Despite the stellar 900% return thus far in calendar year 2017 (CY17), rally in bitcoin
and other cryptocurrencies has more steam left, says Christopher Wood, managing director & equity strategist at CLSA.
“GREED & fear
would be surprised if the cryptocurrency
story did not run further. But the longer term story is whether governments regulate cryptocurrencies out of existence or co-opt blockchain technology for their own purposes. Meanwhile, an old fashioned GREED & fear
stocks even though it is clear that money that might otherwise have gone into gold
plays of late has been attracted to the crypto phenomenon,” Wood writes.
Thus far in CY17, bitcoin
has rallied over 900%, far outshining returns from the other asset classes such as equities, gold, fixed income and real estate. The sharp rally over the past few months and the wild swings on an intra-day basis have not only raised concerns over the sustainability of the rally, but also generated the need to regulate the cryptocurrency.
While conceding that blockchain technology seemingly offers a way to remove the middleman from financial transactions, former US Federal Reserve (US Fed) governor, Ben Bernanke, opined last month that cryptocurrencies would never replace fiat currency because governments would “take whatever action necessary” to ensure that never happens.
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“This to GREED & fear
seems a reasonable assumption which is why the libertarian aspect of cryptocurrencies is of limited practical import in the real world if only because of its abuse by criminal elements, which then justifies government action,” Wood says.
Adding: “Just as the internet in China has been used by the mainland government to enable increased social control, the application of blockchain technology, by digitalising assets such as real estate, could accelerate the current attack on cash.”
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