S&P Global says cryptocurrencies have become mainstream and appear to be here to stay, as more companies are offering crypto services and adoption is growing worldwide. Meanwhile, an S&P analyst believes that bitcoin’s rise is reminiscent of the U.S. gold rush.
S&P Global Says Bitcoin Has Become Mainstream
Financial information and analytics firm S&P Global released a special report on the current condition of cryptocurrencies last week. It states:
Once considered an alternative trend, cryptocurrencies have become mainstream and appear here to stay.
The report references a number of factors, such as legacy banks taking “a closer look at the asset class that could be integrated into the products and services offering” and companies like Paypal beginning to offer cryptocurrency services. Crypto adoption is also growing in countries where people “seek to protect their income against inflation and currency controls” or for faster and cheaper remittances.
In addition, Jim Wiederhold, S&P Global’s associate director for commodities and real assets, authored an opinion piece about bitcoin last week. He wrote:
The recent enthusiasm for bitcoin is reminiscent of the Gold Rush in the western U.S. from 1848-1860 … U.S. enthusiasm for gold exploded over this time period.
The analyst explained that “Recently, the parallels between the two assets have grown.” He noted that both are scarce, “have the potential to be held outside of conventional financial markets,” and are good inflation hedges. In addition, they are “uncorrelated to other popular asset classes in portfolios.” However, he pointed out that bitcoin’s volatility over the past five years is multiple times higher than other asset classes.
Pointing out the differences between gold and bitcoin, including the supply limit, he continued, “Concerns of bitcoin theft were rampant a few years ago; though as bitcoin becomes more mainstream, these worries are fading. Although lingering technology and exchange counterparty risks remain.”
The analyst concluded that while gold is a more established asset, bitcoin “is in its infancy, but it is slowly becoming more easily accessible to mainstream investors.”
According to the S&P Global special report:
Cryptocurrency may appear to be a niche or experimental segment for these companies, but industry experts say they are treating it with increasing seriousness.
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