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Tom Lee: “Bitcoin Is The Best House In A Tough Neighborhood”



Tom Lee, often regarded as Wall Street’s foremost Bitcoin permabull, recently made an appearance on CNBC “Fast Money” to outline why Bitcoin could still see further upside.

Market Dominance Reflects Bitcoin Bulls

On Monday afternoon, Tom Lee, the Head of Research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, highlighted the importance of Bitcoin’s dominance figure for CNBC viewers.

The analyst, who has become well-known for his cryptocurrency-related insight, brought attention to the Bitcoin’s historical command over the industry, with the asset holding an 80% (or more) market share value for the better part of ten years. The Fundstrat executive went on to note that altcoins have since seen positive price action, moving Bitcoin’s dominance to an all-time low at 37% in January as a direct result of ICOs and overly-ambitious projects.

While many expected Bitcoin to recede into obscurity as 2018 moved forward, Lee added that Bitcoin’s recent resurgence suggests that Bitcoin still holds the coveted position as the most reliable cryptocurrency investment. He elaborated, stating:

“Bitcoin’s dominance has been creeping up. In fact, in the last couple of weeks, it has soared to the highest level all year and it has hit about 48%. So it tells us that the news we have seen, from the SEC saying that Bitcoin is a commodity, to ICE’s announcement and a potential for a (Bitcoin) ETF, are causing investors to decide that Bitcoin is the best house in a tough neighborhood. So I think that Bitcoin dominance is actually showing that the market is reacting to what is good news.”

This Bitcoin-centric bull sentiment has become a common sight in the eyes of investors, with industry leaders like Galaxy Digital’s Mike Novogratz and Peter Smith of Blockchain both indicating that they see Bitcoin outperforming the market in the near future. Whether this sentiment is a result of the positive news surrounding Bitcoin-related products, or institutional affection specifically aimed at this asset, still remains to be seen.

“This (Decline) Is In-Line With Previous Bear Retracements”

Lee went on to bring attention to the so-called “Bitcoin Misery Index (BMI),” which aims to encapture what a “holder of Bitcoin would be feeling” at any point in time. The BMI indicator tends to be a contrarian indicator, added the analyst, with an under 27/100 rating often catalyzing a Bitcoin uptick, instead of a downtrend as some would rightfully assume. As it stands, the BMI sits at a comfortable rating of 39, which Lee went on to note that this should not be a bearish signal for investors. The Bitcoin bull declared:

“Bitcoin isn’t broken if it’s holding at these levels. I think people are afraid it is going to go back down to $6,000 and never come back from those bear markets.”

As pointed out by a Fast Money panelist, the cryptocurrency market is often subject to tri-yearly cycles with Bitcoin seeing declines of up to 90% before establishing new all-time highs. Taking these cycles into account, the panelist went on to query Lee on whether he sees 2018’s drawback as out of the ordinary in any matter. Responding as any Bitcoin bull would, Fundstrat’s Head of Research stated:

“I do think its in-line with previous sort-of bear retracements, Bitcoin is just much bigger now, so it is much more dependent on new fiat inflows… We have to think about how is someone either in Asia – because that’s where a lot of the new money comes from – or who’s a traditional investor going to feel willing to buy Bitcoin. I think that these announcements that we are seeing are actually positive, but in some ways, Bitcoin is a show-me token.”

Closing off his segment on the show, Tom Lee added that the cryptocurrency market is still in its early stages, likening this nascent industry to the internet in 1994. If cryptocurrencies reach internet-levels of adoption, as Lee fully expects, cryptocurrency wallets could be used by up to four billion people as this technology hits the mainstream.

Oddly enough, Lee made no mention of his controversial $25,000 price prediction during this Fast Money episode, so it remains to be seen if this prediction is still on his radar.