Mars Finance 2021-06-18 18:49:44 阅读数:778
writing | Zach Pandl, Global FX Co Chairman
translate | [email protected] Mars Finance
Although bitcoin is accepted by many investors , But it's still hard for many traditional investors to understand why digital assets are valuable . Because the price of bitcoin is growing fast , A large number of retail investors are involved , Many people regard cryptocurrency clustering as a typical speculative craze or “ bubble ”. Over time , Whether bitcoin will be an excellent investment target , This view is too narrow . But to some extent , Bitcoin can be seen as a “ Value storage ” medium , One serves the function of money . As institutional engagement increases , Cryptocurrency has become a macro asset .
The need to store value
To understand bitcoin , Better start with gold . Gold has a unique function in the global financial system , It's both a commodity , It's also a kind of currency “ Value storage ” assets . However , Different from the traditional monetary media , It's not issued by the government , No goods or assets are valued . actually , When investors are uncertain about the security of traditional assets or general legal tender （ for example , Because of the risk of inflation or confiscation ）, Gold can be used as an alternative monetary tool in the world . In the foreign exchange market , Gold is similar to “ Reverse currency ”, When sovereign currency fundamentals improve , There will be a downward trend in the price of gold ; When sovereign currency fundamentals deteriorate , The price of gold is on the rise . Over time , The most important driver of the nominal exchange rate is the relative inflation rate between the two economies . There is a quasi fixed supply of gold , Value tends to rise with market inflation . Gold's relevance and value storage make it diversified in its portfolio .
At first , Gold may be regarded as a monetary medium because of its basic characteristics . Gold and copper are the only metals that are not gray in nature , It's been attracting people since ancient times . The density of gold is relatively high 、 It's malleable and malleable , And unlike other metals , Gold doesn't change color 、 Rust or corrosion . These characteristics of gold have supported its role as a monetary instrument throughout history .
The use of gold today has a lot to do with habits , But it's also about the physical properties of metals . After all , The dollar is also a store of value , And it's made of paper . Money is like language , It's a social device , It's closer to a concept , Not something . Money is a social device that promotes commerce , Just as language is a device that promotes our lives . For society , It is useful to have a currency that is not issued by a sovereign government .
Throughout history , As bitcoin players and currency historians like to point out , Different things have been used as money , It's determined by the demands of place and time . For example, tobacco based monetary standards in the early American colonies , And mobile phone talk time, which is often used as currency throughout Africa . today , The monetary function of gold is mainly as a historical relic , It's not because it's the best medium for social value storage needs .
When inflation is 20 In the middle of the century , When investors seek to protect the real value of their assets , Gold is of course the best choice . at that time , Currencies linked the dollar to gold through the Bretton Woods gold exchange standard , Before the Great Depression , Most currencies and U.S. Treasury bills are backed directly by gold . The U.S. government provides an official gold price in dollars , stay 1790 S to 1970 In the last two centuries of the s , The price has only changed twice . stay 20 century 60 years , Under the gold exchange standard , Gold trading above its official price is the most obvious way to watch the dollar depreciate . In short , For most of the time after World War II , The price of gold 、 There is a close relationship between monetary stability and the real value of money , This makes it an obvious inflation hedge in the portfolio . but 50 Years ago , When President Nixon was 1971 year 8 When the convertibility of U.S. dollar and gold ends in June , The official link between the dollar and the price of gold has been cut . therefore , Asset holders grew up in a world where there was no tight link between gold and money . therefore , When there's a need for value storage assets , Will they look for something else ？
Gold in the digital age That's what bitcoin does . Any alternative medium must be secure , De centralization , There is a fixed or quasi fixed supply , And it can be transferred , It's better to stay away from the traditional payment system . In the modern globalized society , A lot of social interaction and business activities take place on the Internet （ Especially among young people ）. But most of all , It needs to have the potential to be widely adopted by society . therefore , Bitcoin, as a credible alternative to gold, is the best candidate .
In equilibrium , An unstable store of value like bitcoin won't help much . But cryptocurrency is in its infancy , It's better to think of today's prices as some kind of probabilistic reflection , That is, bitcoin or other tokens may be accepted on a larger scale in the future , It could be very expensive at that time . therefore , Small changes in these probabilities can lead to high volatility in today's prices . Bitcoin investors speculate , It will eventually gain near universal acceptance as a non sovereign currency , And get high returns in the process , Of course, it also has high volatility .
in addition , The key to bitcoin's success has won widespread social adoption . Tesla is standard & Poor's 500 The sixth largest enterprise in the index , Carrying bitcoin on its balance sheet ; Famous hedge funds Brevan Howard Has started investing in cryptocurrencies ;Coinbase Now it's listed on NASDAQ . Other blockchain networks , Especially Ethereum , Developing a decentralized banking platform ,Facebook It is expected to launch its stable currency later this year Diem, Many central banks are exploring distributed ledger technology for their digital currencies . In the long run , Will bitcoin succeed as a store of value , It's still an open question . as time goes on , Bitcoin's consumption of resources may become a resistance , But for now , The social acceptance and application of cryptocurrency are developing forward .
Bitcoin as a macro asset
Bitcoin is mature enough , Its price behavior is similar to that of other macro assets . for example , stay 3 month 17 At the meeting on , The Fed said , Most policy makers expect 2023 Interest rates will not be raised until next year , Later than the financial markets expected . Macro assets have a traditional effect on “ Dove policy impact ” React ： Yields on shorter maturities have fallen , The yield curve steepens , The dollar fell , The stock price went up . Bitcoin goes up , Like gold , But volatility is about four times that of gold . Investors should treat bitcoin in this way . Gold is a commodity , It has the function of money , Acting like money .
Although bitcoin is not a physical commodity found in the earth's crust , It's a digital commodity created through cryptography , But bitcoin still has the attributes of gold . From a market point of view , The main difference between the two assets is , Bitcoin is going through a one-off phase of social adoption , It may succeed , It can also fail . When social adoption increases , Bitcoin should offer a higher return than gold . When social adoption declines （ for example , Due to adverse regulatory changes ）, Bitcoin will probably offer worse returns than gold . Due to the speculative nature of asset classes and the high degree of uncertainty surrounding valuation , Investors should be prepared for the fundamentals that prices exceed in two directions . Although over time , Bitcoin has generally appreciated , But there have been waves of speculative excess returns , Then there was a big drop .
Technical issues aside , The current macroeconomic outlook seems to be good for value storage assets , Whether it's physical or digital . The Fed has adopted a more ambitious labor market goal , Broad and inclusive full employment , And it seems to be more tolerant of above target inflation than in the past . Economists predict , In the years to come , Real cash yields across the developed market economy will remain negative , The multiples of the stock market are at an all-time high . Many developing countries will cooperate with 19 We should fight against the financial problems left over by the economic crisis in the 21st century . In this environment , Unless investors can find other sources of real return , Otherwise, demand for assets that protect purchasing power should remain high .
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