October 2019 – Commentary on the Cryptocurrency Market

Navigating the frontier is always a difficult endeavor. The crypto market downturn that began in June of this year persisted into this month until an abrupt BTC surge on October 25th. Bitcoin’s price climbed an unforeseen 39% in just 12 hours. The market volatility continued throughout the month and we later witnessed the price of BTC retrace by 15% in a mere 16 hour period. Market commentators love to assign ex-post narratives following a significant market move and many pointed to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s positive thoughts on blockchain technology as the catalyst for BTC’s dramatic move. Although, one may question whether China’s government is truly interested in decentralized, censorship resistant, pseudonymous money or if they are more interested in the technology’s capability as a fully auditable and controllable accounting system. The Chinese President’s motives are unclear, as is the relationship between his comments and the sudden spike in price. However, it remains to be seen if that 39% move will change the market’s overall direction. Historically, positive moves of this magnitude have been followed by continued bullish behavior. The last five months have proven to be challenging for the CTA-style strategies, however periods of under-performance are a fact of life and that is what makes staying the course a challenge. An edge can be found in patience and discipline as much as in technology and strategy.