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进入“长期避险期”,比特币会被当作救生衣还是垃圾?

进入“长期避险期”,比特币会被当作救生衣还是垃圾?

Robert Hackett 2020年06月17日
现在,那些曾让加密货币充满吸引力的论调似乎不再有说服力。

疫情伊始,机构投资者便将目光投向了比特币。而现在,那些曾经让加密货币充满吸引力的论调似乎也不再有说服力。

经纪公司富达投资(Fidelity)近期开展的一项调查显示,80%的机构投资者表示自己乐意持有比特币等数字资产。其中36%的受访者称,持这一态度的最主要原因是他们相信数字货币不受股票等“其他资产波动影响”。

但近期新冠疫情对经济造成的破坏似乎颠覆了这一投资理念。疫情冲击之下,加密货币与股市之间的关系暴露无遗,从而导致投资者意识到自己钟爱加密货币的理由其实并不充分。

隐秘的浪漫

3月中旬,市场崩溃。标普500指数在3月10日至12日之间暴跌了14%,而比特币跌势更是凶猛,仅3月12日一天就跌去了38%的市值。

股市和币市同时出现抛售的情况表明,两者之间至少存在着一定联系,而并非互不相关,彼此独立。今年4月,全球最大的加密货币交易所币安进行的一项研究发现,第一季度,比特币价格与标普500指数表现的相关性“相对较高”,为57%。而比特币与小盘股指数罗素2000的相关性更是高达64%。

对于两者之间的“意外”联系,比特币的支持者们或许会将其视为一种偶然,比如币安报告的作者就认为这种情况在未来几个月中不太可能持续,不过看看近期比特币与股市的市场走势就知道情况并非如此。

自4月以来,比特币与股票市场的出现了如影随形的苗头。来自加密货币数据公司Coin Metrics的图表信息显示,两者之间的相关性已经从3月(富达投资的研究结束之时)的“零”上升至上个月的0.2以上。(纵轴上“ 0”表示不相关,“ 1”表示完全相关。)

最近几个月以来,比特币与标普500指数之间的相关性呈上升趋势。图片来源:Screenshot of Coin Metrics chart

而且,两者之间的相关性或将进一步提升。6月11日,在美联储主席鲍威尔对全球经济前景做出悲观展望之后,投资者反应消极,导致股市出现3月以来的最大跌幅。标普500指数下跌了5.7%,比特币则下跌了6.4%至9,100美元(虽然3月比特币经历了一波震荡行情,但今年以来其价格还是上涨了30%)。

这种所谓“巧合”或许正揭示了事实的真相,尽管这个真相可能不那么容易令人接受。

反米达斯之触

随着传统资产市场上拥有巨大影响力的投资者逐步将其势力扩张到数字货币领域,加密货币市场也将受到其影响力的辐射。

成熟机构投资者更倾向于在股市持有更大的头寸。在市场波动加剧时,券商有时也会向其发出追加保证金通知,要求其存入更多现金,以填补可能出现的亏损。

实际上,这意味着机构投资者可能会被迫迅速平仓,从而可能导致比特币或其他资产被抛弃。

这些情况就使得原本迥异的两个领域更加同步,造成了一个“自相矛盾”的循环。专业投资者之所以喜欢比特币,就是因为他们觉得比特币与其他资产的相关性低,投资比特币可以增加投资组合的多样性,而这又恰好降低了比特币相对于其它资产的独立性。

可以说是“南辕北辙”。这就像收藏家通过光泽来评估藏品价值,但恰恰是因为频繁碰触,使得藏品表面因为不断磨损而失去了光泽。

利亚·布托利亚是富达数字资产的研究主管,所供职的部门成立已经有两年时间,负责处理数字资产相关业务。她认为,数字资产与股市的这种相关性可能只是一种暂时现象,“在市场动荡和不确定时,两者会存在短暂的相关性”。但她补充道,根据过去的经验,从长远来看,有理由相信这种相关性“可能会随着时间的推移而逐渐回落。”

只有时间知道在经济环境恶化时投资者会如何处理比特币。布托利亚表示,富达团队正在密切关注市场在“长期避险期”可能发生的变化。所谓的“长期避险期”是投资者为规避风险,抛售高风险资产,如高收益“垃圾”债券等,转而买入公认的更安全的资产,如美国国债。

也就是说,投资者究竟是会将比特币当作救生衣、资产保值的避难所,还是一文不值的垃圾?

