Bitcoin recorded a record high monthly close for the month of November, topping the previous record set in December of 2017. At the time of writing, Bitcoin is up 168% year-to-date. The price increase was bolstered by a number of institution announcements over the previous week. Announcements include S&P Dow Jones launching a number of cryptocurrency indices in 2021, Visa releasing a Bitcoin reward credit card, BlackRock’s CEO and CIO publicly making optimistic comments about Bitcoin’s future, and positive expected regulatory news before the end of Trump’s presidential term.

  • Brian Brooks was nominated as acting Comptroller of the Currency by Donald Trump in late November. If Brooks is confirmed by the senate prior to the presidential transition, he will begin a five-year term. Brooks is an adamant supporter of cryptocurrencies, previously serving as the Chief Legal Officer of Coinbase. In an interview last week, Brooks told investors to expect “a lot of good news for crypto by the end of the term.” He specified that this news would include “clarity around the nature of [cryptocurrencies]” and the legality of “banks connecting to blockchain”. Additionally, Brooks assured markets that “nobody is going to ban Bitcoin.” Brooks stated that Bitcoin could never go away as a result of regulation, because “adoption’s too widespread, the technology’s too important, the need for the currency and store of value is too important.”
  • S&P Dow Jones Indices, one of the largest index providers in the world, joins the ranks of several large financial institutions demonstrating interest in cryptocurrency markets. The company will be launching indices for several cryptocurrencies in 2021, citing the market's rising maturity and institutional interest as primary motivation for the new products.
  • Visa announced plans to release a credit card which offers 1.5% Bitcoin back, instead of the traditional points or dollar rewards. This comes one month after Visa launched a debit card allowing users to spend cryptocurrencies. The debit card works by converting cryptocurrencies to fiat currencies at the point of sale.
  • Days after BlackRock CIO expressed strong positive sentiment regarding Bitcoin, BlackRock CEO, Larry Fink, stated that Bitcoin could evolve into a “global market” and that “[BlackRock] looks at it as something that’s real.” Fink went on to say that cryptocurrency may change “the need for the dollar as a reserve currency.” This is a significant reversal from Fink’s skepticism of Bitcoin in prior years.
  • Wall Street legend and hedge fund manager, Paul Tudor Jones, reiterated his belief in Bitcoin last week. Jones expects Bitcoin to go substantially higher in the coming decades, predicting that every nation will be using a digital currency in 20 years.

Bitcoin prices continue to steadily increase, as institutional interest and industry leaders continue investing in and supporting the cryptocurrency. Additionally, this increased interest in Bitcoin has driven U.S. regulators to provide clarity surrounding current and new regulations within the coming weeks. We expect over the coming months many institutions and asset managers to continue buying Bitcoin, and positive news from regulators will only expedite adoption.