With bitcoin at new highs, are spot funds fulfilling their promise?

Bitcoin may start to lose its reputation as a volatile asset.

According to Bitwise Asset Management’s Matt Hougan, the cryptocurrency’s wild price swings have come down substantially over the past decade.

“What’s driving the bitcoin market right now is a simple demand-supply imbalance,” the firm’s chief investment officer told CNBC’s “ETF Edge” on Monday. “We have this huge new source of demand from these ETFs, and we have supply that’s inelastic.”

On Jan. 11, the first bitcoin exchange-traded funds began trading. Since then, the asset is up more than 50%. Bitcoin hit an all-time high this week of just under $74,000.

Yet, Hougan acknowledges it may not be for everyone.

“It moves around a lot. Some people find it difficult to understand,” Hougan said.

While Bitwise is betting on bitcoin’s growth, ProShares has an ETF looking to profit from losses with its Short Bitcoin Strategy ETF. It’s down 42% so far this year and has plummeted almost 70% over the past year.

“To quote Mark Twain, ‘The reports of our death have been quite exaggerated,'” ProShares’ Simeon Hyman told CNBC. “We’re happy to be here, and we think we’re serving as a key alternative.”

Hyman, the firm’s global investment strategist, notes bitcoin’s historic strength has been going on a lot longer than the launch of the spot bitcoin ETFs.

“This is the month of the anniversary of the collapse of crypto-linked financial institutions. Last year, bitcoin was going up then, too,” Hyman said. “I think there are longer-term folks who are starting to come in for asset allocation and diversification purposes.”

Hyman’s ProShares also operates a long-bitcoin ETF: ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF. It’s up 55% since Jan.1 and has gained 111% in the past year.

As of Friday evening, bitcoin is up 180% over the past 12 months.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *