Bitcoin and U.S. Real Yield Reach Strongest Inverse Correlation Since April

Bitcoin fell over 10% last week as the yield on the 10-year inflation-indexed security rose to the highest since 2009.

AccessTimeIconAug 21, 2023 at 8:35 a.m. UTC
Updated Aug 21, 2023 at 6:17 p.m. UTC

Bitcoin (BTC) and the U.S. inflation-adjusted bond yield are again moving in opposite directions, exhibiting the strongest negative correlation in four months.

The 30-day correlation coefficient between bitcoin and the 10-year U.S. inflation-indexed security turned negative this month, declining from +0.28 to -0.72, a level last seen in April, according to charting platform TradingView. A reading of 1 implies assets are moving in lockstep, and -1 suggests the opposite.

The current reading indicates the renewed influence of traditional finance and macro factors on the bitcoin price. The negative correlation broke down in July amid optimism over the possible approval of a spot ETF.

Treasury inflation-indexed securities are indexed to inflation – the non-seasonally adjusted U.S. city average of all items consumer price index for all urban consumers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes the data. The yield on these securities is called real or inflation-adjusted yield.

When real yields are negative, investors tend to seek returns from high-risk alternatives like technology stocks and cryptocurrencies, as we saw in the year following the coronavirus-induced crash of March 2020. When real yields are positive and rising, investors feel encouraged to invest in fixed-income securities.

The 30-day negative correlation between BTC and the real yield is now at its strongest since April. (TradingView/CoinDesk)
The 30-day negative correlation between BTC and the real yield is now at its strongest since April. (TradingView/CoinDesk) (TradingView/CoinDesk)

The yield on the 10-year U.S. inflation-indexed security rose to 1.97% last week, the highest since February 2009.

Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency by market value, fell over 10%, registering its most significant weekly decline since early November. Gold, known to have an inverse relationship with real yields, fell more than 1%, its fourth straight weekly decline, and Nasdaq dropped 2.22%.

The outlook for risk assets, in general, has worsened due to hardening real yields, rising energy costs, concerns about China's economy and major central banks' commitment to keep borrowing costs higher.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.