U.S. Regulatory Crackdown Sees Institutional Investors Prefer Gold to Bitcoin: JPMorgan

This year’s 76% bitcoin rally appears to have been driven by retail buying, the report said.

AccessTimeIconMay 5, 2023 at 11:36 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 4:55 p.m. UTC

The U.S. regulatory crackdown is pushing American crypto firms to look for opportunities overseas, JPMorgan (JPM) said in a research report Thursday.

“The U.S.-based arm of Binance has called off its deal with Voyager, while Coinbase launched Coinbase International, a crypto derivatives exchange outside the U.S., as a proactive measure in response to rising U.S. regulatory pressures,” analysts led by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou wrote.

The crackdown has increased pressure on crypto firms, JPMorgan said, but more importantly there is still no clarity on important issues such as ether’s (ETH) status as a security, which will ultimately impact the cryptocurrency’s demand and liquidity.

The regulatory clampdown has also “deterred institutional investors from engaging with crypto,” and because of this investors have been buying gold rather than bitcoin (BTC) as a hedge against a potential “catastrophic scenario” in the wake of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, the note said.

Bitcoin’s rally this year appears to have been driven by retail buying rather than institutional investors, the bank said. The largest cryptocurrency has gained 76% year-to-date.

Another catalyst for bitcoin’s outperformance has been Bitcoin Ordinals, the report added. Ordinals is a new protocol that allows non-fungible-tokens (NFTs) to be stored on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Will Canny is CoinDesk's finance reporter.