JPMorgan’s bitcoin bible: Crypto ‘unlikely to disappear’
At the same time, cryptocurrencies must overcome flaws and other considerations that present hurdles to their widespread adoption.
Here are the key takeaways from the 71-page report:
Cryptocurrencies are here to stay
Cryptocurrencies “are unlikely to disappear completely and could easily survive in varying forms and shapes among players who desire greater decentralization, peer-to-peer networks and anonymity, even as the latter is under threat,” JPMorgan said.
Read:Winklevoss: If you can’t see bitcoin at $320,000, you just lack imagination
Blockchain is the real deal
The power of blockchain from a storage and tracking perspective has vast potential. With both the data and access to the data encrypted, it offers security, which is in high demand. JPMorgan believes blockchain can assist banks in the areas of transparency, trade finance, and as a payment system.
The bank adds that the blockchain technology offers greater potential than cryptocurrencies, which are limited to a trading vehicle.
See:Vanguard’s chief economist: ‘Decent probability’ that bitcoin goes to zero
Bitcoin transactions are expensive
What is often an overlooked in the cost of buying or selling a financial security is its spread. This is predominantly because we live in a world that is flooded with liquidity. Whether it’s currencies, stocks, ETFs or futures, entering and exiting trades is cheap because spreads—the difference between the best bid and the best ask—are tight.
However, the spread investors face when buying and selling bitcoin remains expensive, which undercuts the argument that the digital currency can become a widely tradable asset.
The average spread to buy 10 bitcoin BTCUSD, in U.S. dollar terms is 2%. This means, if bitcoin is trading at $8,000, an investor could buy or sell 10 bitcoin with a spread of $7,920 / $8,080. Compare this to a widely traded currency, ETF or stock, which is transacted with a spread under well under 0.1%.
CryptoWatch: Check bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices, performance and market capitalization, in one dashboard
Bitcoin is volatile. Like, very volatile. While volatility can be a trader’s best friend, to those who are hoping for widespread adaptation, wild price moves are unwelcome. If large institutional investors are to begin using bitcoin, it will have to mature as a market and that means reduced volatility and tighter spreads.
“Based on its historical performance, [Cryptocurrencies] can be 10 times more volatile than core assets like stocks, or than portfolio hedges, like commodities,” JPMorgan said.
Lack of coordinated regulation
While U.S. regulators are moving to work together with Congress, JPMorgan noted that regulations vary widely from country to country and there’s been no coordinated effort in place to create a universal set of rules.
“So far, there is little global coordination on cybercurrency regulation,” JPMorgan said.
In many countries, trading bitcoin is banned, and in some countries like South Korea, capital controls see bitcoin trading at a large premium or discount.
While JPMorgan’s overall narrative is that cryptocurrencies are here to stay, they argue that the notion they are going to challenge the gold market or become a global currency remains a distant dream.
“It will be extremely hard for [cryptocurrencies] to displace and compete with government-issued currencies, as dollars to euros and yuan are virtual natural monopolies in their regions and will not easily give up their seigniorage profits,” JPMorgan said.
Last night the JP Morgan Bitcoin Bible was published for its private clients by JP Morgan Markets.
The Bitcoin Bible, or “Cryptobible” was first reported by Zero Hedge.
The Cryptobible is 71 pages of analysis and evaluation of the cryptocurrency market, Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple/XRP and other crypto assets and cryptocurrencies.
The report should be of great interest to anyone who has followed the comments by JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon about Bitcoin being a fraud and others’ comments at the firm about Bitcoin being a pyramid scheme.
Quotes from the Bitcoin Bible
I found out about the report from Zero Hedge, which has access to it. Some quotes via “Zero Hedge”:
“We believe the potential disruption from Blockchain cannot be ignored.”
“Technical signals can be very useful in gauging market direction and they have been sending the right signals in recent months…”
“We do not see cryptocurrencies competing with central bank-issued money for lawful transactions.”
“Some EMs (emerging markets), such as Venezuela and Russia, appear to be considering issuing CCs (cryptocurrencies) as a way to improve international funding and evade U.S. sanctions.”
“We examine the potential role of CCs in terms of offering diversification in a global portfolio, given both their high returns over the past several years and their low correlation with the major asset classes, offsetting some of the cost of high volatility.
“CCs could potentially have a role in diversifying one’s global bond and equity portfolio. But in our view, that is a big if given the astronomic returns and volatilities of the past few years.”
“If CCs survive the next few years and remain part of the global market, then they will likely have exited their current speculative phase and would then have more normal returns, volatilities (both much lower) and correlations (more like that of other zero-return assets such as gold and JPY (Japanese Yen)).
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JPMorgan’s 'Bitcoin Bible': Cryptocurrencies here to stay
JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon has sure come a long way on his bitcoin stance — by first calling the cryptocurrency a “fraud” to saying “blockchain is real” to now releasing what some are calling the “Bitcoin Bible” for investors — all in less than five months' time.
The 71-page pamphlet, which was released Monday, details everything from the technology of cryptocurrencies, to their applications and challenges.
According to the report, the “extremely rapid growth” and “falls” of various digital currencies over the last several months have forced not only JPMorgan Chase but all market participants to closely monitor and understand this new market.
“[Cryptocurrencies] are unlikely to disappear completely and could easily survive in varying forms and shapes among players who desire greater decentralization, peer-to-peer networks and anonymity, even as the latter is under threat,” the report said, adding that the underlying technology could have the greatest application in area where current payment systems are slow.
Today, there are over 1,500 cryptocurrencies with a market cap of $400 billion, with bitcoin being the largest representing a third of the market (around $140 billion), according to CoinMarketCap.
JPMorgan Chase said the biggest challenges ahead for digital currencies is that it will be extremely hard for them to displace and compete with government-issued currencies, “as dollars to euros and yuan are virtual natural monopolies in their regions and will not easily give up their seigniorage profits.”
Additionally, cryptocurrencies are experiencing heightened volatility and will face continued challenges from both a technology standpoint from rising mining costs and hacking to regulators who are concerned about anti-money laundering and investor protection.
Last October, a month after calling bitcoin a “fraud,” Dimon blasted the digital currency again at the Institute of International Finance conference, saying, “If you’re stupid enough to buy it, you will pay the price for it one day.”
But in January, Dimon backpedaled his previous comments in an interview with FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo saying he regrets making those statements and admits that “blockchain is real.”
Bitcoin is up over 2.41% to $8,615.19 on Monday.
Bible bitcoin jp morgan
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