Bitcoin topped a $1 trillion market cap Thursday while the BTC price surged past $55,000. According to a Markets Insider report, US bank JPMorgan said in a note today that a range of factors may be fueling the rally, including institutional investor appetite, assurances that the US won’t ban BTC, and the recent rise of the Lightning Network.
“The re-emergence of inflation concerns among investors has renewed interest in the usage of Bitcoin as an inflation hedge,” JPMorgan stated in the research note. “Institutional investors appear to be returning to Bitcoin perhaps seeing it as a better inflation hedge than gold.”
The big bank added that the prior trend of institutional money flowing out of gold and into Bitcoin has reemerged in recent weeks, per the report. The validation of Bitcoin as a better store of value than gold among big investors has encouraged an increased flow of money into BTC.
Institutional investors aren’t alone in a bet on Bitcoin. Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary claimed earlier this week that crypto now accounts for a larger allocation in his portfolio than gold does.
Also, JPMorgan provided other two factors it believes are behind the current surge.
“The recent assurances by US policymakers that there is no intention to follow China’s steps towards banning the usage or mining of cryptocurrencies,” the bank analysts noted, referring to the recent comments of the US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell. Powell said there is no intention to ban Bitcoin in the country, indicating that the US won’t follow China’s steps.
“The recent rise of the Lightning Network and 2nd layer payments solutions helped by El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption” have also helped grow confidence in the Bitcoin network and its ability to scale, JPMorgan added.
This note regarding Bitcoin contrasting with a JPMorgan report in May when analysts noted big investors at the time were switching from Bitcoin to traditional gold.
Also, despite analysts of JPMorgan showing a growing interest in crypto, CEO Jamie Dimon expressed skepticism about BTC, even comparing it to “a little bit of fool’s gold.”
However, in August, despite Jamie Dimon continually advising against crypto, CNBC reported that JPMorgan has silently begun giving its wealth management clients access to six cryptocurrency investment funds.