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Opinion

Macaskill on markets: Bitcoin’s whale hunters chart a course

Bitcoin’s boom is dependent on ‘whales’ holding on to long positions, but trading techniques from older markets could create opportunities for whale hunters.

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The remarkable rise in the dollar price of bitcoin continues, with the cryptocurrency up by over 1,000% in the past year to trade between $50,000 and $60,000 by late March. The price appreciation that has taken bitcoin to a nominal value over $1 trillion has brought renewed attention from banks.

Veterans of crypto trading are urging their followers to treat these late converts to the cause with disdain. Barry Silbert, the founder of Digital Currency Group – which bills itself as the most active investor in the blockchain sector – made his views clear in a tweet on March 21.

“It is truly mind-blowing just how wrong Wall Street was on bitcoin for the past five years. A $1 trillion asset class formed without any help or support from the incumbent players. Just remember that when they start flinging their crap crypto-exposure products at you,” Silbert said.

Morgan Stanley recently became the first major US bank to offer certain wealth management clients access to bitcoin funds, including Michael Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital.

Edging into crypto

Novogratz’s one-time employer, Goldman Sachs, has revived the cryptocurrency trading desk it put on hold in 2018 and is arguably edging into crypto structured product issuance with auto callable contingent notes based on the Ark Innovation exchange-traded fund (ETF).

That

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