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Turning doubters into investors: how big names shed crypto skepticism

0 21

Discover how the growing support from renowned figures and institutions bolsters the cryptocurrency market’s legitimacy and investor trust.

Initially, Bitcoin (BTC) and its early counterparts faced skepticism, often seen as a domain for tech enthusiasts. These early years were notable for their extreme price fluctuations, intense regulatory scrutiny, and doubts about their legitimacy and future.

Security concerns, the potential use of digital currencies in illegal activities, and the lack of a central regulatory body made many investors hesitant.

Yet, the narrative began to shift as blockchain gained recognition for its potential to redefine not just financial transactions but various sectors worldwide.

Further boosting this shift, high-profile endorsements, major institutional investments, and the adoption of crypto by major corporations have significantly contributed to their legitimacy and stability.

On that note, let’s explore how prominent figures and institutional investors have gradually warmed up to cryptocurrencies and the impact of this trend.

Bill Ackman’s stance on BTC

Over time, Bill Ackman, the founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, has become more open to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Initially, Ackman was cautious about Bitcoin, generally avoiding the cryptocurrency sector.

But by 2022, he revealed that he had invested modestly in a few cryptocurrency projects and venture funds. Ackman described his involvement as more of a hobbyist’s pursuit aimed at learning about crypto rather than a strategic investment move.

i.e., @TaxBit and @trmlabs. In total these investments represent less than 2% of my assets. I invest more as a hobbyist trying to learn than as a careful investor as I minimize the time I spend on non-Pershing Square investments so please don’t rely on my due diligence or

— Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) November 20, 2022

Recently, Ackman publicly acknowledged Bitcoin’s potential in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek manner.

On Mar. 9, he tweeted a scenario where the price of Bitcoin could skyrocket, leading to increased mining activities and greater energy consumption.

A scenario:

Bitcoin price rise leads to increased mining and greater energy use, driving up the cost of energy, causing inflation to rise and the dollar to decline, driving demand for Bitcoin and increased mining, driving demand for energy and the cycle continues.

Bitcoin… https://t.co/a5LzX69R7q

— Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) March 9, 2024

He suggested a hypothetical sequence of events where the rising cost of energy drives inflation and causes the dollar to decline, thereby increasing demand for Bitcoin and further boosting its price.

While Ackman’s engagement may have started as a curiosity-driven exploration, his acknowledgment of Bitcoin’s potential impact on economic dynamics hints at a growing acceptance of digital assets within mainstream finance.

You might also like: Kremlin hopes to cut US dollar reliance with blockchain in BRICS

Trump’s changing views on cryptocurrencies

Former U.S. President Donald Trump’s perspective on crypto, notably Bitcoin, has undergone a notable transformation as the digital asset reached record highs of $72,953 on Mar. 11.

In a CNBC interview on the same day, Trump signaled a more permissive stance towards Bitcoin, suggesting he wouldn’t impose stringent regulations if he were to return to office.

This departure from his 2021 remarks, where he dismissed Bitcoin as a threat to the U.S. dollar, marks a new shift.

Trump, while still expressing reservations about Bitcoin’s competition with the dollar, acknowledged its increasing importance as an alternative currency. He pointed to Bitcoin being used in transactions for Trump-branded products, such as his new sneaker line, as a sign of its increasing consumer use.

However, Trump continues to favor the U.S. dollar, highlighting its stability and the importance of maintaining its global dominance. He also expressed concerns about countries shifting away from the dollar.

You might also like: Donald Trump turns attention to cryptocurrency. What’s behind the shift?

Blackrock’s journey from skepticism to acceptance

Initially, BlackRock maintained a cautious stance towards cryptocurrencies, with Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock expressing skepticism about their legitimacy.

In 2017, he characterized Bitcoin as an “index of money laundering,” reflecting the prevailing sentiment within the company at the time.

However, as the cryptocurrency market matured and gained mainstream acceptance, BlackRock’s stance has changed.

During an interview with Fox Business in Oct. 2023, Fink emphasized the rising demand for crypto assets among BlackRock’s global clientele.

He attributed this surge to pent-up interest in cryptocurrencies, noting, “We are hearing from clients around the world about the need for crypto.”

Fink suggested that the rally could be fueled by a flight to quality amid ongoing global geopolitical tensions, citing events such as the Israeli war and the threat of global terrorism.

Warren Buffet’s silent acknowledgement

Warren Buffett, renowned as one of the most prominent value investors in history, has long been a vocal critic of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Buffett’s skepticism stems from his belief that Bitcoin lacks intrinsic value, famously stating, “You can’t value Bitcoin because it’s not a value-producing asset.”

He advocates for investments in companies that generate tangible value over time rather than relying on speculative assets driven by investor sentiment.

However, Buffett’s stance on cryptocurrencies underwent a silent shift following in 2023. The top-performing investment for the company that year was Nu Holdings Ltd., a Brazilian fintech company that offers various financial services, including crypto trading.

Buffett’s firm had backed Nu Holdings during its early stages, investing a substantial $1 billion in the company, a decision that has yielded remarkable returns.

Nu Holdings, with its open stance on crypto in Brazil, experienced a staggering 93% appreciation in its stock price in 2023.

This performance outshone even the most lucrative investments in Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio, highlighting the potential of crypto-related ventures.

Buffett’s decision to maintain his investment in Nu Holdings suggests a silent yet gradual shift in his perspective toward the crypto sector.

How does this impact crypto?

The evolving stances of influential figures and institutions toward crypto significantly impacts the crypto market and its growth trajectory. Let’s understand how.

Increased legitimacy and investor confidence

As well-known figures and major investors start embracing cryptocurrency, they bring a new level of credibility to the market.

Originally, many mainstream investors were wary of the crypto market due to its volatility and links to illegal activities. Now, support from these influential figures helps reduce these concerns, building stronger investor confidence.

Such endorsements are significant. They signal to the market that cryptocurrencies are a worthwhile and credible investment option.

New money, steadier markets

The entry of institutional investors into the crypto space could likely bring new capital inflows.

Traditionally, these investors focus on long-term holdings, which could help lessen the well-known volatility in cryptocurrency markets.

For instance, the SEC’s approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs has already led to an influx of over $67 billion into these investment vehicles as of Mar. 13, within two months of getting a green light.

This injection of funds not only provides liquidity but also stabilizes the market, making it more attractive to both retail and institutional investors.

Influence on regulatory environment

The evolving opinions of influential leaders like former President Donald Trump towards Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could play a pivotal role in shaping future policies. Trump’s gradually more open stance on Bitcoin might signal changes in U.S. regulatory approaches, which often serve as a model for global cryptocurrency regulations.

Regulatory decisions are key drivers of the crypto market’s expansion, influencing everything from safeguarding investors to enabling the functioning of crypto companies.

A regulatory environment that effectively balances stringent oversight with the encouragement of innovation is crucial. Such a balanced approach could promote the market’s growth, attracting further investments and encouraging the development of innovative crypto-based financial services.

The road ahead

The journey from skepticism to widespread acceptance signifies a fundamental shift in how we perceive value, transaction security, and investment.

With the continued backing of high-profile figures and institutional giants, the crypto market could be poised for further legitimization and integration into the global financial ecosystem. However, navigating regulatory landscapes and ensuring market stability will remain crucial.


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