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Explaining Bitcoin's drawback and the rise of Shiba Inu

In this article:
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  • HOOD
  • COIN

CoinDesk Learn Editor Ollie Leech joins Yahoo Finance to discuss recent cryptocurrency price action.

Video Transcript

- Bitcoin selling off today, falling below 60,000, its lowest level in about a week and a half. So we want to talk about the decline that we're seeing with Ollie Leech. He's CoinDesk's Learn Editor. And Ollie, I think people are kind of just scratching their heads trying to make sense of the action that we're seeing in Bitcoin, because there are so much hype after we got that first Bitcoin futures ETF. Although it seems like investors are cooling to the idea at this point. Any idea what's going on today?

OLLIE LEECH: Yeah, sure. So I mean, by all accounts, it seems like we've kind of finally left that Bitcoin honeymoon period that we were in. Prices like I said, have gone down under the 60k mark for the first time in 10 days. And looking at the data, we can see that a lot of this seems to be pointing towards overleveraged investors. As we broke back over 64,000, the previous all time high, we went into price discovery.

I think it's fair to assume a lot of people started piling in, overleveraging in the long positions. And when institutional investors see this, you know, they see the market's frothy, they take some money off the table. And when enough of them do that, we see these high liquidations.

We see the market then decline. We're seeing actually the liquidations accelerate the downside action and that's exactly what's happened. If we look at the leverage ratio, which kind of shows the degree in which most average investors are leveraging right now, it's the highest we've seen over a year since last November.

It's up at 0.19, which again, doesn't really seem big, but it really is across the board. So it definitely seems to be pointing towards that. I guess also some attention is shifted from the retail market I guess towards Shiba Inu coin. Obviously that's doing particularly well right now. So that could be taking some attention away from that side of things.

And institutions are also getting involved in that coin as well in a big way. So yeah, a few things right now.

- Ollie, it's interesting that you bring up the Shiba Inu coin. Because I'm still trying to wrap my head around all this, why people get so excited about these meme coins. I guess from your perspective is it legitimate?

OLLIE LEECH: Yeah. I mean, if you Google Inu coins right now, you can see it's about 100 now, which gives you a kind of idea and the scale of how many people are trying to buy into this hype. And these companies are trying to get into it. If you compare it to Dogecoin, actually, I would say it is legitimate.

It's actually trying to provide more utility to its users than I would say Dogecoin ever did really. I mean, you look at Shiba coin, it has its own decentralized exchange called Shiba Swap. It actually has two other tokens inside the ecosystem called LEASH and BONE.

I wish I was making that up but that's just what it is. And what you can do with that is actually to have a number of DeFi features. You can stake these coins. You can provide liquidity. And we're not talking small interest rates either here. We're talking between I think it's 280% and 1,899% APY returns if you stake these coins.

There are caveats to that, and you have to lock up and things like that. We've published a guide on this but I'd encourage people to do their own due diligence. But for sure you know, it's providing something that Doge never did, which was like a kind of baked in utility. Obviously the community gave it some life, but this is actually coming from the team themselves, which is interesting to see.

- It is interesting. Of course, when you get a move like that I think a lot of people take notice. Ollie, I want to bring your attention to a Wall Street Journal story today that was talking about how, because of the crackdown that we're seeing over in China, the US is now becoming the new global hub for Bitcoin mining.

When it comes to this, I guess why is the US then potentially a top choice. Because there are a number of other countries where Bitcoin miners could turn to for this.

OLLIE LEECH: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we're seeing I think it's now 75% of miners have now shifted to the US, which is really interesting. Because I mean, go back two years and that's the amount of the hash power was doing in China. I think a great deal of that has to do with stability, predictability.

I mean, if you look at China and what we've learned from that, obviously miners, you know these hard and fast law policies that come out very quickly, there's no lobbying involved. There's absolutely no cooperation from the miners to try and shape these policies.

So I think they've come to the US. You know that, the energy, there's a lot more renewable energy obviously. That sector is trying to become greener. But it's this stability, it's predictability. Obviously, you know the policies take a lot longer in the US because it's democratic.

They have more say in that sort of landscape I think. And also you know you know it's just an opportunity for them to become more renewable. It's obviously putting more pressure on the regulators in the US now that they have so much mining taking place in the nation, that they're obviously going have to make sure that it does stick to its guns on being renewable.

And you the Bitcoin Mining Council led by Elon Musk and Michael Saylor, they're obviously going to have a big role to play in shaping this kind of sector as it moves forward now after we've left China.

- Now, our colleague Brian Cheung, he talked to SEC chair Gary Gensler earlier this week at Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit. And once again we heard Gensler kind of reiterate the fact that he's worried about, or he has concerns I should say, about investor protection. He once again referred to the crypto market as the Wild West. What do you think of those comments?

And I guess to put it in perspective for us, because a lot of people, a lot of investors are very encouraged by the fact that we saw that first Bitcoin futures ETF last week. And that could potentially lead the way to a Bitcoin spot ETF. When we hear Gary Gensler make these types of comments, I guess, do you think that's still the case? Are we likely going to see a Bitcoin spot ETF here in the US?

OLLIE LEECH: Yeah I think so. I mean, it's a little bit disheartening obviously to hear him still have that view, given you know so many financial products are coming out now, not just in the US, but obviously in Canada, we've had ETFs there already. And also in Europe we've had that Jacobia Asset Management ETF launched.

So you know, it's not so much the Wild West it was before. And in fact, if you look across the board now, regulations are more than we've ever had before more. Institutions are more comfortable to invest in this space. I think it shows a level of maturity and legitimacy that the market is starting to have. [? Valium ?] and Blockchain have just bought the Gibraltar Stock Exchange is going to be.

You know, you'll be able to buy traditional securities with crypto assets. There's a whole amount of legitimacy going on there. It's hard to hear him still think that there is a Wild West element. Obviously you know things like DeFi and stuff like that, there can be.

But yeah, with these futures ETF, I mean it's the same argument a lot of people have said, you know these the futures ETF can be structured more to the Investment Company Act in 1940. And it can have these investor protections that we see with mutual funds.

But we still have these front month contracts that have to be rolled over. And the performance of the ETF can be damaged if obviously if the price is more expensive going into the next month. So, we're just going to have to sort of see how this goes.

There's a lot of push and pull. I think eventually I'd like to think that he will come to his senses, I guess, and allow an ETF. And it will give the market a lot of boost or give these investors more security.

Because physically backed ETFs, you know, they just seem to perform a lot better on paper than futures ETFs, because of the front month rolling thing. So yeah, we'll see. I'm hopeful. I hope he. Does a U-turn into next year. We'll see.

- All right, Ollie Leech, CoinDesk's Learn Editor. Always great to speak with you. Thanks.