What a difference a week makes! One short week ago, Bitcoin was hovering around the $25,000 mark with many predicting it would test the depths of the $20,000 waters. News about crypto exchanges Binance and Coinbase in the SEC’s cross hairs being the primary reason. Just one week later, Bitcoin is up over 21%, breaking $31,000.
As influencer James Lavish pointed out in a recent Tweet, “A reminder for those who believe Bitcoin is only volatile to the downside: Bitcoin traded from $29,188 to $58,385 between Jan 27th and Feb 21st, 2021. That's a 100% move higher in 25 days.”
So what's different from last week? Well the “smart money” has finally shown their hand and taken a stake in Bitcoin. BlackRock and Fidelity have filed for Bitcoin ETF. and a previously announced Schwab, Citadel, and Fidelity backed EDX, an exchange featuring Bitcoin, went live on the heels of the BlackRock news. What’s more, Jerome Powell, head Fed said “crypto appears to have staying power as an asset class,” when he testified yesterday before lawmakers.
We’ve been subjected to a whiplash of bullish and bearish Bitcoin and crypto predictions on mainstream and social media platforms given the implosion of FTX and SEC lawsuits against Biance and Coinbase. However, the biggest legacy financial institutions have understood for a long time that Bitcoin is a commodity that can not be halted or regulated out of existence. They intuitively knew it was better to take a stand with a Bitcoin strategy then be left behind.
Another major event less than a year away is the halving of new Bitcoin, currently available at 900 per day will be cut in half to 450 in under a year which will further drive interest and investment as it becomes more scarce and thus more valuable. As the price inevitably goes up, many new applications and transactions will be running on layer 2 bitcoin such as Lightning. Alternative business models and applications built on the Bitcoin Blockchain will be used by millions of consumers on a daily basis in the next five years. The way people interact and transact with each other online will be much different.
So it’s about time Big Fin woke up, and not a moment too soon. Ironically, two years ago, I formed my Bitcoin Blockchain company STRI Labs. I went to Silicon Valley Bank and First Republic with warm introductions to set up a simple operational account to run a lab exploring blockchain applications. Both turned me down flat with the only reason being “we were in the blockchain.” I had to laugh to myself because Silicon Valley Bank was supposed to be the one that embraced technology innovation. Two years later we all know what happened to both these institutions. Finally, legacy financial institutions are admitting it’s better to be early then late to the inevitable change that’s happening. I haveI to wonder, who else will wake up and announce their Bitcoin strategy in the next few months?
All the best,