Jim Cramer Doesn't Know Bitcoin

The TV talking head said “Mr. Bitcoin is about to go down big” on CNBC.

AccessTimeIconOct 11, 2023 at 6:31 p.m. UTC

“I can’t go out with bitcoin because I can’t be in something where Mr. Bitcoin is about to go down big.”

So said Jim Cramer today live on national TV.

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The veteran blow-hard, former trader and CNBC host was talking about hedge investments at a time of inflation and economic turmoil. He told his audience that they would be better putting money into gold, the traditional safe-haven, rather than crypto. “The charts…suggest you need to ignore the crypto cheerleaders now that bitcoin’s bouncing. And if you seriously want a real hedge against inflation or economic chaos, she says you should stick with gold,” he said.

Bitcoin is currently trading at about $26,000, down from about $28,000 five days ago, and well off its $68,000 peak during 2021’s bull market. But it’s up 68% this year and the first cryptocurrency is still dominating the market. Recent analysis from CoinDesk Indices shows bitcoin gaining this year (along with ether) as regulatory pressure puts a damper on altcoins.

Moreover, many observers think Bitcoin’s prospects have never been brighter. A flood of institutional bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF) applications, from BlackRock and others, could bring in trillions of dollars into the market, creating an easier and more familiar way for everyday investors to get into the space. Commentators see approved ETFs having a similar impact on bitcoin as the investment vehicle had on the gold prices when those ETFs became available in 2004.

But maybe Cramer knows something that most Bitcoin watchers don’t? Perhaps. Although it could be that Cramer is just over crypto in general. He told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that he sold his BTC in 2021, as China cracked down on mining.

The SBF trial, currently happening in Manhattan, is sapping crypto’s already battered reputation in the public mind and there are so many other ways for investors to participate in speculation these days beyond traditional stock picking.

Other prominent risk investors are more bullish on bitcoin. Hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones told CNBC this week that geopolitical tensions and government debt levels make stocks unattractive at the moment, but gold and bitcoin are attractive options.

The stone-clad case for bitcoin is that it continues to show resilience as an asset, a community of HODLers and developers, and as technology. The blocks keep coming, despite a million forecasts of its demise over the last decade and a bit since it was created.

In doom-y times, bitcoin surely becomes more attractive. And a continued regulatory clampdown on crypto could be good for BTC. After all, it’s the only coin that Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler says is not a security, and therefore covered by traditional securities law.

Dear reader, you will have to decide for yourself. This is not investment advice. But here’s one option: you could do the exact opposite of what Cramer says. An ETF designed to follow Cramer’s stock picks closed in August after little interest (and losing investors money). But an “inverse Cramer tracker” fund is still in operation, if you want to take a look.

Edited by Daniel Kuhn.

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Ben Schiller

Ben Schiller is CoinDesk's managing editor for features and opinion. Previously, he was editor-in-chief at BREAKER Magazine and a staff writer at Fast Company. He holds some ETH, BTC and LINK.