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Aug 6, 2019

Bitcoin indicator flashes a buy just as haven narrative falters

Investors flock to gold, bitcoin amid heightened trade risk

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Just as investors begin to question the logic of Bitcoin serving as a refuge amid global financial-market turmoil, a gauge followed by technical analysts suggests there could be more gains ahead.

Based on the GTI VERA Convergence Divergence Indicator, which detects positive and negative trends, the largest cryptocurrency has generated a new buy signal based on its weekend trading, which saw prices surge. It’s the first buy signal since June when looking at this indicator and could potentially signal new highs are ahead.

The tide is rising for Bitcoin compared with other risk assets, said Mike McGlone, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence. “Bitcoin should remain a primary beneficiary of growing demand for its store-of-value, quasi-currency asset properties, similar to gold,” he wrote in a note. “Favorable macroeconomic fundamentals -- plunging bond yields and rising stock-market volatility -- appear to have endurance and should further differentiate Bitcoin from other crypto assets.”

Global markets were rocked on Monday after China devalued its currency in response to the Trump administration’s threat to impose new 10 per cent tariffs on the Asian nation’s goods. Bitcoin, and other digital assets, gained as investors rushed into safe haven assets amid the brutal sell-off. Bitcoin rose close to 13% on the day.

But as markets recovered on Tuesday after China moved to soothe the situation by stabilizing the yuan, crypto assets failed to hold onto the gains. That’s because extreme price swings, a history of crypto exchange hacks and allegations of manipulation raise questions of the wisdom of buying digital assets as a refuge. Bitcoin was little changed at US$11,747 as of 12:45 p.m. in New York, after climbing as much as 5.1 per cent.

Yet if volatility become more prevalent in other markets, Bitcoin could regain its role as a haven. It “seems to uniquely enjoy a status as a store of value, similar to gold, which may explain why it is building positive momentum amid the 10% tariff announcements,” said Akbar Thobhani, chief executive officer of SFOX Inc., a crypto prime dealer.

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