- Bitcoin has transformed into a store of value for institutional investors.
- When big names buy Bitcoin, its price goes up.
Bitcoin is often regarded as a speculative instrument used by marginal retail traders to get a couple of quick bucks. This might be the case during the bubble of 2017 when the whole world and his wife talked about BTC and wanted to get instantly rich, inspired by the endless stories of overnight "bitcoin millionaires".
However, this time it is different because Bitcoin's bull trend is driven by large investors and high-profile financial companies that have flooded the cryptocurrency market in 2020. The most recent price upswings were caused entirely by big players buying Bitcoin.
When a whale buys, Bitcoin goes up
Bitcoin's price reaction to major announcements
MicroStrategy becomes a trend-setter
The trend started in June when the business analytic company MicroStrategy announced the decision to start buying Bitcoins. BTC gained $1,500 in a single day and continued drifting higher towards $12,000.
On August 11, the company eventually purchased over 21,000 Bitcoins, creating another boost that sent BTC towards the highest level of the year at $12,500.
At that time, BTC failed to retain the bullish momentum and after a short-term consolidation period, it dropped to $10,000. MicroStrategy came to the rescue again in the middle of September with an additional acquisition of 16,796 BTC and euphoric comments from its CEO Mike Saylor about how Bitcoin is an excellent way to preserve the capital.
Even though BTC retreated from the top, MicroStrategy's first investment was still in a green zone, while its shares spiralled higher like there is no tomorrow. At the time of writing, they are trading at $342 from $142 at the beginning of the year.
MicroStrategy's shares chart
Square and PayPal make the difference
On October 9, Jack Dorsey's payment processing company Square announced the purchase of Bitcoins worth $50 million. While it is no more than 2% of the total asset value of the company, the news pushed BTC from the depressingly tight range and set the stage for a new bullish move towards $12,000.
Once the price hit the critical barrier, PayPal dropped a bombshell, announcing that it would allow users to buy, sell and hold Bitcoins in their wallets on the platform. The news sent BTC from $11,900 to $13,200 in a matter of hours and set the stage for a strong bullish trend, which is still dominating the market.
A sustainable move above the previous high of the year improved the technical picture and attracted more speculative buyers to the market. However, PayPal served as a catalyst that set the ball rolling.
Bill Miller shills Bitcoin
Bill Miller, a Wall Street legend and a founder of investment manager Miller Value Partners, confessed that at least $1 billion out of two owned by his company came from Bitcoin investments. Moreover, he named Bitcoin the "single best-performing asset class" in the last year, five-year and 10-year periods and "strongly" recommends buying it at current prices.
[Bitcoin has] been very volatile, but I think right now it's staying power gets better every day. I think the risks of bitcoin going to zero are much, much lower than they've ever been before, he said in the interview with CNBC.
BTC was trading around $14,000 at that time; however, after Miller's comments, the price catapulted to $15,700. That was the beginning of November 2020, one of the best months in Bitcoin's history, that ended with a new record high reached at $19,864 (data from Bithumb).
Whoa! Another billionaire comes as a secret Bitcoin lover
In less than a week after Miller's announcement, another famous billionaire and legendary Wall Street investor, Stanley Druckenmiller, confessed that he had been owning BItcoins and believed that it was better than gold.
I'm a bit of a dinosaur, but I have warmed up to the fact that bitcoin could be an asset class that has a lot of attraction as a store of value, he said in the interview with CNBC, exploding the myth that Bitcoin is the money for the young.
Moreover, he added that a Bitcoin bet would work better than gold because the new asset was thinner, less liquid and with higher beta. His comments helped BTC to climb above $16,000 and triggered a recent episode of FOMO on the market. People rushed to buy Bitcoins anticipating a new major bulls' trend. Forecasters and analysts started promoting the idea of $20,000 by the end of the year. As a result, in two weeks, BTC gained over $5,000 and hit $19,500.
Guggenheim, the company that stopped the correction
Guggenheim Partners, an investment company with over $200 billion assets under management, makes it into this Bitcoin story as the company that stopped the most recent bearish correction and pulled the trigger for the BTC rally to a new all-time high. The firm announced the decision to invest $500 million in Bitcoins via Grayscale's Bitcoin Trust product (GBTC), meaning that its high-profile customers, including pension funds and sovereign wealth funds will get indirect exposure to the cryptocurrency.
It's a mass adoption after all
What is happening is that Bitcoin is being adopted globally as a store of value. The process has just started as many more net-worth individuals, tech companies and investment behemoths will be joining the market in the coming months and years.