Bitcoin Futures Helped Deflate Bitcoin's Bubble, Economist Claims

Francisco Memoria
  • Joost van der Burgt, a policy advisor at the Dutch National Bank, has recently argued BTC futures contracts helped deflate the crypto market's bubble.
  • If they weren't introduced, he implied, BTC would reach even higher levels, and subsequently crash to new lows.

Joost van der Burgt, a policy advisor at the Dutch National Bank, has recently argued bitcoin futures contracts helped save the cryptocurrency from seeing its supposed bubble inflate even more, and subsequently crash harder.

The economist, according to CNBC, claimed there was an almost “perfect match” between Google searches for bitcoin and the cryptocurrency’s price, until bitcoin futures contracts were introduced late last year.

Joost van der Burgt argued it might not have been a coincidence bitcoin futures contracts were introduced when BTC hit its all-time high. He said:

My take on it is that because of the introduction of futures, that might have deflated the bubble before it got to a level where it might burst completely.

Joost van der Burgt

The economist reportedly compared the price of other assets with their search interest on Google, and found no correlation between them. He concluded that public awareness can help drive an investment to “sky-high levels,” presumably implying that’s what happened to the flagship cryptocurrency.

He noted that when the “buzz is everywhere” fear of missing out sets in, and as a result “everybody’s trying to get a piece of it.” This, he added, is the “euphoria” phase of a bubble, according to the theory of late US economist Hyman Minsky.

Minsky’s financial instability hypothesis defended an asset bubble has five states: displacement, boom, euphoria, profit-taking, and panic. As CryptoGlobe covered, back in June van der Burgt argued the displacement phase for bitcoin came years after Satoshi Nakamoto released its white paper.

The second phase, per his theory, was characterized by bitcoin’s price rise, which subsequently led to the euphoria phase that saw companies add “blockchain” to their name so their stock prices would surge. At the time, van der Burgt claimed we were at the “profit-taking” phase given the cryptocurrency’s decline.

According to CNBC’s report bitcoin’s price decline, which saw it go from an all-time high near $20,000 to little under $6,000 before recovering to about $6,950 at press time, fell short of the panic phase. The economist said it “wasn’t really panic, it was more of a scare.”

Notably, the co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors Tom Lee has argued bitcoin futures contracts were behind bitcoin’s “gut-wrenching” drop. Per Lee, the flagship cryptocurrency endured “dramatic price changes” around the times CBOE contracts expired.

As CryptoGlobe covered the average trading volume of futures contracts went up by 93% in the second quarter of this year, with the rate of interesting going up by 58% in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).