FTX’s collapse was the catalyst for a new bullish cycle in cryptocurrency markets, brokerage firm Bernstein said in a research report Monday.
The crypto exchange’s demise cleaned up the final tranche of “toxic crypto leverage” and taught digital-asset investors the importance of decentralization and self-custody wallets, the report said.
Macro catalysts are aligning for bitcoin (BTC), the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap, the note added, with continued weakness in U.S. regional banks and further deposit outflows toward money-market funds and the big four U.S. banks all reflecting concerns about the “centralization of money.”
“Any potential dislocation, whether on the bank’s credit side, or on the sovereign side …positions bitcoin perfectly as a safe-haven asset alongside gold,” analysts Gautam Chhugani and Manas Agrawal wrote.
Bitcoin has rallied 80% this year – with prices surging 23% in March amid multiple bank failures in the U.S. Ethereum’s native token ether (ETH) is up 76% year-to-date, according to CoinDesk data.
The Ethereum blockchain’s fees are up threefold, “reflecting the growing user intensity and token prices, post FTX,” the note said.
According to Bernstein, the new crypto cycle is still not fully appreciated, with a number of positive factors lining up. These include macro catalysts, a new bitcoin mining cycle, the continued successful upgrades of the Ethereum blockchain and the success of Ethereum scaling products such as Arbitrum.
“The opportunity to build a new institutional financial stack on the blockchain remains a worthy goal, and serious participants remain focused on the long term,” the analysts wrote, adding that this will be the “first crypto cycle which will see participation from leading institutional investors."
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish, a cryptocurrency exchange, which in turn is owned by Block.one, a firm with interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets including bitcoin and EOS. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.