Currency Guru Gets His Head Around Bitcoin's Capital Flow Signal

  • Key value of cryptocurrencies is to see global cash swings
  • Jens Nordvig of Exante Data tells his clients to take heed

Why Demand for Cryptocurrencies Is on the Rise

One of the hottest prognosticators in the $5.1 trillion-a-day foreign-exchange market says what’s key to bitcoin are the signals it gives on global capital flows.

Jens Nordvig, founder of New York-based research firm Exante Data and former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. currency strategist, avoids wading into the polarizing debate over whether cryptocurrencies will last and tells his clients they are “another relevant piece in the global capital flow puzzle.”

“As bitcoin volumes increased along with Chinese currency intervention in 2016, Chinese individuals were seemingly using virtual currency to circumvent government capital controls and escape currency weakening,” Nordvig wrote in a note. “This was the message from the premium on bitcoin traded on Chinese exchanges during 2016, and this was an interesting real-time proxy of capital flight.”

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon earlier this month said he would fire any employee trading bitcoin for being “stupid” and that the cryptocurrency “won’t end well.”

Bitcoin has soared in recent months, spurred by greater acceptance of the blockchain technology that underpins the exchange method and optimism that faster transaction times will encourage broader use of the cryptocurrency.

“We do not believe that one can predict with confidence at this point that any given cryptocurrency will continue to thrive and gain status,” Nordvig said. “But we look forward to using the information from an increasingly active cryptocurrency market in our tracking of global capital flows.”

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