Bitcoin soars above $23,000

Yahoo Finance’s Myles Udland, Julie Hyman, and Brian Sozzi discuss the rise of bitcoin, Fed Chief Powell’s comments, and U.S. unemployment claims.

Video Transcript

MYLES UDLAND: All right, let’s turn our attention now to what’s happening in the markets. Yesterday we saw the S&P close just fractionally off a record high. But Julie, I think we have to start with what’s happening in the coins.

Overnight, while we were sleeping, while a blizzard was invading our space here in the New York metro area, $23,000 for Bitcoin, and I think continuing to speak to animal spirits in the market and certainly renewed enthusiasm as it relates to crypto assets.

JULIE HYMAN: Yeah, I mean, you can pick the snowstorm as a reason. That would be as good as any, right, when you’re talking about the rally here to these levels. It’s hard to find a lot of bearish sentiment when you look at the commentary out there around Bitcoin. I mean, I saw some comments from David Rosenberg this morning of Gluskin Sheff that were bearish, but he tends to be bearish on a lot of different things.

But there is a lot of enthusiasm. What we keep hearing from Bitcoin enthusiasts, as well as people who are sort of agnostic on Bitcoin who come on the show, and whether this is true or it’s just sort of conventional wisdom that is feeding on itself, it’s that more and more institutions are getting involved in cryptocurrency generally, and Bitcoin probably most specifically, obviously it being the most prominent cryptocurrency.

And so that seems to be feeding the beast as well. I mean, when you hear people like Scott Meynard of Guggenheim talk about $400,000 as an eventual level for Bitcoin, I don’t know where you go from here and whether that means there’s so much enthusiasm it is going to go higher or just the opposite.

BRIAN SOZZI: Really, and that’s an important point here, Julie, the comparing and contrasting, 2017, that rise in Bitcoin feels like yesterday to me. But nonetheless, that was really driven by a lot of, let’s say, 17-year-olds in their underwear in their parents’ basement going out there and speculating on Bitcoin.

To your point, there’s a lot of institutional buying here right now. You just had MassMutual come out here and make a commitment to buy $100 million worth of Bitcoin. That is a big signal to the markets. And there continues to be this JPMorgan note floating around trading desks on the street.

They see $600 billion worth of crypto, worth of Bitcoin demand, potentially happening if more institutions get in the game. You had MassMutual. You also have PayPal. PayPal continues to buy a lot of the crypto out there in the markets to support its ambitions in the space.

MYLES UDLAND: You know, that minor headline–

JULIE HYMAN: How much crypt– how much Bitcoin is there even, you guys?

MYLES UDLAND: Go ahead.

JULIE HYMAN: What’s the supply of Bitcoin at this point?

MYLES UDLAND: It’s like, 21– it’s like, 21 million and some change, because remember a couple of weeks ago, when Bitcoin got to 19 low? It was technically a market cap record, because there had been a few incremental coins created. Now, of course, the supply, it’s not static, per se, but each individual addition to the blockchain, the Bitcoin blockchain, is more expensive.

But if the price goes up, then you’re incentivized to continue mining the Bitcoin, as much as you can. But ultimately, I don’t think there’s going to be a moment where you come across a new oil reserve of Bitcoin or something like that in the natural resources space.

But just going back to the miner comment, I found it amazing, because, you know, we all remember when the consensus in 2017 was a combination of scorn towards Bitcoin or I’m interested in blockchain, but I don’t know about Bitcoin. But now, the clearly the career risk for Scott Meynard– and he doesn’t really need any more success in his career– but it’s gone the other way.

You might as well throw a big Bitcoin price target out there, rather than come across as a crank. There’s no risk in just saying something bullish. There’s a lot more risk, I think, in saying something bearish, and then getting calls like, what do you idiots not understand about Bitcoin? It’s the future, all this other stuff. And it’s interesting how it’s gone that way.

BRIAN SOZZI: Myles, when does the Fed start buying Bitcoin? When do they hop into this market?

MYLES UDLAND: See, there we go. Now we’re on to that. We’re on to that talking point. So you know, I guess everything ends up being a Fed conspiracy in the end, Sozzi. Live long enough, and you shall become part of a Fed liquidity facility in an emergency. I guess, maybe we’ll see that during the next downturn.

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