“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.
The Tudor Investment Corporation founder also raised the prospect of a retail-fueled commodity boom, recommended stricter margin limits on investors, and voiced his support for higher taxes on America’s wealthiest people.
Here are Jones’ 10 best quotes from the interview, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:
1. “I get nervous from a financial-instability standpoint when the stock market is 220% of GDP. I get nervous when that number is 45% higher than in the 2000 bubble, and 90% higher than at the 2007 top.” – referring to Warren Buffett’s namesake gauge, which compares the stock market’s total value to the size of the economy.
2. “When you look at the Fed today and the Fed in 2013, you wonder how you can have such wildly different policy views on what constitutes the right levels for employment, the right levels for inflation. It’s almost like a split personality.”
3. “We’re going to be where we were pre-pandemic by October. And yet we are quantitative easing and juicing an economy that’s already red-hot.” – warning that the Fed is stimulating the economy even though the surplus of job offers to unemployment claims is on track to hit January 2020 levels in the next four months.
4. “You’ve got the craziest mix of fiscal and monetary policy. It goes against all traditional economic orthodoxy. Things are absolutely bats— crazy.” – suggesting that the government throwing out the rulebook may have paved the way for the Capitol insurrection and the meme-stock and SPAC booms.
5. “If the Fed treats rising inflation with nonchalance, then it’s a green light to go all-in on the inflation trades. I’d probably buy commodities, buy crypto, buy gold.”
6. “If the Reddit crowd ever gets into commodities, God forbid. Commodities are generally finite-supply, small markets. If we ever got retail investors actually nervous about inflation, those things can double or triple with no problem whatsoever.”
7. “If I was Fed chair, I would have raised margin requirements two years ago. I would have said, ‘Okay, we’re gonna experiment with an unproven, untried, negative-real-rate economic program that is going to encourage a lot of leverage. We want asset prices to rise, we want you to take risks, we want to extend duration, but you need to be prudent in how you use your leverage and what you invest in.”
8. “Bitcoin is math and math has been around for thousands of years. I like the idea of investing in something that’s reliable, consistent, honest, and 100% certain.”
9. “I like 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.”
10. “It’s really difficult. You cannot tax unrealized capital gains because of the volatility. But should the top 1% pay more? Absolutely.” – commenting on the ProPublica report that found billionaires were paying little federal income tax relative to their net worth.
Kraken founder and CEO Jesse Powell said he is considering a traditional initial public offering to take the cryptocurrency exchange public instead of a direct listing following Coinbase’s volatile performance.
“An IPO is looking a little more attractive in light of the direct listing’s performance,” Powell told Fortune. “I would say we’re looking at it more seriously now having the benefit of seeing how the direct public offering played out for Coinbase.”
Powell pinned the volatility of Coinbase’s performance to the method it used to go public, especially since existing shareholders are not prohibited from selling their shares at the debut in direct listings.
Unlike in an IPO, companies that go public via direct listing do not issue new shares.
JPMorgan sees worrying signs in the bitcoin futures market.
The bank’s strategists, led by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, said the fact that bitcoin futures have been trading at a discount to the spot price – technically known as backwardation – is a sign of weak demand from big players.
“We believe that the return to backwardation in recent weeks has been a negative signal pointing to a bear market,” the strategists said in a note on Wednesday.
“This is an unusual development and a reflection of how weak bitcoin demand is at the moment from institutional investors that tend to use regulated CME futures contracts to gain exposure to bitcoin.” Futures are contracts that oblige the buyer to purchase an asset at a set price at a fixed date in the future.
Bitcoin has rebounded over the last two days and was up around 4% to $37,915 on Thursday. But it was nonetheless still 40% lower than April’s record high of close to $65,000.
JPMorgan’s strategists said their outlook for bitcoin was negative. They said another worrying signal was that bitcoin’s share of the total crypto market fell sharply during April and May from around 60% towards 40%.
Bitcoin’s lower market share is “a bearish signal carrying some echoes of the retail-investor-driven froth of December 2017,” they said. Amateur investors moved heavily into alternative coins as the crypto world boomed in 2017, but quickly withdrew from the market as it dropped sharply over 2018.
JPMorgan said the bitcoin futures curve was also in backwardation for most of 2018, when the cryptocurrency slid from around $15,000 at the end of 2017 to below $4,000 by the end of the next year.
Regulatory pressures are also building. On Thursday, the top global banking regulator recommended strict new rules for financial institutions holding bitcoin.
Finance professor Aswath Damodaran warned investors not to get complacent, weighed in on Tesla’s prospects, and argued that bitcoin fails as both a currency and a store of value in a RealVision interview released this week.
The professor at NYU Stern School of Business – whose nickname is the “Dean of Valuation” – also downplayed Warren Buffett’s recent performance, touted “big tech” companies as inflation havens, and cautioned that the Federal Reserve is overestimating its powers.