发光的未必都是金子

机构投资者喜欢数字资产的另外两个主要原因纯粹是投机性的。

去年11月至3月,共有800家美国和欧洲的机构投资者参与了富达的调查访问,其中约三分之一的受访者表示,他们喜欢比特币等数字资产的原因在于“比特币是一种创新的技术手段”。另有三分之一(33%)的受访者表示,他们喜欢数字资产是因为其具有“较高的升值潜力”。

而这两种特性,无论是所谓的“新奇的技术”,还是“一夜暴富”的机会,都与全球知名价值投资者的投资哲学相反。作为价值投资者的代表人物沃伦·巴菲特便将比特币比作“老鼠药的平方”。

比特币或许更适合那些偏好高风险的风险投资者,但随着全球各大央行纷纷将利率调低至接近零利率甚至负利率的水平,许多投资者也不得不将获利的目光投向其它地方,其中不乏那些风险更高的领域,如加密货币。

有投资者担心,美联储一心想通过加印钞票来避免金融危机,最终可能导致恶性的通货膨胀。所以一部分投资者认为,比特币可以作为“数字黄金”,成为一种潜在的通胀对冲工具。

然而,具有讽刺意味的是,从第一季度来看,与所谓“数字黄金”走势最不相关的资产恰恰正是黄金。Coin Metrics提供的另一张图表显示,近几个月来,比特币走势与黄金之间的相关性越来越小。

最近几个月以来,比特币和黄金之间的相关性呈下降趋势。图片来源:Screenshot of Coin Metrics chart

尽管现在的市场状况可能只是暂时的,未必会成为常态,但还是会让诸多专业投资者及加密货币拥趸所持的信念受到质疑。至少从现在来看,人们最普遍的假设与现实情况并不相符。

待到疫情尘埃落定之后,投资者或许要重新考虑比特币的投资价值到底在哪里。(财富中文网)

译者:Feb

疫情伊始,机构投资者便将目光投向了比特币。而现在,那些曾经让加密货币充满吸引力的论调似乎也不再有说服力。

经纪公司富达投资(Fidelity)近期开展的一项调查显示,80%的机构投资者表示自己乐意持有比特币等数字资产。其中36%的受访者称,持这一态度的最主要原因是他们相信数字货币不受股票等“其他资产波动影响”。

但近期新冠疫情对经济造成的破坏似乎颠覆了这一投资理念。疫情冲击之下,加密货币与股市之间的关系暴露无遗,从而导致投资者意识到自己钟爱加密货币的理由其实并不充分。

隐秘的浪漫

3月中旬,市场崩溃。标普500指数在3月10日至12日之间暴跌了14%,而比特币跌势更是凶猛,仅3月12日一天就跌去了38%的市值。

股市和币市同时出现抛售的情况表明,两者之间至少存在着一定联系,而并非互不相关,彼此独立。今年4月,全球最大的加密货币交易所币安进行的一项研究发现,第一季度,比特币价格与标普500指数表现的相关性“相对较高”,为57%。而比特币与小盘股指数罗素2000的相关性更是高达64%。

对于两者之间的“意外”联系,比特币的支持者们或许会将其视为一种偶然,比如币安报告的作者就认为这种情况在未来几个月中不太可能持续,不过看看近期比特币与股市的市场走势就知道情况并非如此。

自4月以来,比特币与股票市场的出现了如影随形的苗头。来自加密货币数据公司Coin Metrics的图表信息显示,两者之间的相关性已经从3月(富达投资的研究结束之时)的“零”上升至上个月的0.2以上。(纵轴上“ 0”表示不相关,“ 1”表示完全相关。)

而且,两者之间的相关性或将进一步提升。6月11日,在美联储主席鲍威尔对全球经济前景做出悲观展望之后,投资者反应消极,导致股市出现3月以来的最大跌幅。标普500指数下跌了5.7%,比特币则下跌了6.4%至9,100美元(虽然3月比特币经历了一波震荡行情,但今年以来其价格还是上涨了30%)。

