Today the value of Tesla stock set a new record high at $1,027, bringing the market capitalization to $188 billion, and also surpassing the total market cap of Bitcoin (BTC), which hovers at $181 billion.
While the value of Tesla stock and Bitcoin price are not interconnected, there is a symbolic comparison between the two as the same investor FOMO which drove several Bitcoin rallies in the past appears to be present in the stock market.
The stock price of Tesla hits an all-time high. Source: Tradingview
Will the FOMO spread to Bitcoin?
Recently, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced plans to move forward with the release of an autonomous semi-trailer truck and analysts speculate that this decision is partially fueling the stock’s rally.
While the hype surrounding the semi truck may have played a part in driving Tesla price upwards today, the entire stock market has been on an uptrend throughout the past week.
The Nasdaq, an exchange dominated by FAANG stocks including Microsoft, Apple, and Microsoft, is also continuing its rally above its record high. Despite the abrupt coronavirus-driven 37% plunge of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) in March, the Nasdaq is up more than 10% year-to-date.
The retail frenzy around the stock market has become so intense that professional traders say they have never seen anything close to it in the past several decades.
Dennis Dick, a trader with Bright Trading LLC, told Reuters:
“In my 20 years of experience I’ve never seen retail traders push stocks around like they’re doing right now.”
Bitcoin, in contrast, has not seen nearly as much retail demand since May. The top-ranked digital asset saw a strong uptrend from March to April as the price of BTC rebounded from $3,600 to $8,000 and eventually topped out at $10,440.
However, the noticeable shift in retail demand for risk-on assets like Bitcoin to stocks raises uncertainty around BTC in the short to medium-term.
Bitcoin spot volume consistently dropped since May. Source: Skew
As retail investors in the U.S. predominantly focus on stocks, traders question where the next demand source for Bitcoin will come from. Based on Bitcoin's price trend in the last six months, the most likely source of demand in the near-term are institutions.
According to Fidelity, more than one third of institutional investors in the U.S. are invested in either Bitcoin or Ether.
Combine this with the record high inflow of institutional funds into Graycale’s publicly-traded Bitcoin investment vehicle and one could conclude that institutions may lead the next Bitcoin rally.
The crypto market needs a retail-fueled frenzy
Since late May there has been a lack of volatility in the cryptocurrency market as retail trading activity in Bitcoin futures and spot markets have seemingly shifted into the U.S. stock market.
In order for Bitcoin to begin a new sustained upsurge, the crypto asset needs to see higher levels of spot volume as seen in mid-May.