With the Bitcoin community frenzy ahead of the pending approval of the ETF in March, there now seems to be a complete deviation from the narrative of China being the main determinant of Bitcoin price movement.
While some industry insiders think the Securities and Exchange Commission’s approval of a Bitcoin ETF will spike, as American Banker put it, a “speculative rush into the digital currency,” the rise in populist view in the US and Europe is gradually being identified as another key factor after it recently shored up the digital currency to a one-month high of $1,060.
Though the rise in Bitcoin price was reportedly supported by a surge in speculative activity on Chinese Bitcoin exchanges after a drop in China's foreign exchange reserves to an almost six-year low, the Chinese factor will likely wane completely if the promotion of a shift to a populist approach continues in one of Europe’s largest economies, France.
The situation, which seemingly points at a possible euro-zone exit, looks headed towards a Bitcoin trading buzz that could have a global impact and supersede what has been seen in the past, including in China.
As a political view that is aimed at representing the will of the ordinary people, populism is against globalization. It contributed to the Brexit stance that would likely see the UK opt out of the European Union soon and was identified as instrumental in the emergence of Donald Trump as the US President.
New French currency
Now it is the turn of France.
A recent poll that was released last weekend shows that the country’s far-right candidate, Marine Le Pen, of the National Front Party, will likely win the first round of the April presidential election.
The poll by JP Morgan, which puts Le Pen’s chance of victory at 3 percent, says the euro could fall by about 10 percent to the dollar in weeks and the price of oil falling by between 5 to 10 percent if and when she eventually wins.
Le Pen seeks a “return to monetary sovereignty,” a view that tows the populist view that brought Trump to power. She plans to lead her country out of the EU monetary arrangement, the euro, if she gets to be France’s president in May with a proposal to other EU countries to replace their single unit currency with new national currencies. She also plans to nullify the independence of the country’s central bank.
Even with a decline of this proposal by other EU countries, her adviser, Bernard Monot, stated at a recent rally that it would allow the new French currency to float freely.
This growing sentiment seems so strong that it couldn’t be slowed down by the news of a meeting summoned by the People’s Bank of China with top local Bitcoin exchanges on Wednesday, Feb. 8. It caused the price of the digital currency to fall slightly but unlike in previous similar circumstances, the price bounced back almost immediately in a somewhat support of a theory that China does not currently lead the globally traded volumes of Bitcoin.
According to Le Pen’s proposal, a devaluation would be good for the French economy. London-based Capital Economics has also suggested that countries like Italy, which are struggling with growth in the face of a growing performance difference among eurozone members, would find the idea of devaluation appealing. If it becomes a reality, it may spread faster than expected.
Le Pen is leading in polling for the first round of voting on April 23. However, no survey has yet predicted that she would win the run-off two weeks later.