You would think the news that Coinbase Global Inc. had entered into a partnership with BlackRock Inc. to help institutional investors manage and trade Bitcoin would energize the slumping cryptocurrency market. After all, if the world’s largest asset manager is interested in transacting in Bitcoin, it would mean Bitcoin and crypto in general had just been given its imprimatur. That is what the crypto folks have been looking for all along, which is some recognition that crypto is a legitimate asset class to go along with equities, fixed income, commodities and currencies.
Although Coinbase’s shares rose some 30% last week on the news, Bitcoin fell. If the partnership had happened during the crypto mania of 2019-2021, you can be sure that Bitcoin would have soared and all the crypto evangelists on Twitter would have been out proselytizing in full force, preaching to all non-believers to “have fun staying poor.” Bitcoin’s disappointing reaction is especially concerning when you consider that this was just the latest in a string of what should have been a positive development that turned out not to be a catalyst. Recall that just a few months ago Fidelity Investments said it would begin to offer Bitcoin in retirement plans for customers, and the bear market in crypto kept on going.