Reasons to Be Bullish About Bitcoin & Other Cryptocurrencies, According to Prominent Economics Professor

Panos Mourdoukoutas, an economics professor at the University of Pennsylvania, has argued that there are “a couple of signs” that the current cryptocurrency market rally could be “sustainable.”

Mourdoukoutas, who earned his Phd from the Stony Brook University, noted in a Forbes post (published on February 21st) that digital asset prices may continue to increase because the latest market rally “extended to the entire cryptocurrency chain.” Mourdoukoutas pointed out that the value of “only seven cryptocurrencies out of the top 100” depreciated in the past week.

Commenting on the recent surge in cryptoasset prices, Michael Noel, the CEO of Blockchain Consultants, remarked: 

Interestingly, it appears that the momentum behind the recent Bitcoin rise comes more from fiat and stablecoins than from other cryptocurrencies. This move from fiat currencies shows at least some consensus that BTC value, is better long term than in traditional currencies.

Bitcoin Usage Has Been "Really High Recently"

Noel added that the latest digital asset rally may also be partially attributed to increased enterprise interest in the crypto market. Established financial service providers and organizations including Western Union, the leading money transfer company, has been working closely with crypto firms such as American fintech Ripple Labs - in order to expedite cross-border payments.

Nasdaq, the world’s second largest stock exchange, recently introduced a new bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) tracking index. Meanwhile, Mastercard has been working with crypto payments solutions provider, Stellar - in order to make it easier to send money globally.

Bitcoin acceptance rates also appear to be increasing as Mati Greenspan, the senior market analyst at eToro, a leading social trading platform, revealed recently that BTC usage has been “really high recently.” Additionally, Greenspan mentioned that Google searches about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have picked up again.

JPMorgan Coin May Have Helped Legitimize Crypto Industry

Jeff Ramson, the founder and CEO of PCG Advisory, Inc., a company “dedicated to adding value in the small-cap, micro-cap and blockchain/cryptocurrency marketplace”, remarked:

Each day we are hearing of more well-known fiduciaries, banks, funds, etc. investing into crypto/blockchain infrastructure, and I believe Bitcoin is the proxy for most who want to have exposure to the crypto asset class, while these markets develop.

Ramson continued: “While not significant to the price of Bitcoin, in reality, [the introduction of JPMorgan’s own cryptocurrency or coin] has also given additional credibility to the space, which is helping with the price of Bitcoin; and I believe, this acceptance will help sustain the crypto asset class for the long run.”

The Coronavirus Outbreak Is Delaying China’s Digital Currency Research

China’s research into the launch of its own digital currency has reportedly been delayed over the coronavirus outbreak, which according to recent data has infected over 81,000 people worldwide and claimed the lives of 2,765.

According to the Global Times, an anonymous source close to the matter has detailed that the outbreak forced several government institutions to slow down. The source was quoted as saying:

The coronavirus outbreak has led to postponed work resumption in government institutions, including the People's Bank of China (PBC). Policymakers and research staff involved in the DCEP project are no exception, which weighs on the development process.

Commenting on the case the CEO of a Shenzhen-based blockchain firm involved in the launch of the digital currency, Shentu Qingchun, noted the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, was expected to make an important announcement during Q1 of this year.

Qingchun added, however, there’s only a month left and as such “chances that the announcement could be made on time are slim.” The currency, called Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP), is still being developed and officials are discussing scenarios in which it could circulate as cash.

The source noted that the digital currency could still be launched on time as the central bank has “abundant talent” that can help it deal with the delay in research. Per Shentu, since the DCEP is a digital currency it would help reduce hand-to-hand contact among individuals, which has helped the coronavirus outbreak spread. As such, policymakers could give the DCEP more attention.

The Global Times’ source added that research into the DCEP has “achieved fruitful results” and that it’s close to an end. The central bank’s research institute, per the report, has applied for 65 patents involving digital currencies, while its institute of printing science and technology has applied for 22.

Featured image by Floriane Vita on Unsplash.