Have Bitcoin futures done crypto a favour?


Yukio Noguchi, a very famous Japanese economist and advisor to Waseda University’s Business and Finance Research Centre, claims that Bitcoin’s price will not see another massive surge, because we can now trade in Bitcoin futures.

Noguchi is not against Bitcoin. In fact, he sees the current Bitcoin price as a ‘good thing’, because it brings makes it cheaper than bank transactions when used as a system of payment and this is something he welcomes. Japan, of course, offers more opportunities for people to spend Bitcoin than any other country, so Noguchi is more familiar with this practical aspect of the Bitcoin use case than others who only have a theoretical knowledge.

Bitcoin futures trading caused price drop

His argument is that the introduction of the futures market at the end of last year, when Bitcoin’s price skyrocketed to almost $20,000, is the instrument that caused the drop in value to about a third of what it was in early December 2017. He started talking about this back in January, when he said, “Bitcoin prices were a bubble, to begin with, and now we’re seeing a return to normal values,” and the San Francisco Federal Bank backed his thinking.

Federal Bank backs Noguchi theory

He uses a paper published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, “How Futures Trading Changed Bitcoin Prices“, authored by Galina Hale, Arvind Krishnamurthy, Marianna Kudlyak, and Patrick Shultz as support for his claim, and quotes this passage in particular:

“From Bitcoin’s inception in 2009 through mid-2017, its price remained under US$4,000. In the second half of 2017, it climbed dramatically to nearly US $20,000, but descended rapidly starting in mid-December. The peak price coincided with the introduction of bitcoin futures trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The rapid run-up and subsequent fall in the price after the introduction of futures does not appear to be a coincidence. Rather, it is consistent with trading behavior that typically accompanies the introduction of futures markets for an asset.”

The Japanese economist also believes that the market is moving towards a situation where traders will be able to short-sell Bitcoin futures and that this will contribute to keeping the price down even more.

Bitcoin price drop is a blessing in disguise

However, all this doesn’t mean that he sees a decline in the popularity of Bitcoin. The answer is a resounding no, because as mentioned above he believes its boosts the practical use case for Bitcoin. Noguchi says that as the Bitcoin price drops it becomes a more attractive way of sending money and quotes costs based on Japanese banking.

According to his calculations, sending money via Mitsubishi UFJ Bank costs you 432 yen ($3.90) for any amount above 30,000 yen ($271). But with the current value of Bitcoin, it’s cheaper to send via a regular bank transfer than BTC, unless the value of BTC falls to 675,000 yen (that’s $6,000 today). Noguchi claims that when BTC returns to that level, it will finally be trading at what in his estimate is a normal value.

If we don’t see any further surges in Bitcoin price, will this dramatically change the way people start to look at Bitcoin and its use case? Last year, people bought it to make money, but perhaps we will soon see people view Bitcoin as an alternative currency for payment that is cheaper and more efficient than fiat currencies. Perhaps that is the change of perception that Bitcoin needs to mature.

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