You know it’s a Bitcoin (BTC) bull market when staunch crypto cynics turn into believers. Mark Mobius, an 82-year-old legendary emerging markets investor and fund manager, has continued his conversion into a cryptocurrency apostle this week.
According to a quote on the Bloomberg Terminal, first spotted by lauded crypto commentator Three Arrow Capital’s Su Zhu, the multi-millionaire told the outlet that he is keeping a close eye on Bitcoin.
Most notably, however, Mobius once lauded China for cracking down on cryptocurrencies, claiming that the only use for some of these assets is “illicit activities”. This has been proven to be baseless postulation, as according to recently-published Chainalysis data, a mere 1% of BTC volume is used on the dark web.
Famed EM investor Mark Mobius says yesterday he "isn't a buyer of bitcoin but may consider doing so in future; crypto currencies have increased global liquidity."
Translation: he already owns a bunch personally but isn't sure if its socially acceptable to say on TV yet. pic.twitter.com/qtVmFp6zFs
— 朱溯 ???? (@zhusu) July 5, 2019
Anyhow, Mobius seems to be well on his way to joining the ranks of those cautiously bullish on cryptocurrencies. But why exactly?
Why is Mobius Eyeing Bitcoin?
Well, as established in an interview earlier this year, Mobius believes that digital assets can find use in today’s ever-changing economy. Responding to an inquiry about how Bitcoin and cryptocurrency can aid Venezuela, he specifically looked to this asset class’ viability in global money transfer.
Indeed, compared to traditional mediums like MoneyGram and Western Union, which have and often charge over $30 for one transfer that may take days, BTC can be sent to anyone in the world for around $1, within an hour, and without the hassle of attending a physical store.
That’s not all. In the July Bloomberg interview, Mobius explains that he is keeping an eye on cryptocurrencies due to increased liquidity. Indeed, over recent months, this budding market has been on the receiving end of an influx of increased volume.
Case in point, Bitcoin futures on the CME — one of the world’s leading derivatives market — saw a stellar June. During the month, open interest in the CME’s Bitcoin futures hit 6,069 contracts, amounting to over 30,000 BTC. And the number of clients holding over 5 contracts moved from 46 to 49 over June, implying that bigger investors are starting to trickle back into the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
This growth in volumes has been aided by growth in the security, efficiency, attractiveness, and sheer count of trading platforms. Fidelity Investments‘ Bitcoin trading desk comes to mind. And soon-to-launch onramps from TD Ameritrade, E*Trade, ErisX, Bakkt, and LedgerX should only exacerbate fiat inflows.
It is important to note that Mobius still has his doubts, though. In an interview earlier this year, he stated:
“Whether I would invest in it is another question – there’s incredible volatility, and at the end of the day you can’t trace one individual or group… one organization that’ll keep track of what’s going on.”
Anyhow, it is very interesting to see Mobius acknowledge that he may purchase cryptocurrencies at some point in the future. This validation, some hope, may have somewhat of a domino effect on Wall Street.
The Crypto “Converted”
Mobius’ acceptance of cryptocurrency comes as some big names in finance and media have begun to give Bitcoin its dues. In a recent article, The Financial Times, which is a prominent business news outlet read by some of the world’s most prominent investors and funds, lauded Bitcoin as a “potential” safe haven asset.
Tyler Cowen, an economist that frequents Bloomberg’s op-ed column, gave four reasons why he believes Bitcoin will succeed. This caught many aback, as the investor was previously a Bitcoin bear.
Also, Joe Kernen, one of the hosts of CNBC’s popular show “Squawk Box”, has recently begun to question fiat monies on air as he simultaneously lauded blockchain and Bitcoin.
There is one big kahuna for Bitcoin’s community to convince of the value of digital money, though. Warren Buffett is his name. But what the billionaire investor says about the leading cryptocurrency and its ilk might not even matter, because, after all, the “oracle” missed out on the Amazon and Google gravy trains.