'This Year, the Narrative is Bitcoin, Bitcoin, Bitcoin': Meltem Demirors

The Bitcoin (BTC) price has more than doubled since the beginning of this year, and it is currently trading at $8,108.91 according to CryptoCompare data.

Notably, the world’s most dominant cryptocurrency has surged by as much as 30% in the past week.

This Year, The "Narrative Is Bitcoin"

Commenting on the crypto market rally, during a recent interview with CNBC’s Fast Money, Meltem Demirors, the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at CoinShares, a digital assets treasury management firm, said that there’s “a lot of great progress being made.”

Demirors, a mathematical economics graduate from Rice University, believes that this year, “the narrative is Bitcoin” whereas last year it was about “speculative new tokens and protocols.”

According to Demirors: 

[It’s] good to see a return to Bitcoin and everyone is feeling good…and we’re seeing signs of life...there’s a lot of confidence right now.

Institutions Now Have A Better Understand Of How Bitcoin Works

She pointed out that critics had been arguing that Bitcoin transactions take too long to process and that the cryptocurrency is not scalable. In order to address this issues, several different blockchain projects were launched, however Demirors thinks it’s “really hard” to effectively resolve all the problems associated with the Bitcoin network.

She also mentioned:

What we saw in the meantime, [as other projects experimented with various new potential use cases for cryptos], the institutions that had spent the last two or three years learning about Bitcoin, started to understand it, and started to actually build platforms and products that [work with] Bitcoin directly…[Currently,] Bitcoin is the [digital] asset people know best, [and] it has the biggest brand name.

Expressing views similar to most crypto analysts, Demirors confirmed that Bitcoin has the most secure cryptocurrency network out of all other cryptocurrencies. She pointed out that Microsoft, which had been experimenting with the Ethereum network, is now in the process of implementing decentralized identity management solution on top of the Bitcoin blockchain.

High Volatility In Tech Stocks Is Making Bitcoin “Not Look So Crazy To Investors”

Demirors believes there’s currently a lot of global macroeconomic-related unrest and there’s also a lot of volatility in the markets. She added:

Times have changed, this is not 2018. The end of 2018 was rough in capital markets. Now we’re seeing a lot of volatility in tech stocks. So, Bitcoin is starting to look maybe not so crazy to investors.

Per the CoinShares CSO, financial privacy-related crypto technology is becoming increasingly popular. This, as new regulations will be introduced, in order to ensure that people’s data is not being used by third parties without their approval.

Bitcoin Still More Suitable For Retail Investors, Not Institutions

Responding to a question about bitcoin’s price movements, Demirors said that “the more people that decide to hold the [pseudonymous cryptocurrency,] the better it is for the price.” She also thinks Square’s Cash app is one of the main ways institutional investors gain exposure to Bitcoin.

However, she acknowledged that Bitcoin is still better suited for retail consumers and not so much yet for institutions.

Institutional Derivatives Volumes Went Cold After Crypto Market Crash: CryptoCompare

  • Institutional derivatives trading plummeted following March's crypto market crash according to latest CryptoComapre report. 
  • Mar. 13 generated the highest daily volumes in cryptocurrency history, generating $75.9bn in trades. 

Volume trading on institutional derivatives plummeted following the crypto market crash in March. 

According to the  CryptoCompare March 2020 Exchange Review, institutional derivatives volumes tanked following the market crash on Mar. 12, which saw the price of bitcoin drop as low as $3,800. Trading volume across institutional exchanges, including CME, declined more than 43% in March compared to the month before. 

According to the report, 

Institutional appetite for derivatives products appeared to decline rapidly following the BTC crash, with CME losing 44% of volume compared to February. Trading volumes totalled $7.36bn in March compared to $13.1bn in February.

cryptocompare march 2020 guideVolume trading across crypto exchanges in March 2020 | Source: CryptoCompare

The report found that CME options trading, which launched in January of this year, have not seen significant improvements in volume and are far from generating the activity seen on rival crypto exchange Deribit. 

Despite the market crash, Mar 13. brought about the highest daily volumes in cryptocurrency history, generating $75.9bn in trades. Lower Tier exchanges accounted for the majority of the volume at $54.3bn, while Top Tier volumes also set a record at $21.6bn in daily trades. 

According to the report, spot volumes surged in Q1 2020, with Top Tier exchanges increasing month-on-month since December 2019. Even with the economic uncertainty of the coronavirus, spot volumes for Top Tier exchanges increased 35% on average vs February.

While crypto experienced its single largest day of volume trading, March’s overall volume failed to reach the same levels of Dec. 2017’s crypto bull run.

The report reads, 

Despite the March price crash, volume levels for these exchanges still haven’t reached those seen in the Dec-2017 bull run. Overall, volumes across all Top Tier exchanges increased 8.0% to $288Bn in March.

Binance was the largest Top Tier exchange by volume in March, trading $63.6bn, an increase of 19.2% over the month before. OKEx generated the second-largest volume of $47.7 bn, down 8.2% from February. Coinbase experienced the largest percent increase in volume trading during March, generating $13.3bn, up 41.9%.

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