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October 3, 2022

Investors Flock to Bitcoin to Protect Wealth as Pound and Euro Fall

October 3, 2022

Investors look nervously ahead to this week after stocks posted their lowest daily close of 2022. Although pushing higher on Wednesday, Bitcoin retreated and continued to trade within a tight $1900 range as indecision weighed on markets. 

As uncertainty rocked the forex markets, Messari analysts showed that a new dynamic was being witnessed. Those affected by sharp falls in GBP and EUR were purchasing Bitcoin in high volumes to protect their wealth.

Elsewhere the world’s largest asset manager continued to make headway into the crypto space by filing plans to launch a brand new metaverse-focused ETF.

  • Investors turn to Bitcoin as pound and euro fall
  • Bitcoin faces bearish pressure as stocks post fresh yearly lows
  • World’s largest asset manager to create metaverse ETF

Investors turn to Bitcoin as Pound and Euro slide

The Great British Pound (GBP) followed the Euro (EUR) lower last week as markets were spooked by the British government’s plan to slash taxes. It is feared that tax cuts could increase government borrowing which could worsen the ongoing inflation. 

As a result, the price of GBP against the US dollar fell to an all-time low of $1.03; extremely close to parity, which has never been seen. Midway through the week, the Bank of England stepped in with bond purchases to eventually stabilize GBP prices, which pushed prices back up to $1.11.

Monday morning the British government U-turned on plans to scrap the 45p rate of income tax for higher earners, however the remaining unfunded tax cuts remain in place.

The adverse effects of the current macroeconomic environment are also weighing on EUR holders, as the currency battles high European energy prices and ongoing inflation. Although not at all-time lows, the EUR currency lost parity with the US dollar earlier in the month and now trades at $0.98.

According to Senior Research Analyst, Dunleavy, from Messari Crypto, Euro and Pound holders are now turning to Bitcoin for wealth protection; a dynamic never seen before.

In comparison to gold, the uptake in Bitcoin was far higher during the 13th September sell-off in the Euro and the 26th September sell-off in the Pound. Dunleavy sees this as encouraging and although the ‘hard money thesis for Bitcoin’ may not be playing out instantaneously, it could be a small stepping stone in the hard money journey for Bitcoin. 

Dunleavy also outlines that although this dynamic has never been witnessed before in developed nations, Bitcoin has long been a store of wealth for those in developing countries and those with underlying currency problems, such as Brazil, Turkey, and Nigeria.

The same dynamic has not yet been witnessed for other cryptocurrencies. Investors appear to be turning to the world’s largest cryptocurrency first.

Data collected by Messari indicates that investors are selling EUR and GBP in favour of Bitcoin.

Data collected by Messari indicates that investors are selling EUR and GBP in favour of Bitcoin.

Bitcoin under pressure as stocks post fresh yearly lows

Although pushing above $20,000 on Wednesday, the price of Bitcoin was unable to gain considerable ground during the week and subsequently retreated lower over the weekend. The coin now faces fresh bearish pressure heading into Monday as stock market indices closed last week with fresh yearly lows.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency traded within an uncharacteristically tight range of $1800 throughout the week, swinging between $20,380 and $18,540. 

Even with bearish sentiment and a backdrop of interest rate hikes, Bitcoin has so far been able to stay above the lows created back in June 2022, where the price bottomed at $17,600. However, many analysts are now worried that the support at $17,600 may come under pressure.

On Friday, all major US stock market indices, including the S&P 500 and NASDAQ 100 sank to new yearly lows. A close that was also reflected in the UK stock market index of the FTSE 100. 

It is the first time the S&P 500 has suffered three consecutive quarters of losses since the financial crisis of 2008. It is now the worst year the stock market has faced for more than a decade.

Many analysts are now anticipating that if stocks continue their bearish path, it may cause Bitcoin’s price to crash below the June low of $17,500.

Weekly chart of S&P 500. Index sinks to a new low for the year.

Weekly chart of S&P 500. Index sinks to a new low for the year.

World’s largest asset manager to create metaverse ETF

According to a recent filing submitted with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, is set to create an exchange-traded fund focused on companies involved with the development of the metaverse. 

News of BlackRock’s new product was first reported on by Bloomberg’s Vildana Hajric and Katherine Greifeld. It was claimed the new product would be called the Ishares Future Metaverse Tech and Communications ETF and follows BlackRock’s Ishares Blockchain Technology UCTIS ETF which was launched earlier in the year. 

It is expected the new metaverse ETF will contain companies focused on the development and creation of metaverse technology. This may include elements of social media, gaming, virtual reality, and augmented reality. A ticker for the fund has not yet been listed.

The metaverse ETF marks the last inroad by BlackRock into the world of cryptocurrencies. After launching its blockchain-focused ETF in April 2022, the company then went on to release a Bitcoin trust in August 2022 after demand from clients grew. Unfortunately, due to the downturn in interest for risk-on assets, neither product has performed particularly well.

However, the company has not given up hope and still sees demand from clients. In an interview with Yahoo Finance Live, BlackRock’s CIO, Rick Rieder said, “I still think bitcoin and crypto are durable assets. It’s a durable business, but there was so much excess built around it.”

Photo of Blackrock offices

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