In an interview with Yahoo Finance, former Point72 portfolio manager and Ikigai Asset Management founder, Travis Kling, gives his take on why Bitcoin’s brutal market downturn from its all-time high of nearly $20,000 in December of 2017 to a low of $3,200 nearly one year later has likely run its course.
“The likelihood that we’re going to retest the lows of mid-December has materially diminished over the last seven weeks. And then, with the price action last night, I think it’s pretty safe to say that there’s about as close to a nail in the coffin as you can have in terms of feeling good about the bottom being in for this crypto market. Never say never, but it would take a massive shift in the appetite for risk assets globally for us to go retest the lows or make new lows for the crypto market now.”
His company started seeing renewed interest in digital assets over the last two months compared to the last quarter of 2018 and January of 2019. Says Kling,
“That’s primarily been a function of the global macro backdrop for risk assets as a whole.”
Despite strong performances by several altcoins such as Litecoin and Binance Coin which are up 100% and 200% in the first three months of the year, respectively, Kling urges caution.
“Running around going dumpster diving in tiny, small-cap cryptocurrencies is not a job for the faint of heart, and not a job to do part time. On a risk-adjusted basis, we think Bitcoin is the most compelling long position here. We also like EOS as well, but I guess I would say that just because Litecoin led us out of this bear market starting in the first week of February, I would not take that as an indication of its quality relative to other names.”
Kling believes the crypto markets are still dominated by individuals and that institutional investors are just waking up.
“We’re just in the top of the second inning in terms of institutional adoption for this asset class as a whole. When you look at things as an overall spectrum, the world is just now starting to dig in and do research and understand what the potential for distributed ledger technology is, and so there’s so much more to go here.
Kling says XRP, down 12% for the first quarter of 2019 and the worst-performing asset of the top 10 coins, is facing challenges. According to Kling, Ripple, which uses XRP to power its xRapid solution for cross-border payments, will face serious competition from traditional banking giants.
“JP Morgan Coin which was announced in February looks a lot like the value proposition for Ripple. Those guys are going to do as much as they can to try and prove to the world and to the market that XRP has fundamental value, but when you have banks like JP Morgan – there are banks in Japan that are also starting their own internal, private, permissioned, ledger-based stablecoin system – that is undoubtedly a challenge to the use case that XRP is trying to fill.”
Highlight: “I think we have definitely seen a renewed interest in the last two months,” says Ikigai Asset Management Founder Travis Kling on $BTC topping $5,000. https://t.co/ohsBg29IFZ pic.twitter.com/OUg8dia0Gz
— Yahoo Finance (@YahooFinance) April 2, 2019