kamal said Kleinwort Hambros – which is part of SocGen’s €119 billion ($145 billion) private banking network – does not have a “black and white view” of cryptocurrencies.

“There’s obviously some really positive aspects to it, and some not.” He said many of bitcoin’s problems, such as high volatility, would become less serious if more people adopted the cryptocurrency.

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Bitcoin’s sell-off is ‘part of its DNA’ and could still surge to $100,000, Fundstrat’s Tom Lee says

Tom Lee
  • Bitcoin’s recent correction of more than 20% is “part of its DNA and its history,” Fundstrat’s Tom Lee said in a tweet on Tuesday.
  • Lee reiterated his $100,000 price target on bitcoin, arguing that the sell-off doesn’t change fair value.
  • Bitcoin “looks on sale,” Lee Tweeted.
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The more than 20% sell-off in bitcoin this week shouldn’t be a surprise to investors familiar with the cryptocurrency, according to Fundstrat’s Tom Lee.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Lee said bitcoin is prone to corrections of 40%-50%, adding that the sizable corrections are “part of its DNA and its history.”

After topping out at more than $58,000 over the weekend and eclipsing $1 trillion in market value, bitcoin sold-off to a low of $45,000 on Tuesday amid risk-off sentiment among investors due to concerns of rising interest rates.

But the decline in bitcoin “doesn’t change fair value” for the cryptocurrency, Lee said before reiterating his $100,000 price target. A surge in bitcoin to $100,000 would represent potential upside of 117% from Tuesday afternoon levels.

Lee’s price target for bitcoin is predicated on his view that 2021 represents a similar setup to 2017 for the cryptocurrency: a parabolic rally following a halvening event. A halvening in bitcoin is when the reward for miners completing problems on the bitcoin blockchain is cut in half. Bitcoin completed a halvening event last year.

“Looks on sale, right?” Lee asked. 

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‘Dr. Doom’ economist Nouriel Roubini says bitcoin is not a hedge against inflation and investors are ‘feeding the bubble’

Nouriel Roubini 4
Nouriel Roubini

  • Economist Nouriel Roubini renewed his pessimistic views on bitcoin in an interview with Yahoo Finance this week.
  • The professor said he sees bitcoin as a “pseudo-asset” that is pumped by “massive manipulation.”
  • Roubini also argued bitcoin isn’t a hedge against inflation or a store of value, because of its correlation with stocks.
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Nouriel Roubini, an economist known as “Dr. Doom” for his bearish views, said bitcoin is not a hedge against inflation and investors are “feeding the bubble” in an interview with Yahoo Finance on Monday.

 “If people were really worried about inflation they would diversify in a wide range of assets that are historical good hedges against inflation. That’s not happening,” Roubini said.

“People say bitcoin’s a store of value against tail risk, but in February, March of last year when US stocks went down, say 35%, bitcoin was not a hedge, it went down by 50%” the economist added. “The reality is that no one knows what the value of this pseudo-asset is.”

Roubini has long been a critic of digital currencies, but after bitcoin hit a $1 trillion market cap last week the NYU professor has renewed his bearish calls. 

Roubini said he sees the digital currency as a volatile “pseudo-asset” and argued much of the price movement “is driven not by worries about inflation or debasement of fiat currencies,” but rather by “massive manipulation.”

The economist said that there are a number of schemes used by digital currency whales to push the price of bitcoin higher. In particular, he highlighted the stable coin tether as an example.

Roubini said tether is “produced out of nowhere with we don’t know which kind of backing and every other day there is another billion dollars of it that goes to buying bitcoin.”

“We know there are a whole bunch of legal investigations by the DOJ, CFTC, the attorney general’s office in New York, they are looking into what’s going on,” the economist added.

JPMorgan strategists including Josh Younger and Joyce Chang, also warned investors about tether in a note to clients last Thursday, per Bloomberg.

The analysts said Tether Limited is “engaged in a classic liquidity transformation along the lines of traditional commercial banks, but is not subject to the same strict supervisory and disclosure regime, and certainly does not have anything like deposit insurance.”

They also warned problems with Tether could lead to liquidity issues in the crypto market and that Tether Limited has “famously not produced an audit.”

Tether Limited announced a settlement with the New York AG for $18.6 million on Tuesday. The firm was accused of hiding $850 million in losses and has been under scrutiny to see whether it has sufficient cash reserves to back up all tether tokens in circulation, per CNBC.

Tether responded to questions about its business in a statement saying, “contrary to online speculation, after two and half years there was no finding that Tether ever issued tethers without backing, or to manipulate crypto prices.”

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