1 An unfavorable context
Since last November, cryptocurrencies have been unscrewing. Bitcoin notably went from 70,000 to 20,000 dollars in almost six months. The consequence, explains Paul Chollet, economist in the Crédit Mutuel Arkéa trading room, of the announcement by the Fed, the American central bank, of a rise in key rates, synonymous with a higher cost of money. , particularly in the USA where households live on credit. The evolution of the balance sheet and of the liquidity – the capacity to buy and especially to sell without influencing in a disproportionate way on the courses – also explains the situation.
“For the first time since the start of the covid crisis, the Fed announced that it was going to slow down its asset purchases. Today, the balance sheet is contracting each month by 50 billion dollars, whereas it still increased by 120 billion last October. In total, the Fed’s balance sheet will have more than doubled during the covid crisis, from $4 trillion to $9 trillion.”
Monetary tightening should still persist at the start of September with an American key rate that should be close to 3% at the end of the year. Such a return will lead investors to remain focused on the less risky bond market.
2 After two record years
The situation should be put into perspective, even if the crashes are multiplying for these emerging currencies, as for the UST stablecoin of Terra Luna. “We still have a price, especially Bitcoin, which is almost three times higher than it was before the covid crisis”, recalls the economist for whom the model is not called into question.
If the situation were to return to the 2019 level, Bitcoin could drop as low as $12,000, but the value has already made significant yo-yos in the past. Especially since more than half of the central banks decided to raise their key rate in June and the ECB will follow shortly. A first since the Internet bubble of 2002.
3 A high-risk market
However, the turn has already been taken in the emerging economies. Already ahead in the early 2000s on mobile payment, they use cryptocurrency for free money transfer. It should not take long in the euro zone where banks are watching closely the initiatives of the major American banks which have already launched their products in Bitcoin, Goldman Sachs being the first.
Crédit Mutuel Arkéa remains attentive to the emergence of this phenomenon, like other players in the sector.? “But this is a universe which, in the coming years, will remain a high-risk universe,” underlines the economist.
Some investment funds are nonetheless beginning to return to it. The projects of central banks to create their crypto, like the e-yuan, benefiting from confidence and reserves which this time have nothing virtual about them, also testify to this evolution.
However, this future will not necessarily be favorable to all cryptocurrencies. “Bitcoin could continue to suffer from its energy-intensive model,” said Paul Chollet.