ARK analysis arguing Bitcoin could rise by $500,000 is flawed

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There are lots of lofty price predictions floating around following the news this week that Blackrock, one of the world’s largest asset managers, would be offering crypto to investors via Coinbase.

Analyst predicts price of Bitcoin to rocket

Ark Invest analyst Yassine Elmandjra is one of those providing dizzying predictions.

“This is I’d say by far the strongest signal we’ve seen around institutions considering crypto as a new asset class and that Wall Street is finally ready to make the leap here,” Elmandjra said during a webinar yesterday. “I think a partnership of this calibre could usher trillions of dollars into the crypto asset class in the coming years.”

He then went on to share findings from ARK’s analysis, which I couldn’t help but dig into.

Based on the returns of Bitcoin over the last ten years, ARK has decided that well-diversified portfolios should include 2.5% – 6.5% based on investor risk tolerance. I’m not sure how they came to this analysis (I’d love to see the numbers!) but it seems like a reasonable statement, albeit an enormous generalisation.

There are certainly investors for whom Bitcoin is not suitable (short-term investors, those already holding correlated instruments, etc) and on the flip side, there are also investors who could stomach greater than a 6.5% allocation.

Secondly, basing recommended allocation going forward off the past performance of Bitcoin is flawed. Not only does the classic “past performance is not indicative of future returns” hold true, but it carries even more weight for Bitcoin.

Tell me – what exactly can we conclude from Bitcoin’s price movements between 2012 and 2015 that will help us garner the perfect allocation to it going forward? This was a period when Bitcoin still lived in niche corners of the Internet, largely undiscovered by mainstream media and yet to launch its assault on the world of traditional finance. From a macro point of view, this price data is essentially completely irrelevant.

But Elmandjra concludes that based on ARK’s recommended allocations of 2.5% to 6.5% (however they were calculated), Bitcoin could spike by $200,000 and $500,000 respectively. This is where all the sexy headlines of “Bitcoin to hit $600,000, according to ARK” came from.

Will Bitcoin hit $600,000?

Ehm… I don’t know. But this analysis is finger-in-the-wind stuff at best. You can’t just assume all of Blackrock’s clients will invest in Bitcoin, therefore pouring between 2.5% and 6.5% of their AUM into Bitcoin’s market cap. I’m all for taking a cheeky shortcut on a model here and there, but come on.

However, this is tremendous news for Bitcoin as a whole and that much appears undisputed. These are the kind of bullish signals which really help bring the asset – which I look upon as its own stand-alone asset class – to the next level. It’s a remarkable sign of institutional adoption, one that would have been a faraway dream a few years ago.

What’s interesting is the reaction of Bitcoin’s price, which rose steadily but not spectacularly on the news, at around a 4% jump. Contrast this to Tesla’s announcement that the carmaker was holding Bitcoin on its balance sheet in Q1 of last year, when Bitcoin jumped 15%.

Blackrock is the largest institutional money manager in the world, and this announcement means its clients will now have access to buy Bitcoin. Coinbase investors saw this in the stock market, with the embattled stock looking not-quite-as-embattled after a 75% pump on the news.

I’m not comfortable sticking a number on what this means, so you won’t get any “Bitcoin going to $1 million” headlines out of this. The analysis by Elmandjra is flawed for a lot of reasons – to add another one, if Blackrock clients pour into Bitcoin, this will kick off a domino effect with other institutional managers, meaning more money is likely to flow in. Blackrock won’t just suddenly load into the orange coin in isolation, with the rest of the market standing idly by.

So yeah, this is tremendous news for Bitcoin bulls. But the numbers saying Bitcoin to $500,000? Nah – that’s just a random statement really.

But hey, if anyone has a contact with Elmandjra, I’d love to dig properly into the numbers.

The post ARK analysis arguing Bitcoin could rise by $500,000 is flawed appeared first on Invezz.

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