What’s going on?
Bitcoin earned its wings on Thursday: the OG cryptocurrency rose to a record high, passing $23,000 and taking this year’s gains to over 200% (tweet this).
What does this mean?
There are a few things driving this rally. For starters, plenty of investors think the digital currency is poised to become the new gold – that is, an effective way to diversify their portfolios and protect against inflation. Some might even be backing it to become the new US dollar: PayPal’s recent announcement that it’ll be allowing cryptocurrency transactions should boost its chances of becoming a mainstream payment method. But the biggest driver of this particular rally might not be retail investors at all: it could be down to institutional investors, who are piling into the cryptocurrency in their droves to make their portfolios even more diverse.
Why should I care?
For markets: The Oracle has spoken.
Some big investors are already starting to throw around pretty punchy price targets for the cryptocurrency, with one even teasing the $400,000 mark. But skeptics – not least Warren Buffett – might point to 2017, when bitcoin went on a similar tear before it crashed and burned. Somebody might want to remind the “bitcoin’s the new gold” evangelists about that one…
Zooming out: Mad men.
Speaking of big price moves, one small crypto fund has more than tripled in value since its debut just over a week ago – far outpacing the top ten digital currencies it’s tracking. The fund’s price is now 369% higher than the values of both bitcoin and ethereum, meaning investors could buy them outright for far less than they’d need to access the fund. Odds are it picked up steam from arbitrage-focused institutional investors, only then to catch retail investors’ attention. And that might just go to show how out of hand the craze for anything under the”bitcoin” brand might be getting…
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