这种所谓“巧合”或许正揭示了事实的真相,尽管这个真相可能不那么容易令人接受。

反米达斯之触

随着传统资产市场上拥有巨大影响力的投资者逐步将其势力扩张到数字货币领域,加密货币市场也将受到其影响力的辐射。

成熟机构投资者更倾向于在股市持有更大的头寸。在市场波动加剧时,券商有时也会向其发出追加保证金通知,要求其存入更多现金,以填补可能出现的亏损。

实际上,这意味着机构投资者可能会被迫迅速平仓,从而可能导致比特币或其他资产被抛弃。

这些情况就使得原本迥异的两个领域更加同步,造成了一个“自相矛盾”的循环。专业投资者之所以喜欢比特币,就是因为他们觉得比特币与其他资产的相关性低,投资比特币可以增加投资组合的多样性,而这又恰好降低了比特币相对于其它资产的独立性。

可以说是“南辕北辙”。这就像收藏家通过光泽来评估藏品价值,但恰恰是因为频繁碰触,使得藏品表面因为不断磨损而失去了光泽。

利亚·布托利亚是富达数字资产的研究主管,所供职的部门成立已经有两年时间,负责处理数字资产相关业务。她认为,数字资产与股市的这种相关性可能只是一种暂时现象,“在市场动荡和不确定时,两者会存在短暂的相关性”。但她补充道,根据过去的经验,从长远来看,有理由相信这种相关性“可能会随着时间的推移而逐渐回落。”

只有时间知道在经济环境恶化时投资者会如何处理比特币。布托利亚表示,富达团队正在密切关注市场在“长期避险期”可能发生的变化。所谓的“长期避险期”是投资者为规避风险,抛售高风险资产,如高收益“垃圾”债券等,转而买入公认的更安全的资产,如美国国债。

也就是说,投资者究竟是会将比特币当作救生衣、资产保值的避难所,还是一文不值的垃圾?

发光的未必都是金子

机构投资者喜欢数字资产的另外两个主要原因纯粹是投机性的。

去年11月至3月,共有800家美国和欧洲的机构投资者参与了富达的调查访问,其中约三分之一的受访者表示,他们喜欢比特币等数字资产的原因在于“比特币是一种创新的技术手段”。另有三分之一(33%)的受访者表示,他们喜欢数字资产是因为其具有“较高的升值潜力”。

而这两种特性,无论是所谓的“新奇的技术”,还是“一夜暴富”的机会,都与全球知名价值投资者的投资哲学相反。作为价值投资者的代表人物沃伦·巴菲特便将比特币比作“老鼠药的平方”。

比特币或许更适合那些偏好高风险的风险投资者,但随着全球各大央行纷纷将利率调低至接近零利率甚至负利率的水平,许多投资者也不得不将获利的目光投向其它地方,其中不乏那些风险更高的领域,如加密货币。

有投资者担心,美联储一心想通过加印钞票来避免金融危机,最终可能导致恶性的通货膨胀。所以一部分投资者认为,比特币可以作为“数字黄金”,成为一种潜在的通胀对冲工具。

然而,具有讽刺意味的是,从第一季度来看,与所谓“数字黄金”走势最不相关的资产恰恰正是黄金。Coin Metrics提供的另一张图表显示,近几个月来,比特币走势与黄金之间的相关性越来越小。

尽管现在的市场状况可能只是暂时的,未必会成为常态,但还是会让诸多专业投资者及加密货币拥趸所持的信念受到质疑。至少从现在来看,人们最普遍的假设与现实情况并不相符。

待到疫情尘埃落定之后,投资者或许要重新考虑比特币的投资价值到底在哪里。(财富中文网)

译者:Feb

Institutional investors were warming to Bitcoin just as the pandemic struck. Now the main reason they found cryptocurrencies appealing no longer appears justified.

Nearly four out of five institutional investors said they find something to like about digital assets such as Bitcoin, according to the results of a new survey by brokerage firm Fidelity. The foremost reason, as reported by 36% of respondents, was that they believed cryptocurrencies were “uncorrelated to other assets,” like stocks.

But the economic devastation of the recent coronavirus pandemic has seemingly shattered that investment thesis. The wave of destruction has exposed entanglements between digital currencies and the stock market that undermine the very reason investors said they were most interested.

A secret romance

In mid-March the markets crashed. The S&P 500, a common stock market measure, plummeted 14% between March 10 to 12, as did Bitcoin, which lost about 38% of its market value on March 12 alone.

The selloff revealed that stock and cryptocurrency values are at least partly linked, rather than being independent of one another. In April, a study by Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, found the correlation of Bitcoin's price to the performance of the S&P 500 was “relatively high” at 57% for the first quarter. The correlation was even higher, 64%, when comparing Bitcoin to the Russell 2000, another stock market index that features smaller-cap stocks.

