In an interview with economist Marc Friedrich, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor said that Bitcoin is not the same as it was in 2015 or 2017. According to Saylor, the arguments against Bitcoin (BTC) that were relevant four years ago are no longer applicable.
How is Bitcoin like Lebron?
Bitcoin has grown exponentially since the 2017 peak in terms of infrastructure, fundamentals and adoption. In the past year, institutions have started to increasingly see BTC as a store of value and an inflation hedge.
In 2017, critics said Bitcoin was too volatile and that there was a risk it could drop to zero because it was an asset in a nascent phase. Saylor emphasized that these arguments are less relevant now because BTC has evolved significantly in three years.
Saylor emphasized that Lebron James played basketball from ages 8 to 18, but he matured to evolve into one of the all-time greats. He said Bitcoin went through a similar period, stating:
“I also thought it was important to address head on the fears and anxieties of the original Bitcoin and the crypto community that have all these tropes, like ‘oh it’s risky, it’s volatile, might go to zero,’ and they are still living in the 2012, 2015, and 2017 timeframe. And what I want to say to them is Lebron James played basketball from age 9 to 18, and he was talented but irratic and volatile. But then he grew up and from age 18 to 28, he destroyed everybody and everything in his way.”
— marrrrrrc friedrich (@marcfriedrich7) December 3, 2020
One of the major changes Bitcoin has seen since 2017 is its market structure. Three years ago, retail platforms like BitMEX were the dominant players in the derivatives market.
As Cointelegraph reported, institutional platforms such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) have consistently processed volumes similar to leading retail-focused exchanges. As of Dec. 4, the CME BTC futures market has an open interest of $1.14 billion, which is higher than Binance Futures, Bybit, Huobi and BitMEX.
On-chain data also show a considerable increase in institutional growth based on large transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.
Large BTC transactions doubled this year
According to data from IntoTheBlock, the number of transactions valued at above $100,000 has increased twofold over the past year. This is indicative of the increase in institutional activity on the Bitcoin blockchain, the analysts said.
Considering the noticeable change in volume trends and on-chain data in the past 12 months, the analysts wrote that Bitcoin is seeing high institutional growth. They wrote:
“The number of transactions of over $100,000 recorded on the Bitcoin blockchain on a daily basis has more than doubled from a year earlier. Furthermore, the total volume transferred in these has experienced even larger growth with 6x over the same period.”
Based on a variety of factors, including the fact that there is significant institutional involvement in the Bitcoin market, investors like Saylor remain confident that BTC is evolving into an established store of value and that this is improving its perception with mainstream investors.