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June 21, 2021 | Risk Off Sentiment Contagious in Highly Levered Markets

Danielle Park

Portfolio Manager and President of Venable Park Investment Counsel (www.venablepark.com) Ms Park is a financial analyst, attorney, finance author and regular guest on North American media. She is also the author of the best-selling myth-busting book "Juggling Dynamite: An insider's wisdom on money management, markets and wealth that lasts," and a popular daily financial blog: www.jugglingdynamite.com

Bitcoin is flirting with $32,000 this morning– -48% from February’s 63,000 peak and still some 250% above year-ago levels as China steps up its pledge to crack down on both asset speculation and its CO2 emissions.

Some 65% of global Bitcoin mining has been based in China, where coal power is still heavily used.  As I discussed in my June 10 biweekly market update here, once countries commit to hard targets and emission budgets, it becomes obvious that certain essential activities like food production and transportation have to be given precedence over financialized activities like crypto mining.  This is finally focusing minds on how to decrease energy overall and increase renewable power sources dramatically.   The segment below offers insight into why mining and blockchain verification is so energy-intensive.

In mid-May 2021, billionaire Elon Musk sent a tweet that crashed the cryptocurrency market. The Tesla CEO announced the electric vehicle company would no longer accept bitcoin for purchases due to its huge energy consumption. So why does crypto-mining use so much electricity, and is there a sustainable alternative? CNBC’s Nessa Anwar is joined by Ryan Browne to explain.  Here is a direct video link.

Moreover, as I have noted repeatedly, Cryptocurrencies are emblems of risk sentiment in global markets; they move up and down with speculative impulses, and a risk-off wave has been spreading globally since March. See Crypto reality check:  not stable, secure or a hedge.  Slowly and then all at once?  We enter another week of downside tests…

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June 21st, 2021

Posted In: Juggling Dynamite

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