A senior analyst at asset management firm Bridgewater believes that regulation could potentially make Bitcoin (BTC) a good asset for institutional investors.
Bridgewater director of investment research Rebecca Patterson claimed that regulatory certainty around Bitcoin would solve some of the cryptocurrency’s biggest problems associated with high volatility and low liquidity.
In a Feb. 24 interview with Bloomberg, Patterson said that issues like volatility and liquidity remain the main hurdles for Bridgewater’s potential move into Bitcoin.
“Right now Bitcoin can move 10% on a tweet, that’s not exactly a store of wealth for most institutional investors. So the volatility of Bitcoin is about 10 times that of your dollar, it’s still double that of the Venezuelan bolivar,” the executive said.
Patterson went on to say that both the volatility problem and liquidity issues would subside if Bitcoin becomes a better-regulated asset:
“The more you get a real regulatory ecosystem developing around Bitcoin and other currencies, the more other types of investors are going to be comfortable coming in, that’s going to bring liquidity, that’s going to reduce the volatility.”
“So I guess if there was one thing I were watching first, it would be seeing more regulatory certainty,” Patterson said, adding, “I'm not sure when that’s going to come in the U.S.”
Patterson also said that she doesn’t look at Bitcoin as an “alternative currency” but rather as digital gold. “If anything, it’s an alternative to gold or digital gold. I think that would be the better comparison,” she said. Patterson said that many investors have been looking to Bitcoin over concerns about inflation triggered by central bank money printing. However, for Bridgewater, Bitcoin still needs to prove its status as digital gold:
“As institutional investors, we don't know yet if it’s going to be digital gold, it may be over time, but I don’t think we can say that with confidence yet. And that affects whether or not our client should own it.”