Charles Schwab’s chief investment strategist says she puts faith in the entire U.S. financial system, the banking system, the power of the central bank, and the Federal Reserve more than bitcoin.
Charles Schwab’s Strategist Skeptical of Cryptocurrency
Charles Schwab Chief Investment Strategist Liz Ann Sonders shared her thoughts on cryptocurrency and the U.S. financial and banking systems on a Yahoo Finance webinar last week.
The Wall Street strategist explained that she trusts the U.S. financial system more than she trusts cryptocurrency miners, stating:
I still put some faith in the entire U.S. financial system, the banking system, all of its protections, as well as the power of the central bank, the Federal Reserve, to sort of control the fiat currency that is also the global monetary standard and the world’s reserve currency — versus, say, bitcoin miners.
Regarding cryptocurrency, she said: “I am an admitted skeptic to some degree. I’m not on either end of the spectrum, meaning I’m a skeptic but I’m not [saying] this is complete nonsense.”
She explained that she has been asking one question for a long time, “which is what problem is this solving for?” However, the strategist said, “I have yet to get a very compelling answer.”
Commenting on using bitcoin as an inflation hedge, she noted that the cryptocurrency has been around since 2009 but “the only burst of inflation that we’ve gotten since that period of time was during a three-month period where bitcoin was cut in half. So you sort of lose that argument.”
The strategist proceeded to raise concerns about bitcoin’s “concentration,” which she considers a significant threat. “The latest data that I’ve seen is the top 2% of bitcoin holders own somewhere between 90% and 95% of bitcoin. And then there’s leverage associated with a lot of this,” she described. The strategist cited “The implosion of Melvin Capital with Gamestop” and “The implosion of Archegos and stocks like CBS Viacom” as examples of what concentration issues could lead to.
Noting that crypto could have “underestimated” risk factors, she opined:
I think that thread of leverage and concentration arguably can weave its way through a lot of these areas where you’ve seen tremendous amount of speculation.
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