Bitcoin Bubble?

  • Rising majority of Wall Street fund managers believe that Bitcoin is in a bubble, despite recent pullback in prices 
  • Wider institutional embrace of cryptocurrencies by Wall Street names betrays their overt calls that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are in a wider bubble and may be symptomatic of the recent shift in influence from professional money managers to retail investors 
 
Poll any group of fund managers last year and the overwhelming majority would have declared that GameStop (-3.02%) and AMC Entertainment (+3.58%) were decrepit companies with limited prospects and no room for upside – sell where possible – and they would have been dead wrong.
 
And even after last month’s 40% plunge for Bitcoin, there are more than a few fund managers who believe that Bitcoin continues to be in a bubble, with 80% of professional money managers polled by Bank of America (+0.07%) calling the market a bubble, up from 75% in May.
 
The Bank of America poll, which captures the views of 207 investors with over US$645 billion in assets, noted that “long Bitcoin” was the second-most crowded trade after commodities, which are already cooling.
 
Bubble fears for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are nothing new, given their extreme volatility and regulatory uncertainty.
 
And while prices for cryptocurrencies have tumbled, some of Wall Street’s biggest names are embracing the nascent asset class.
 
Goldman Sachs (-0.43%) last week announced that it plans to roll out Ethereum options to clients and Cowen Inc. (+4.74%) plans to offer “institutional-grade” custody services for cryptocurrencies.
 
Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones, an early supporter of Bitcoin, has continued to reiterate his bullish view that Bitcoin is a good hedge against inflation.
 
And Tesla (-2.97%) CEO Elon Musk has marked a change of heart and declared that the electric vehicle maker would be open to accepting Bitcoin as payment again if 50% of its mining activities were clean.
 
But surveys, especially among Wall Street’s moneyed elite allocators may provide little guidance as to what they truly believe.
 
In the run-up to the dotcom bubble and the mortgage crisis, Wall Streeters were openly bullish on the prospects for tech stocks which had no intrinsic value, and the real estate market that was about to implode.
 
That Wall Street is suggesting cryptocurrencies are in a bubble should be telling – their biggest beef may be that just like the meme stock saga, they weren’t the ones who inflated it. 
 
 

Novum Digital Asset Alpha is a digital asset quantitative trading firm.

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