The Bitcoin price has been on an absolute tear of the past year. Despite the cryptocurrency currently trading some 20% lower than its $14,000 year-to-date high, BTC is still up some 200-odd% since January 1st.
With this move, many have been left wondering, “who the hell is behind the crypto market’s resurgence?”
Retail investors are what many first looked to. You see, in 2017, Bitcoin’s move from $1,000 to $20,000 was widely believed to be a byproduct of retail FOMO, with mom & pop investors across the globe siphoning billions into the market as they saw news headlines mentioning BTC.
But, the retail theory was widely disregarded when the industry discovered that Google Trends results for the “Bitcoin” term were still in bear market levels, implying another group is at work.
This group, according to more and more sets of data and anecdotal evidence, is institutional players.
Who Led the Bitcoin Rally?
For some reason or another, the cryptocurrency community has found a home on Twitter. There, the most active investors — everyone from kids looking to win giveaways to hedge fund managers sharing their thoughts on why Bitcoin will “moon” — talk crypto.
Thus, many data firms and analysts have found that it makes sense to use social media data and volumes to paint a picture of the cryptocurrency market.
In a recent Twitter post, a multi-faceted crypto data platform, The TIE, explained why it believes Twitter is showing that Bitcoin’s rally from $3,150 to $14,000 in the past eight to nine months is a byproduct of institutional investment.
They wrote that the NVTweet (network value-to-tweet) Ratio — which is defined by the following equation, Network Value divided by one million divided by the 30-day average volume of “Bitcoin” tweets — hit an all-time high of 6.84 in late-June, when BTC was approaching $14,000.
As tweet volumes are not rising as fast as market cap, an increasing NVTweet ratio may reflect increasing institutional investment in crypto. 2017 was retail driven (over 75K daily tweets), whereas this run is significantly less- we haven't seen more than 40K daily tweets in 2018 pic.twitter.com/20jfAf5bTf
— The TIE (@TheTIEIO) September 3, 2019
The TIE writes that this means that “Bitcoin was trading at its highest multiple of tweet volume ever recorded”. They claim that this, coupled with the fact that tweets about the cryptocurrency have been slow to increase in frequency, is a sign that retail isn’t as influential in this rally as in 2017, implying institutions are driving BTC.
This comes shortly after Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong stated that there is around $200 million to $400 million worth of cryptocurrencies deposited into Coinbase’s coffers each week from “institutional customers”.
Also, Bitcoin’s correlation with macroeconomic events — namely the U.S.-China trade war — is purportedly a sign that macro hedge fund managers are dipping their toes in the BTC markets.
Related Reading: HODL: 79% of Bitcoin Addresses Are in Profit, Will They Sell?
Further Upside in Crypto Markets
With institutions seemingly entering the game, analysts are only expecting for Bitcoin to further appreciate. Speaking to Bloomberg last week, Mike Novogratz of Galaxy Digital stated that he believes institutions are setting Bitcoin up for its next leg higher. In a previous interview, he stated that institutional adoption will be responsible for BTC’s next move to at least $20,000:
“I’m not selling the next time we hit $14,000. The second time we reach that level, [there may be] a move to $20,000. I don’t expect this to happen in the next few weeks: I don’t expect it to the middle or the end of the fourth quarter. But the next wave will come when the institutions — the state of X, Texas Teachers Union, and those guys — come in, and then you will see Bitcoin hit $20,000 and higher.”
Novogratz isn’t postulating. Just look to Bakkt, the New York Stock Exchange-backed crypto exchange slated to launch its Bitcoin futures product in some three weeks. Sam Doctor of Fundstrat Global Advisors claims that there is an “critical mass” of institutions ready to adopt Bakkt.
Related Reading: Hong Kong Retail Outlets Begin Accepting Crypto as Tensions Escalate
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