With cryptocurrency prices soaring through the roof, it’s no exaggeration to say that the entire world is focused on the date of December 10, 2017. In just a few days, we will see for the first time the impact of Bitcoin futures on the “blockchain markets.” As expected, mainstream media pundits proclaim that this event will cripple the cryptocurrency.
Their bearishness is not entirely without merit; on surface level, investors do have significant reasons to be concerned. Prior to bitcoin futures, no platform existed where a trader could “legitimately” short the cryptocurrency markets. To be a bear simply meant that you ride a long position up until the point in which you want to dump it on the next guy.
But an active directive against the blockchain economy? That wasn’t possible until now. With the advent of bitcoin futures, traders have the option of borrowing bitcoin contracts, selling them immediately, and hoping to profit from a discounted buyback. The trader returns the borrowed bitcoin contracts, and he/she profits from the price differential.
An important sticking point about bitcoin futures is that the actual cryptocurrency units are not being traded; rather, the bitcoin futures market is settled all in cash. Immediately, that raises the prospect of theoretically bringing in trillions of dollars as bankers gamble on the price of bitcoin.
With so much money used as leverage on both sides of the trade, bitcoin futures, as most in the mainstream media argue, will allow the cryptocurrency complex efficient price discovery. And, as pessimistic analysts warn, the cash leverage to the downside could exceed the total value of bitcoin. If that happens, bye bye bitcoin!
But hold on a second…if the bitcoin futures market is settled entirely in cash, then it necessarily means that this sector is a dressed-up casino. In other words, traders are not trading bitcoins, but rather, their price movements.
In commodities future markets, for instance, participants naturally hedge their bets. An airliner wants to budget expenses for the year, so management will use the futures market to lock-in their jet-fuel rate. Similarly, an oil producer wants a set price for their inventory so that they’re not caught off-guard should a downturn hit. These participants are bearish for an economical reason.
But with bitcoin futures, no reason exist other than personal profit. Those traders that dare to go bearish on the cryptocurrency rally are taking a major risk. The actual holders of bitcoin determine the collective price of the cryptocurrency; not some Wall Street banker. In fact, some Wall Street insiders are warning the financial community not to allow bitcoin futures to move forward in the first place.
It’s a wise move. Unlike every other commodity known to man, the majority supply is NOT in the hands of a crooked few institutions. Rather, ownership and participation is decentralized and spread throughout the planet. That means the ability to directly manipulate the asset itself is severely limited.
Quite frankly, I don’t give a s**t what some banker a-hole thinks about bitcoin. The price is the price…and that is determined by its proponents and participants.