Bitcoin as a Treasury Asset Goes Global Amidst Renewed Bullish Sentiments

Bitcoin funding rates are gearing up as the price aims for $55,000. Substantial demand for crypto assets from institutions is also here.

Bitcoin had a promising start of the week as we aim for $55,000. In tandem with Bitcoin, Ether and other altcoins have also shaken their uncertainty and recovered strongly.

Traders are getting bullish as the funding rate starts heating up some. On Bitcoin perpetual contracts, the rates are currently between 0.0291% (Deribit) and 0.1908% (Bybit), as per Viewbase. As for Ether perpetual contracts, it is between 0.0550% (OKEx) and 0.1939% (BitMEX). However, the funding rates are still far from February levels.

While the open interest on CME’s Bitcoin futures, which dropped $1 billion to $2.1 bln suggests some cautiousness from institutional investors, the same cannot be said about the digital assets’ addition to balance sheets.

This wave of publicly listed companies using BTC as a reserve asset which was kickstarted by Microstrategy in the US, is now going global as it reaches Scandinavia and Hong Kong.

This week, oil billionaire Kjell Inge Rokke came out strongly in favor of Bitcoin as he said it’s not inconceivable that BTC could one day “be worth mil­lions of dollars.”

Norway’s second-richest person with an estimated $5.4 billion net worth is the co-founder of Aker ASA, which has more recently branched out into green tech and renewable energy companies. And the company is also setting up a new business Seetee AS, to tap into the potential of Bitcoin. It has already deployed $58 million in Bitcoin.

Recently, China’s publicly listed company also added Bitcoin and Ether to its balance sheet. Lennix Lai, director at crypto exchange OKEx commented,

“Meitu is the very first listed company in HK that publicly announced they invested in Bitcoin for cash-hedging purposes. It's just the beginning of all cash-rich HK-listed companies' start allocating to crypto.”

“Huge” institutional demand

The $1 trillion market cap crypto asset has been gaining the support of some notable endorsements lately, such as Elon Musk. On Wall Street as well, from custody banking giant Bank of New York Mellon Corp., Mastercard, Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan, a growing number of companies are warming up to Bitcoin.

However, when it comes to adding Bitcoin to corporate Treasuries, the companies are finding issues with the accounting of the digital asset as the Financial Accounting Standards Board doesn’t have guidance specific to the accounting for cryptocurrencies.

“I don’t think it’s the best accounting so far,” said Robert Hertz, a former FASB chairman. “I am hoping that if more mainstream companies get into bitcoin, the accounting standards board may revisit the accounting treatment.”

According to US research firm Gartner’s survey of 77 executives last month, about 5% of chief financial officers (CFOs) and senior finance leaders said they plan to hold bitcoin on their balance sheets this year.

While some feel companies would avoid adding Bitcoin to the balance sheet as they are “happy sinking money into very safe places with low interest” to focus on growing the company through its operations, others point out how the value of the dollar continues to get weaker and “Bitcoin flips the script on that.”

Just last week, Goldman Sachs reported substantial demand for crypto assets from institutions. In a survey of nearly 300 clients conducted by the bank, 40% currently have crypto exposure.

Matt McDermott, global head of digital assets for Goldman Sachs Global Markets Division, said in an interview that the current situation is different compared to 2017 due to “huge” institutional demand from private banking clients and across different industry types.

Blockchain technology offers “a real diverse set of opportunities for the financial industry and something that there’s a huge amount of momentum” for in the market, said McDermott.

“We know firsthand just given the various different projects we’re working on. And we see this as a hugely exciting time exploring the potential of that technology.”

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