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JPMorgan Says Bitcoin’s Record Run Is Being Driven by Inflation

By Vildana Hajric

Inflation concerns rather than exuberance about the first U.S. Bitcoin futures ETF is driving the digital currency to record highs, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. strategists.

“By itself, the launch of BITO is unlikely to trigger a new phase of significantly more fresh capital entering Bitcoin,” wrote strategists including Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, referring to the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF. “Instead, we believe the perception of Bitcoin as a better inflation hedge than gold is the main reason for the current upswing, triggering a shift away from gold ETFs into Bitcoin funds since September.”

Growing concerns over inflation have renewed investors’ interests in assets that can act as a hedge -- and that includes Bitcoin. Gold has failed, in recent weeks, to respond to heightened concerns over rising cost pressures, and the shift away from gold ETFs into Bitcoin funds has gathered pace. “This flow shift remains intact supporting a bullish outlook for Bitcoin into year-end,” the strategists said.

Take, for instance, the $56 billion SPDR Gold Shares ETF, ticker GLD, which is on pace to see its fourth straight month of outflows that so far total more than $3.6 billion over that span, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin investors already have a “multitude of investment choices,” JPMorgan said. The bank’s strategists point to the launch of the Purpose Bitcoin ETF (ticker BTCC) in Canada, which saw a warm reception at first that then slowly waned. “The initial hype with BITO could fade after a week,” they said.

Read more: Bitcoin Surges to All-Time High in Crypto’s ‘Validating Moment’

Bitcoin reached a milestone on Wednesday when it crossed above $66,000 for the first time. Investors and analysts have largely attributed the breakthrough to optimism over greater mainstream acceptance following the successful launch of the inaugural exchange-traded fund for U.S. investors.

ProShares’s BITO this week also marked a major moment when it debuted on Tuesday as the second-most heavily traded fund on record. It continued its hot streak on its second live day -- BITO saw trading volume of over 29 million shares Wednesday, representing over $1.2 billion. The fund now has assets of $1.1 billion, according to the company. That’s the quickest an ETF has hit the $1 billion mark, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

— With assistance by Katherine Greifeld

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