Bitcoin fell for a second day amid concerns that a jump in bond yields is sapping demand for riskier investments.
The largest cryptocurrency shed as much as 3.4% on Friday and was trading at about $47,000 as of 1:05 p.m. in Hong Kong. The Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index, which includes Bitcoin and four other tokens, slipped more than 3%.
Bitcoin is now some $10,000 below February’s record above $58,000, stoking the debate over whether the token’s investment base will widen or peter out as happened in the 2017 boom and bust. Overall risk appetite in markets took a knock after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell refrained from pushing back against the recent climb in long-term borrowing costs.
“Bitcoin was another victim of Fed Chair Powell’s hesitancy to push back over rising Treasury yields,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, wrote in an email. While the coin’s fundamentals are robust, it may be “vulnerable in the short term” if the slide in equities continues over the next week, he said.
Long-time proponent Michael Novogratz at Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd. remains bullish, reiterating a prediction that Bitcoin will probably hit $100,000 before the end of the year. He argued in a Bloomberg TV interview that it and other digital currencies have become “an institutional asset class” and banks are “frantically” trying to get in on the action.
Bitcoin slid 21% last week but is still up more than fivefold in the past year. On one narrative, the token can hedge inflation risk and the debasement of fiat currencies — akin to gold — and is set become a bigger part of institutional portfolios. A rival view depicts a stimulus-fueled bubble set to pop.
“We’re still at an early stage in the institutional adoption of crypto in asset allocation,” a team led by Inigo Fraser-Jenkins, head of global quantitative strategy at Sanford C. Bernstein in London, wrote in a note Friday. But the team added that a fundamental valuation of Bitcoin is “simply impossible.”
— With assistance by Cormac Mullen
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