While Bitcoin boosters may have considered the unexpected ties between Bitcoin and the stock market to be a fluke—the relationship "remains very unlikely to persist” in the months ahead, the Binance report's author wagered—recent market movements suggest otherwise.

Since April, Bitcoin and the stock market have moved closer in lockstep. As the following chart from Coin Metrics, a cryptocurrency data firm, shows, the correlation has trended upward from “zero” in March, when the Fidelity study ended, to more than 0.2 last month. (On the vertical axis: “0” means uncorrelated, "1" means correlated.)

The correlation may be getting stronger. On June 11, after Fed chair Jerome Powell gave his dour assessment of the global economic outlook, investors reacted negatively, causing the stock market’s biggest selloff since March. The S&P 500 dropped 5.7%, and Bitcoin—which had gained 30% for the year, despite its March turmoil—dipped 6.4% to $9,100.

The coincidences between Bitcoin and the stock market's ups and downs reveal a hard truth.

The anti-Midas touch

As investment firms—which hold great sway in traditional asset markets—have extended their influence to digital currencies, their gyrations now reverberate beyond the stock market and into cryptoland.

Established institutional investors tend to hold larger positions in the stock market. Sometimes, when volatility strikes, they're hit with margin calls, requirements by brokerages for more cash deposits to cover possible losses.

In practice, this means institutional investors may be forced quickly to liquidate positions elsewhere. It can lead to Bitcoin, among other holdings, getting jettisoned.

These circumstances are pushing the two formerly disparate realms more in sync. It's a self-defeating cycle. The very reason professional investors have taken a liking to Bitcoin—a supposed lack of correlation to other assets, like stocks—is justifying its addition to more portfolios, thereby reducing its independence from other assets.

The consequence of these strengthened ties is paradoxical. It’s as though collectors, valuing the worth of treasures by their shininess, ruined relics simply through the frequency of their touching them, smudging surfaces and causing the objects to lose their luster.

Ria Bhutoria, director of research at Fidelity Digital Assets, Fidelity’s two-year-old cryptocurrency-oriented business, says this greater correlation between digital assets and the stock market could be temporary. “There are brief periods of correlation during turbulence and uncertainty,” she says. But over the long run, she adds, there’s reason to believe, based on past experience, that the correlation could “end up trending back down over time.”

Only time will tell how investors will treat Bitcoin in the event that economic conditions worsen. The Fidelity team is watching closely what may happen, Bhutoria says, in a "prolonged risk off period," referring to a situation in which investors off-load riskier assets, like high-yield “junk” bonds, and head for assets considered safer, like U.S. Treasuries.

That is, will investors treat Bitcoin as a life jacket, a refuge to preserve people's wealth, or will they treat it as flotsam?

All that glitters is not gold

The two other top reasons institutional investors said they liked digital assets were purely speculative.

About a third of respondents to the Fidelity survey, which included interviews with 800 U.S. and European institutional investors between November and March, said they liked digital assets such as Bitcoin because they “consider it an innovative technology play.” Another third, 33%, said they liked it because it had “high potential upside.”

These traits—a fancy tech angle and the possibility of a get-rich-quick opportunity—represent the antithesis of the philosophy of the world's most famous value investors. Warren Buffett, chief among them, has likened Bitcoin to "rat poison squared."

An affinity for Bitcoin is perhaps more suited to the mentality of high-risk, venture capital investing. But since central banks around the world have adopted near-zero—and in some cases negative—interest rates, many investors find themselves in search of yield elsewhere, including in riskier assets, such as cryptocurrencies.

Some investors worry that a Fed bent on printing money to stave off financial calamity could result in higher inflation down the line. A portion of these investors believe Bitcoin could serve as “digital gold,” like the real-world yellow stuff, a possible hedge against inflation.

Yet, ironically, one asset to which so-called digital gold appeared least correlated in the first quarter was…gold. Another chart provided by Coin Metrics reveals the increasingly untethered relationship between Bitcoin and gold in recent months.

While the circumstances of the market today may be ephemeral and anomalous, they call into question beliefs held by many professional investors and cryptocurrency believers. At least today, people's most common assumptions appear to jar against reality.

As the dust kicked up in the wreckage of the pandemic settles, investors may have to rethink what they find appealing about Bitcoin.

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