Every few months, Sonny Singh, the chief commercial officer at the Atlanta-based Bitcoin (BTC) payment processor BitPay, appears on Bloomberg to talk up cryptocurrency.
On Tuesday, he continued this trend, appearing on Bloomberg TV’s “Technology” segment to discuss what’s behind the recent digital asset boom, and why this is the start of a longer-term move to the upside.
Almost no one foresaw Bitcoin rallying over $8,800 by May 2019 in December 2018. At that point, investors across the board were throwing in the towel, claiming that cryptocurrency had no future.
But over the past few months, we’ve seen the industry ostensibly explode. Mainstream media is all for covering Bitcoin again, industry sites have seen a massive uptick in traffic, and “cryptocurrency” and “blockchain” seems to be back in the vernacular of everyone and their mother.
Fundamentals Behind Bitcoin Surge
According to Singh, this surge both in public awareness and in the press has much to do fundamentals. He explains that while 2017’s boom and 2018’s massive downturn was driven by hysteria and “momentum”, Bitcoin’s jump from $3,200 to $8,000+ is actually backed by infrastructural developments. The Bitpay C-suite member names the following developments:
- JP Morgan’s JPM Coin: Earlier this year, the banking giant launched its own cryptocurrency on Quorum, a private version of the Ethereum blockchain meant for more enterprise-specific tasks. JP Morgan has been using the digital asset as a way to transfer value inter-bank but intends to allow JPM Coin to see use in brick and mortar/online stores in the future. While JPM Coin is incompatible with Bitcoin, analysts suggest it will warm the public up to the idea of cryptocurrency.
- AT&T Accepts Bitcoin: Announced last Thursday, AT&T, a Texas-based American technology giant valued at $234 billion, will be accepting Bitcoin payments for its services through BitPay. Per a press release, AT&T is now the first “major U.S. mobile carrier” to provide its millions of customers with the ability to purchase services for cryptocurrency. This doesn’t mean that the firm is accumulating BTC per se, but it does show that AT&T acknowledges BTC as a viable medium of exchange.
- Square’s Cash Offering BTC: Although Square’s Cash App has been offering Bitcoin purchases and sells for its clientele since the peak of 2018’s boom, the company has continued to sell more and more BTC quarter-over-quarter. What’s more, Cash is continually near the top of the U.S. App Store, and the Bitcoin service is built right in, thereby increasing public awareness of Bitcoin greatly.
- Fidelity Investments With An Institutional Custody And Trade Execution Play: Fidelity Investments, one of the world’s largest asset managers, has begun to offer an institutional-centric cryptocurrency custody and trade execution service for beta testers in its 20,000-odd non-retail clients.
Singh notes that these underlying shifts in cryptocurrency infrastructure confirm the validity of this asset class, and “is making people really excited, as is the light at the end of the tunnel for use cases.”
Interestingly, the catalysts that Singh named is somewhat different than what other industry executives have postulated in other segments on primetime television.
Prominent Bitcoin booster Tom Lee suggested last week that much of the recent move has a lot to do with uncertainty on the geopolitical and macroeconomic stage, which has recently been slammed by the ongoing U.S.-China trade war, Brexit, and the financial collapses of Venezuela, Argentina, and other nations. Or in other words, BTC is acting as a form of digital gold.
The Start Of Something Crazy
The move to $9,000 is, as Singh put it best, the “tip of the iceberg” though. He reminds viewers of Bloomberg that many cryptocurrency projects from big-name corporations have yet to launch, or haven’t even been announced yet.
He looks to the recent news regarding Facebook’s digital asset, Globalcoin; Square’s intention to integrate the Lightning Network to bolster merchant adoption; and the fact that retail brokerage giants E*Trade and TD Ameritrade may soon offer spot cryptocurrency trading to their clientele.
As he concludes:
The real products haven’t launched yet. Facebook Coin isn’t here; Square hasn’t launched its product yet; Fidelity’s platform is still in limited beta. Who knows what’s going to happen? I wasn’t talking about Facebook last time I was on this show, they came out of nowhere. This is why you need to be long on this space.