Part of the diverse landscape around Bitcoin is composed of the “gold bugs” – those old-school precious metals enthusiasts who believe that cryptocurrencies (or Bitcoin in particular) can in no way measure up to the solidity of gold and silver.
One of these Bitcoin critics, Peter Boockvar, CIO of Bleakley Advisory Group, spoke June 4 with CNBC, suggesting that while Bitcoin is not great for holding, it’s pretty good as the canary in the coal mine.
“I watch bitcoin as a signal, as an indicator, not because I want to own it as I’d rather own gold as an alternative currency,” Boockvar reportedly said.
He suggested, for example, that in recent weeks, Bitcoin’s enormous rally was probably signaling an effect on the general market (albeit a downward one), probably caused by sudden new protectionism in the form of tariff activity.
“Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen this sharp rise in Bitcoin,” Boockvar said, “ and to me that was saying something in terms of what markets were thinking, about what the Fed was going to do, the turmoil created by the threatened tariffs.”
There’s a pretty good consensus that new tariffs have the markets riled up – with US index futures falling on successive days, and economists warning of a recession caused by tariff activity.
But Boockvar ‘s argument is that Bitcoin buy an holders or “hodlers” in blockchain parlance would do better to divest and just keep their eye on the ticker to see what’s going to happen elsewhere in the market.
“I don’t recommend bitcoin in either direction because I don’t really care for it in terms of an asset, but I do care for it as a signalling mechanism that I think was a tip-off to this bounce in gold,” Boockvar said.
It’s an interesting idea – in the age-old controversy over whether BTC is an asset or a medium of exchange, this presents a kind of “third way” – it’s neither! Of course, this is really a downer to Bitcoin fans, as Boockvar, like the Jamie Dimon of old, is saying BTC has no real utility. Now, as J.P. Morgan touts its own crypto coin, we see an about face from some of Bitcoin’s biggest past critics. Will that continue?