Catherine Coley, Binance.US CEO joins the Yahoo Finance Live panel to discuss Bitcoin climbing past $18k for the first time since Dec. 2017.
AKIKO FUJITA: –is Bitcoin. Right now, trading below that $18,000 level, but we did see it hit that level earlier today. Bitcoin now up roughly 146% here to date. It’s gained nearly 70% this quarter. Let’s bring in Catherine Coley. She’s the CEO of Binance. And Catherine, let’s start with the moves that we have been seeing here. I mean, what’s been driving the gains?
CATHERINE COLEY: Thanks so much. It’s really been amazing to see this rally driven largely by spot buyers. You’re seeing the funding premiums of the perpetual futures still actually be relatively low, stuck in that kind of range where they were at 12,000. So this acceleration of price has been largely led by the real gains and validation that we’re seeing that we didn’t see in 2017.
So for the first time ever, you’re seeing congressmen and women understand Bitcoin. You are seeing macro investors understanding Bitcoin. You’re even seeing corporate treasuries understanding and adding Bitcoin to their balance sheets.
ZACK GUZMAN: And Catherine, we’ve seen a few other commodity traders, big names in the commodity space, Paul Tudor Jones coming on board as well. But one of those early adopters, Mike Novogratz, was on CNBC earlier, talking about a price target of $50,000 to $60,000 per Bitcoin by next year, kind of stretching into that idea that you can capture about 10% of the gold market. That’s where the price comes from. But talk to me about how the enthusiasm right now, compared to what you saw back in 2017, could maybe make that a reality, considering, I guess, this new breakout we’re seeing play out now.
CATHERINE COLEY: Very much so. This industry is in constant motion. So what we’ve seen in the last week isn’t us sitting on our laurels, but still building. You see Novogratz have an amazing week of announcements. And we’ve seen PayPal come into the US retail market. Binance US has launched our connection with Silver Gate Exchange Network, allowing institutional traders to come through. And we’re even launching a new app coming out in the near future. So the best part about this industry is we’re still evolving, still building, regardless of the price.
AKIKO FUJITA: Certainly, a lot of new investors looking to get in. And I’m curious how you think they should be looking at this. There’s been so much debate about whether it is considered a safe haven asset, whether it is a hedge, whether it should be traded in tandem with gold. I mean, what have you seen shift around the trades in this most recent surge that we’ve seen?
CATHERINE COLEY: We’ve definitely seen the infrastructure mature since the last year or so. And in that, you’ve seen different ways of people being able to come into trading. So dollar cost averaging has actually been quite popular and quite successful for many investors in this past year, knowing that what lies ahead is definitely a digital future accelerated by the pandemic for sure. And what they’re going into is not necessarily timing their entries and exits with expectations, but just growing their position over time.
So, having dollar cost averaging integrated into these exchanges, as well as seeing just the maturity of the products available, Grayscale is at an all-time high in terms of the Bitcoin that they hold under custody. And as you just see, this access is becoming more and more available for everyone.
ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, Catherine, as one of the CEOs of the largest exchanges here in the US, I mean, talk to me about regulatory changes. Because we saw the chairman of the SEC’s going to be stepping down. That’s news. Each time I see Bitcoin back up at these highs, it gives me a little anxiety, just kind of watching the way things have changed over regulatory updates. What kind of clarity have we gotten over the last couple of years on that front, though? And how much is still remaining to be seen? What changes could come through when we get a new chairman of the SEC?
CATHERINE COLEY: You’ve seen a tremendous amount of collaboration in the US specifically with the industry players to make sure that we are not falling behind as a country involved in digital assets. So the great work of the Blockchain Association, getting involved with other groups that are really pounding the pavement in Washington to make sure people are understanding what we’re building and the access we’re providing.
That being said, we’re doing everything through the book. So it is a compliant and regulated platform, where we make sure that our users have that confidence in us to be leading them forward in where we’re headed with the US regulation. So we’re excited to see the changes. We’ve ourselves been going through the money transmission license process across the states, now available in 41 of the 50 states, and continuing to add more states going forward.
AKIKO FUJITA: Catherine Coley, the CEO of Binance US. It’s good to talk to you today.