Here are Damodaran’s 11 best quotes from the interview, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:
1. “We’ve been in a market that’s been so good for so long that people have become sloppy and lazy – whether it’s in the form of SPACs or buying deep out-of-the-money call options. They think making money is easy, and markets have a way of fixing that thinking very quickly. Be cautious, because the exact forces that lead you to speculate might be the forces that hold the seeds for your downfall.”
2. “This market is being driven by mood and momentum, and even revenge. Think of what drove those Redditor investors to drive GameStop up: It’s not because they thought GameStop was worth more, they wanted to take revenge on hedge funds. Mood and momentum is being reflected in things like SPACs, or what happened to NFTs, or what’s happening to bitcoin.”
3. “Warren Buffett has been a pretty average investor for the last 20 years. The portion of the market which has delivered returns has been the portion of market that he’s been least comfortable dealing with – growth companies where it’s all about the future.”
4. “We have all these people telling you to buy a quality company. That’s really bad advice. If you buy a quality company that everybody else recognizes as a quality company, you’re going to pay through the roof. Good companies can be bad investments, and bad companies can be good investments. The sooner we recognize that, the healthier investing is going to be.”
5. “As a currency, bitcoin has really not worked, and it was never designed to work. When did you use it to buy a house, your lunch, your coffee? The answer is almost never, because it’s an incredibly inefficient currency.” – underscoring the effort and energy required to complete bitcoin transactions.
6. “Between February 14 and March 20 last year, we were in full-scale panic and stocks lost 35% of value, but gold held its value. You know what bitcoin did in those six weeks? It was down 50%. When stocks came back, bitcoin came back even more strongly. In 2020, bitcoin behaved like a very risky stock, not like gold, not like a collectible.” – arguing that bitcoin isn’t an uncorrelated asset that investors can use as a haven during crises.
7. “The story being told about Tesla by the bulls is that it’s not just an automobile company, it’s a revolutionary company that’s going to change the way everything gets done. The people who hate the company think it’s a scam, that Elon Musk is a magician who’s pulling wool over people’s eyes. Both sides are wrong; there is a good company at the core, but Tesla has lots of issues to get through to become a great company. I can’t get to a story where I can get a $600 billion value, but I can get to a story that gets me a $250 billion value, which a year ago would have made the stock cheap.”
8. “SPACs reflect other trends in society, including how social media and celebrity worship have taken over every aspect of our lives. SPACs are the coming together of that celebrity worship and social media into IPO investing.” – Damodaran gave the example of Shaquille O’Neal advising and promoting the SPAC buying WeWork.
9. “The Fed is like the Wizard of Oz, its power comes from the perception that it has power. My worry is that the Fed is becoming so open in making statements that they really can’t back up with their power. I think they’ve drank the Kool-Aid. They’ve read their own press, they think they’re actually more powerful than they really are. That’s a dangerous place for a central bank to be.”
10. “Central bankers are acting like drunks at a party, printing money like crazy.”
11. “The big tech companies are best equipped to deal with inflation. I wouldn’t go to a manufacturing company, I won’t go to Exxon Mobil. The Facebooks and the Googles, the Apples of the world fit the bill much better, because they have substantial cash flows. They also have pricing power.”
Revolut has added dogecoin to its offering to meet booming customer demand for the meme cryptocurrency, the fintech bank said on Tuesday.
“There just aren’t enough dogs in the Revolut app…but we’re about to change that. Much Dogecoin. Such wow. How Revolut? We’re letting the DOGEs out!” the fintech bank tweeted alongside a dogecoin-inspired video on Tuesday.
Dogecoin is the 30th coin to be added to Revolut’s crypto investment offering and was released as part of the firm’s ‘New Tokens Tuesday campaign’, during which it adds a new token to its platform each Tuesday. The campaign began last week with the addition of eight Oracle and Network tokens including Polygon.
“One of the most popular user requests over the past couple of months has been to add Dogecoin and we have answered the call! We have just launched Dogecoin in-app. So now keen crypto customers and those new to the game can buy and sell this popular token.” Edward Cooper, Revolut’s head of crypto said in a statement.
The Revolut app offers banking and investing capabilities for individual and business clients. Its crypto services allow customers to buy, sell or send major cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, ether and litecoin. People can use their cash balance on the app directly to buy crypto without having to use an exchange and new funds become available immediately.
Meme-cryptocurrency dogecoin has soared in value and investor recognition this year, as it has become increasingly popular on social media. Crypto investors have started to see it as a legitimate asset that has real-life applications rather than as the joke it started as.
