Bitcoin has plunged more than 30% since hitting a year-to-date high. That fact is clear, but explaining why the world’s largest digital currency has lost momentum in the second half of the year is anything but.
Some, like JPMorgan Chase & Co. have pointed to Intercontinental Exchange Inc.’s new futures contracts and an unwinding of long positions as likely culprits for the nosedive. Others have pointed to a buildup of technical bearish signals as setting off its summer swoon.
Indexica, an alternative data provider, has a different take. According to their predictive index built on data from Aug. 1 through Oct. 1, Bitcoin’s fall has less to do with the currency itself and more to do with a growing cryptocurrency ecosystem.
According to their latest findings, Bitcoin’s price moves are being driven by competing digital currencies and new blockchain technologies. Indexica’s study showed talk around Mastercard’s partnership with R3 to develop a new blockchain payment system as a strong driver of recent returns.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Zak Selbert, chief executive officer at Indexica, says Bitcoin’s sensitivity to the development of competitors is just another sign of a coming of age. In a new development, Indexica found that Bitcoin’s strongest predictive measure was its “quoteability,” which showed that it was most often talked about in conjunction with more traditional currencies.
“Now that Bitcoin is a big kid, anything can make it move, just like anything can make gold or a G-10 currency move,” said Selbert. “Bitcoin is part of the financial landscape in a very intertwined and mature way.”