Contrary to popular belief, retail investors are still playing a major role in directing Bitcoin’s price action, says Binance CEO in a recent interview with Bloomberg.
Who’s Really in Charge?
As Bitcoin briefly touched $20,000 in early 2018, market analysts forecasted that the impending arrival of Bitcoin futures products, a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), and the infusion of institutional funding would drive Bitcoin towards $30,000 and possibly $50,000.
Of course we all know how that story ended, and the start of 2019 has provided a well-needed respite from the 15-month-long bear market that crypto investors endured.
Since April, Bitcoin has been on a real tear and the general consensus revolves around the idea that institutional investors are driving the current rally. It makes sense and is believable considering that Fidelity, Bakkt, TD Ameritrade, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and an uncountable number of venture capitalists have openly shared their intentions for investing in the cryptocurrency sector.
The general expectation is that with institutional support, Bitcoin is now on the path to retaking $20,000. There are also hopes that the digital asset could continue its march on toward $40,000 before the end of 2019.
Binance Points to Retail Investors
Well, this conclusion is more of an inaccurate assumption according to Changpeng Zhao (CZ). In a recent interview with Bloomberg, the Binance CEO said that individual investors are still playing a major role in driving Bitcoin price [coin_price] action. CZ said:
We have not seen institutions growing faster… What we’ve seen is pickup in both places. The number of institutions coming into this industry has not increased that tremendously in 2019 yet.
CZ explained that retail and institutional trading has continuously increased but retail investors still represent roughly 60% of trading volume on the exchange. This percentage is nearly identical to the previous year’s volume and this is worth noting since mega-companies like Bakkt, JPMorgan, and Goldman Sachs are said to be deeply involved with cryptocurrency.
According to CZ, the growth in activity on Binance can be attributed to margin trading, and on July 11, Binance launched margin trading for its users. The new option allows traders to borrow three times their principal when investing in select cryptocurrencies.
The Binance CEO said that 10,000 traders have signed up so far, and borrowed over $15 million on the first day alone. Other exchanges like Kraken and Bitfinex allow traders to borrow from 5 to 100 times their account value and its possible that these traders have helped to drive Bitcoin’s price up by 36% since the start of June.
The Market Needs Volatility and Volume
As an increasing number of exchanges begin to offer margin trading CZ believes that “the majority of people by the end of the year will be using margin in some capacity [as its] quite safe to use, to be honest.” Of course, the result of this will be “more trading volume and potentially higher volatility” but at the moment, an increase in volume is exactly what the market requires.
Do you think margin traders or institutional investment will fuel the next Bitcoin rally? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Images via Shutterstock, Source via Bloomberg