Dogecoin is currently the sixth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, according to Coingecko data. It reached an all-time high of $0.731578 after a social media fueled rally in early May, but has since lost around 55% since hitting that point. Over the past week, dogecoin has lost over 11% as cryptocurrencies across the board have struggled, but it inched higher on Wednesday and was last up 0.4% in the 24 hours to 8:12 am E.T., trading at $0.331914.
Arte by Antonio Citterio, located in Florida’s Surfside neighborhood, partnered with blockchain and securities trading platform SolidBlock.
SolidBlock will assist in the transaction and will provide legal and tax advice.
While this isn’t the first property paid for in cryptocurrency, it is the biggest. The buyer remains anonymous and the company said it can’t disclose the type of cryptocurrency used to purchase.
“We were overwhelmed by the amount of calls we received from qualified buyers,” Alex Sapir, chairman of Sapir Corp LTD, whose subsidiary developed Arte, said in a statement. “Real-world crypto transactions haven’t made their way fully into the mainstream yet, so it’s clear that top holders around the world pay attention when new opportunities to transact open up.”
“If you would have told me in December that I was going to have a conversation with Elon Musk, eat lunch with Peter Thiel, become friends with Keith and meet [Coinbase CEO] Brian Armstrong pre-IPO and Fred and the Winklevoss twins, I would have told you, ‘There’s no way you can make this stuff up,” Suarez told Insider.
Investment in bitcoin products logged the largest weekly outflow on record, data from CoinShares showed, indicating investors in early June remain cautious toward the cryptocurrency whose price has been sliced in half since hitting a peak above $64,000 earlier this year.
$141 million was pulled from bitcoin products by institutional investors in the week ended June 7, according to the digital asset investing firm. Trading volume in bitcoin digital asset investment products also slumped, by 62% compared with last month.
In May, the cryptocurrency was hit with a massive selloff during which its market capitalization dropped below $1 trillion. On Tuesday, the market cap fell further, to around $587 billion, according to CoinGecko. Bitcoin has been hurt following regulatory threats from China and the US and a decision by Tesla to stop taking the digital currency as payment for its electric vehicles, drawing its price down from an all-time record high of $64,804.72 in April.
But “remaining the altcoin of choice for investors” was ether as it continued to see inflows into investment products, said CoinShares. Investment products for the token of the ethereum blockchain pulled in $33 million in weekly capital. Ethereum’s market share in the last week of May rose to nearly 27%, its highest point on record.
Also, XRP, the digital asset used in Ripple Labs’ payment network, logged $7 million in inflows, the largest amount since April.
For bitcoin, the $141 million in weekly outflows represent just 8.3% of the net inflows it has seen this year, CoinShares said. Institutional investors have pushed in $4.25 billion into bitcoin products during 2021.
Two US senators called for stricter cryptocurrency regulation after a flood of ransomware attacks that plagued the country in the past months.
Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told NBC Meet the Press on Sunday that regulators need to scrutinize the cryptocurrency loopholes that help criminals carry 0ut cyberattacks.
“There was some good things coming out of distributed ledger technology, but we are seeing now some of the dark underbelly,” Warner said. “If a company is paying, if there’s not some transparency of that payment, the bad guys will simply find another way to hide it.”
The senator said while there has been some progress when it comes to bipartisan legislation, the debate about cryptocurrencies and ransomware is “just starting.”
Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, also a member of the Intelligence Committee, said regulators need to demand more transparency when it comes to attacks like these to protect the American financial system.
“Nobody wanted to report that they had been hacked. That was a fight we’ve been having now for almost a decade,” he told NBC Meet the Press. But “the only way you can begin to get on top of this is to know how pervasive the problem is.”
He continued: “We have a lot of cash requirements in our country, but we haven’t figured out in the country or in the world how to trace cryptocurrency.”
“There ought to be more transparency if a company does pay, so we can go after the bad guys,” Warner said. “Right now what’s happening around ransomware, not only are the companies often not reporting that they are attacked, but they’re not reporting the ransomware payments.”
US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen has been critical of cryptocurrencies in the past, calling out their misuse, which she described in February as “a growing problem.”
“I see the promise of these new technologies,” the former Federal Reserve chief said. “But I also see the reality: cryptocurrencies have been used to launder the profits of online drug traffickers; they’ve been a tool to finance terrorism.”
Dogecoin has rocketed nearly 8,000% this year, far surpassing bitcoin’s nearly 30% gain and ether’s 260% climb.
The shiba inu-themed token goes through wild price swings but some analysts do not seem too bothered.
“The price action in doge is extremely volatile but is ultimately driven by supply and demand with real capital,” Jeffrey Wang, head of Americas of Amber Group, a crypto financial services firm, told Insider. “I think the price moves in doge are a great example of free capital markets in action.”
Coinbase joins Gemini and eToro, which both listed the meme token in May this year, as well as Kraken and Binance. Combined, the exchanges effectively open up the meme token to tens of millions of users worldwide.
