Against a backdrop of China’s yuan hitting its lowest level since 2008 this week, rattling global markets in the process, there’s a growing consensus that Bitcoin is becoming a safe haven asset.
The Chinese currency fell below the 7 to the dollar mark for the first time in more than a decade, fuelling falls in stocks and emerging market currencies as well as driving a rally in government bonds.
The decline in the yuan led to President Trump accusing China of being a ‘currency manipulator’, and subsequently saw more investors pile into Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as tensions mounted between the U.S. and China.
Although on Monday the People’s Bank of China stated the fall in the yuan was sparked by "unilateralism and trade protectionism measures and the imposition of tariff increases on China", the U.S. government responded by saying Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will now engage with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) "to eliminate the unfair competitive advantage created by China's latest actions".
As such, Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, soared 10 per cent as global stocks were rocked by the drop in China’s yuan as the trade war with the U.S. steps up.
Other cryptocurrencies including Ethereum, Litecoin, XRP and Bitcoin Cash also rallied on Monday.
To my mind, this is no coincidence. This shows that consensus is increasing that Bitcoin is becoming a flight-to-safety asset during times of market uncertainty.
The leading digital currency is, it would seem, currently realising its reputation as a form of digital gold, boosting the risk-adjusted returns of traditional investment portfolios.
Gold has always been regarded as the ultimate safe-haven asset. However, Bitcoin, which shares the same traits as gold in terms of being a store of value and paucity, could potentially depose gold in the future as the world becomes ever more digitalised.
Following the Trump administration officially calling China a currency manipulator, and with the President saying on Twitter: “China dropped the price of their currency to an almost a historic low. It’s called “currency manipulation”, tensions between the U.S. and China are again rocketing.
As such, as the tensions increase, investors can be expected to continue to increase their exposure to secure, decentralized, non-sovereign digital assets such as Bitcoin, in order to safeguard them from the turmoil happening in traditional markets.
Indeed, the risks linked to the ongoing trade tensions, China’s currency devaluation, and other geopolitical factors such as Brexit, will likely result in more and more institutional and retail investors looking to diversify their portfolios and mitigate the aforementioned risks by investing in cryptocurrencies.
In turn this will push the price of Bitcoin and other digital currencies higher. So much so that I am confident the Bitcoin price could reach $15,000 within a matter of weeks.
I’ve been saying for quite some time that cryptocurrencies are now almost globally viewed as the future of money. However, what has become evident this week is that they are being considered as a safe haven more so than ever before.
Nigel Green is founder and CEO of deVere Group. One of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organizations, de Vere does business in 100 countries and has more than $12 billion under advisement.
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