Alex Mashinsky, chief executive officer (CEO) of cryptocurrency lending platform Celsius Network, thinks Bitcoin (BTC) hasn’t become enough of a non-correlated asset for investors to turn to it in the current financial crisis.
In an April 22 interview on the David Pakman Show, Mashinsky said the cryptocurrency didn’t see a significant surge at the start of the pandemic because “if you take any snippet over the last year, you would see very high correlation [between BTC and] the stock market.”
This correlation combined with the current crisis may be enough to deter many investors from Bitcoin. While Cointelegraph has reported Bitcoin was more correlated with gold following the March 12 crash rather than stocks, crypto in general still has a reputation for volatility.
“Five years ago,” Mashinsky said, “BTC looked volatile against stocks” but now it “looks more stable than the stock market — it only moves 2% a day, and the stock market moves 5–10%.”
Using Netflix — the best-performing stock from 2010 to 2019 — as an example, Mashinsky highlighted the fact BTC was still “2,000 times better than the world champion of the stock market” given the price skyrocketing in that timeframe.
Oil going negative
The CEO also cited the recent oil crash as part of the irony surrounding Bitcoin volatility. The price of oil recently went negative for the first time as companies paid traders to take barrels off their hands. However, this historic crash led only to a modest fallout for BTC. As of press time, the price remains in the $7,000s.
“Oil is just the first one to hit [due to COVID-19]” Mashinsky said, “You’re going to see other industries going through the same type of recycling.”
What will get investors to Bitcoin?
The coronavirus pandemic has led to mass liquidations across many markets, including some crypto holders who need fast cash. However, Mashinsky believes that the measures proposed to stabilize the U.S. economy — stimulus packages and other government spending — will ultimately get many investors to see Bitcoin as the safer gamble in a tumultuous world economy.
As there is currently more money in bonds than stocks, the measures used may weaken the U.S. dollar, potentially causing bondholders to reassess their needs and turn to crypto.
“A bet on Bitcoin is a bet that the deflationary pressures will win,” Mashinsky said. “When everyone gets nervous, they all go to cash, that includes selling Bitcoin, but it’s still one of the best stores of value that exists out there.”