While the listing is viewed as a stamp of approval by some, others like Peter Jensen, CEO at RocketFuel Blockchain, a global payments company, view the decision of Coinbase as just a strategic business move.
“Exchanges like Coinbase Pro and eToro have enlisted doge only because of the massive inflow of retail user base that dogecoin is getting, which in turn means it’s a profit-generating coin for exchanges,” Jensen told Insider.
Jensen added that unless a major technological upgrade is given to dogecoin, it will remain to be a highly speculative asset without any technological merits.
Here are what eight other experts think of dogecoin’s recent listing:
Wait, but why?
“Dogecoin’s popularity is really just a by-product of the meme-populist age. In essence, it’s a fun way for people to transact and get involved in crypto and investing. Doge is unlikely to have any “use-case” even in the loose sense of the term. It’s important to realize that even the creator Billy Markus sold off all of his dogecoin holdings. Doge can’t compete with bitcoin in the long run because bitcoin has limited supply, and is emerging as a sort of “digital gold.” It can’t square off against ethereum either due to ETH’s smart contract and decentralized app functionality. On its own, it has nothing to offer. So I don’t see this as a watershed moment for dogecoin legitimacy.” – Muneeb Jan, author, Macro Geek Newsletter
“Coinbase is just responding to this popularity. I don’t view dogecoin as being legitimized. Coinbase is an exchange, there are no institutions buying it seriously. Since its supply is unlimited, there are 10,000 new coins mined every minute. This makes it highly inefficient as a legitimate crypto coin except to those that use its volatility to trade it and hang on Elon Musk’s tweets to pump up its value. Even today, Musk’s tweets and mentions of dogecoin seem satirical, not serious. I’m not a fan of hype around dogecoin because it’s a distraction from the useful things being done in blockchain and in crypto, like DeFi.” – Andrew Kiguel, cofounder and CEO, Tokens.com
“We still view this as speculative at best. I think the biggest implication is that many small investors will lose money. The broad crypto landscape, in my opinion, is a combination between a pyramid scheme and the wild west. There are people that will make a lot of money, but there are also a lot of folks who will lose. There are some more legitimate currencies; however, there are also hundreds that are nothing more than ideas. Those that are looking at longer term placeholders for wealth will buy more established cryptos like ether or bitcoin and simply hold.” – Randy Carver, financial expert
“As more crypto brokers begin to offer dogecoin, I see its popularity increasing, but it will take time before it is fully accepted. While socially active, lower account size retail investors are interested in dogecoin and crypto’s in general, active retail investors who trade equities and equity options have largely stayed on the side of crypto trading. With only 50,000 permissible daily transactions of dogecoin, it is a generation away from wider acceptance with retail and institutional investors.” – Dan Raju, CEO, Tradier
It’s about time.
“While a little late, the Coinbase listing is yet another positive sign for the doge community. While it began as a joke, doge’s track record has earned it a place amongst ‘legitimate’ digital assets. While the technology itself hasn’t evolved much, doge has an incredible community and the power of that should not be underestimated. It may have taken Elon Musk and other influential figures to drive awareness and convince institutions of dogecoin’s legitimacy, but as a peer-to-peer network, it’s been widely used for nearly a decade.” – Jason Lau, COO, Okcoin
“The meme currency is now firmly in the mainstream. It’s likely that we’ll see even more interest and adoption from retail investors in the short term, as well as some current doge holders cashing out. Long-term, we simply don’t know; interest in doge may wane, or growing popularity may force traditional financial institutions to re-think what counts as a legitimate asset class. As global adoption continues, the cryptocurrency trading landscape is set to evolve with it. Dogecoin is a representation of how everyday internet users can shape markets when they have the opportunity.” – Philip Gradwell, chief economist, Chainalysis
“Dogecoin getting listed by Coinbase, Gemini, and eToro shows that cryptocurrencies with very strong communities and positive sentiment cannot be ignored, even if they are meme coins. At the end of the day exchanges make money from trades and listing popular cryptocurrencies is good for business as long they are not securities. Liquidity and wide exposure should help dogecoin reach an even larger audience. Originally a meme coin, dogecoin is now a more legitimate digital currency in the eyes of new crypto users than the rest of the field.” – Ian Balina, founder and CEO, Token Metrics
“With the listing of dogecoin on Coinbase, one of the most reputable exchanges, it creates a lot of momentum as well as liquidity. This drives the price up and creates a positive feedback loop on the momentum. I think Coinbase made a significant choice as it ultimately signals that even if coins are created initially as a joke, with enough momentum and a strong community, it can become something much greater. It’s no surprise that doge started as a joke, but with the recent momentum and price action, I think it has created a positive feedback loop of luring back in developers and entrepreneurs and institutions.” – Ben Weiss, CEO, CoinFlip