After a few days of uncertainty, it looks like Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States. What does that possibly mean for the crypto market, and for DeFi (“decentralized finance”)? Let’s dive in just a little and find out.
BTC: Pretty Bullish 7 Days
Whether or not correlation equals causation this week is questionable; the BTC chart from the past seven days is actually quite interesting, though, as once it seemed it was likely going to be Biden and not Trump, the price went up.
A couple of weeks before the election, I asked my friend Von what he thought a Biden win would do for the crypto markets; this is what he said:
At this point, though, the stock market has been fine — most prognosticators had priced in various scenarios and the markets really like the prospect of a Biden administration being held in check by a Republican Senate — and the Fed has held its own (and held interest rates where they are), and the prospects of an economy tanking seem pretty low.
The bullish BTC case, though, may have little to do with the economy writ large (or your 401(k)’s value) and more to do with things like money supply — the Fed still has the money printer; it still goes “Brrrrr” — and whether or not the US Dollar’s days as the world’s reserve currency could be numbered*.
(*By “could be numbered,” it should be noted, that’s a real real tall order that wouldn’t happen overnight and even the most fervent anti-dollar or pro-gold standard folks probably wouldn’t see that in a decade at the least.)
In any event, the numbers below — the 24-hour “sentiment” from CoinGecko and the percentage gains over most of the measured periods, with a real OMG for the 12-month prices — show that BTC can weather the storm of a Trump administration and a coronavirus pandemic and emerge stronger. The question remains whether these trends continue.
What About DeFi?
One of our biggest DeFi holdings is Yearn.Finance ($YFI) and we’ve bragged about it a couple times here, including in this piece: When You Realize You Should Have Bought More. It has had quite the week, actually, dropping sharply and snapping back to life almost as quickly.
If you think of YFI as proxy for all of DeFi, you might think this bodes incredibly well. And you may be right. Or you may be wrong.
Had you bought in at the low and exited at the top — HA! Nobody Did That! — you’d be sitting on an insane profit.
But that’s not the point here and that’s not the point of most of the DeFi tokens like YFI. The point is APY (Annual Percentage Yield) and that’s where you’ll find much more mystery in DeFi.
Are the assets themselves valuable enough? Or are you playing the “yield farming” and “HODL” game, hoping to maximize on, in theory, an asset you buy at $1000 and get a yield of 50% from AND that asset jumps to $2000 or $5000 or $20,000?
And does the Presidency have ANYTHING to do with that at all?
There’s Much More DeFi Mystery
So many questions:
- Will President Biden be pro-innovation in the financial sector?
- Will his administration be interested in digital currency at all?
- Is anything favorable to DeFi immediately assumed to be anti-banking, or anti-big bank?
Bitcoin might be a little easier to figure out, right? BTC is the people’s currency and just maybe it and the US Dollar can coexist. DeFi, though, is much more mysterious; yield farming is new-ish and YFI is a 2020 innovation. It all happens outside of the purview of any government and, despite YFI failing the “Howey Test” and not being considered a security by the SEC (for now, we guess), you would suspect that the opportunity to tax anything that throws off the kinds of profits thrown off by DeFi is looked at by a Democratic administration as potentially lucrative.
Your Guess? As Good As Ours
The point, though, is that we’re onto a new day in crypto and DeFi. While none of this post should be construed as financial advice, perhaps the best way to ride the actual crypto back-and-forth, and the wild mood swings of the days ahead, is to actually get in the game.
Bitcoin has proved itself resilient. DeFi — as reflected by YFI — maybe a little crazier. 2021 could bring much more growth, or it could see huge pullbacks. But you won’t find out until you actually, well, find out.