But is the worst almost over? After all, volatility has been a constant in this nascent industry. Crypto is famous for big dips and amazing epic comebacks.
So, could cryptocurrency prices and stocks be bullish again in 2023? Some crypto bulls think so… but they believe investors should have more reasonable expectations.
“It’s very clear that as an industry we need to build better products,” said Hany Rashwan, CEO of 21.co, a crypto investment firm. “There was a lot of fluff in the past bull market. People were following the exuberance.”
Still, Rashwan said he was a little surprised that the crypto carnage wasn’t even worse.
As bad as the recent selloff has been (bitcoin fell more than 15% in November alone), the price of bitcoin is still hovering around $17,000. That’s nearly three times where prices were at the depths of the crypto bear market in the early pandemic days of 2020.
“How are we still close to $17,000? That says something. It shows that people are still using cryptocurrencies and trying to protect their assets. Confidence has not been shaken,” Rashvan said.
Others point out that the blockchain technology behind bitcoin and cryptocurrency remains strong.
John Avery, head of strategy and product for crypto, Web3 and capital markets, said: “We will see some challenges for the near term. But we expect improvements eventually. That will be a catalyst. There will be increased institutional adoption.” FIS.
Avery said he expects to see more regulatory clarity for cryptocurrencies in 2023. This will ultimately be a good thing.
“There is always a need to balance innovation and investor protection,” he said. “Regulation doesn’t always solve all of this. But it’s important.”
Others point out that the rapid demise of FTX should also serve to strengthen the companies that survived this cryptocurrency crisis. Coinbase, in particular, could stand to gain over the long term, despite the stock’s current weakness.
“The rapid failure of FTX will require additional regulatory oversight and scrutiny of the sector, which we expect will translate into clearer guidelines for crypto market participants,” said Fadi Massih, vice president of the financial institutions group with Moody’s Investors Service. “This is likely to benefit Coinbase given its size and more entrenched position in the sector.”
But the cryptocurrency’s troubles should hopefully prove to investors once and for all that bitcoin is not (nor will it ever be) a substitute for the US dollar or other government-backed currencies. Cryptocurrencies are still a speculative asset. This is not a problem in itself. But investors just need to be aware of the risks.
“Cryptocurrencies are praised by some for their decentralized nature, ease of transactions, and low transaction costs, but even the oldest cryptocurrency, bitcoin, continues to be more volatile than stocks and bonds, which precludes it from being a reliable store of value,” he said. Private Wealth Chief Investment Officer Jason Pride and Glenmede’s Vice President of Investment Strategy Michael Reynolds in a report.
Pride and Reynolds added that it’s a mistake to think that bitcoin can hold up well during stock market volatility. Instead, this year has proven that cryptocurrency is not a good hedge, especially when tech stocks tank. As such, it also “severely limits its use as a portfolio diversifier.”
The earnings parade continues
The chaos in cryptocurrency comes at a time when the broader stock market has made a truly stunning comeback. Investors welcome the prospect of a smaller rate hike from the Federal Reserve. As consumers and businesses continue to spend, they are hopeful that corporate profits will beat forecasts.
But one market strategist worries that the fourth-quarter and 2023 results could disappoint Wall Street. A rate hike by the Fed could ultimately affect demand.
“Earnings are starting to come down,” said Kevin Barry, chief investment officer at Summit Financial.
The next one
Monday: US ISM services index; China Caixin services PMI