Has 2020 Really Been a Bad Year for Bitcoin Amid Global Economic Turmoil?
“It's been a disappointing year for Bitcoin,” writes Bloomberg editor, Joe Weisenthal in his Monday newsletter.
2020 continues to be a tragic year, the world struggling with the coronavirus pandemic, its economic impact, and protests worldwide. In March, COVID-19 triggered a sell-off in the global markets as investors sought the safety of cash.
Bitcoin wasn’t immune to that sell-off either and crashed as low as $3,800 on the majority of crypto exchange and $3,600 on BitMEX. But since then, the leading cryptocurrency has recovered over 135%.
But Weisenthal argues that bitcoin is making a general trend of lower highs. “Despite the extraordinary market volatility, it hasn't surged to new heights,” he said. And this question if an economic crisis can really be a boom for bitcoin.
He also points out how bitcoin has been basically following the S&P 500 throughout this period of volatility. During the March sell-off, bitcoin’s correction with equities jumped to all-time high. Although it dwindled since then, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s remarks yet again fueled this correlation.
So, does it really provide diversification to a portfolio, further questions the editor. According to analyst Mati Greenspan, the correlation will only increase from here because,
“the more big money is involved, the more managers of large portfolios will see it within the context of the traditional markets and use it as a tool to hedge their investments.”
What happened to “digital gold” and “halving” narratives?
Moreover, the “extraordinary” expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet hasn't led to inflation or currency collapse as many bitcoiners predicted so what would exactly “catalyze a Bitcoin boom?”
Historically, halving has led the bitcoin rallies but this time it “went without much impact,” said Weisenthal.
Historically, there's been a lot of consolidation after every Halving
Halving 3 has been no different in that respect
— Rekt Capital (@rektcapital) June 15, 2020
He further questions bitcoin’s “digital gold’ argument which is supposed to separate it from other cryptos in a crisis but bitcoin moved roughly in line with Ethereum this year and “did not exhibit any special safe haven properties.”
But even if we look at gold’s performance during this period, it also experienced a massive sell-off along with bitcoin and other asset deposits being a traditional safe haven asset and continues to move up and down.
Millennials ditching bitcoin?
Now, it looks like millennials have found the alternative to cryptocurrencies and getting “their thrills elsewhere.” Locked in their homes during the pandemic with stimulus money and the internet at their disposal, they have discovered the stock market via platforms like Robinhood. He said,
“To the degree that people were putting money into Bitcoin because they liked volatility and action, there's a new competitor on the block for those dollars.”
And the competitors are bankrupt companies. In the past few weeks, these young people have taken to invest in stocks of companies filing for bankruptcy, one of which (Hertz) has gotten permission to issue its worthless stocks.
Weisenthal believes the “crisis may yet be good for Bitcoin,” but only if “we get infringements on privacy that create new demand for payments that can't be blocked.”
The narratives may get debunked but market participants aren’t really bothered about bitcoin’s bullishness in the long term as demand for the world’s leading cryptocurrency only continues higher while its supply is limited.