Wall Street’s appetite for bitcoin seems to insatiable.
Just scanning the wires this morning there are numerous stories on the crypto and how its being subsumed by different entities in the financial sector.
Bloomberg has this mention in a bitcoin/gold analysis:
“Trading platform LedgerX LLC last month won regulatory approval from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission to act as a clearing house for derivatives settled in digital currencies. The ability to short or take leveraged positions in digital currencies could open them to a far wider array of investors.
So starting Oct. 4, Ledger will begin running a cryptocurrency futures market, which could greatly expand positions in crypto beyond what is “minted,” much like precious metals market in time.
Then Bloomberg doubled down with this news piece on hedge funds getting into pre-ICOs or initial coin offerings before the public and flipping them on the open for big wins.
This is not new, since it has been a practice of insiders to get shares pre-IPO and flip them soon after the initial pop at the opening of trading.
So what does this mean for the price of bitcoin and other cryptos? Well no trader will suffer the slings and arrows of his Managing Director with 10% losses overnight betting directly on bitcoin or other coins or tokens.
It’s not a good use of capital on an assets that is to volatile for most trading desks. So you devise alternatives, which carry less volatility but still can capitalize on the upside.
This is the benefit of futures contracts. Less capital-intensive, with the ability to take larger positions at fraction of the cost. Or you fund a new cryptocurrency and receive a large stake, which triples your investment over a short period of time.
These are the ways Wall Street gets into the upside of bitcoin and others, without being called “stupid” by JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Smart money almost always beats fast money.
So with the bulge-bracket banks and hedge funds taking these positions, the volatility on bitcoin pricing could soar, with even wilder price fluctuations as the paper trades have a bigger impact than straight out buying or selling of the digital currencies.