In the next few months bitcoin (BTC) may be able to reclaim much of the attention it has relinquished to other crypto tokens and projects during recent years and the enthusiasm it lost during the crypto winter, Berenberg said in a research report Thursday.
As U.S. regulators crack down on the industry “almost every token appears at risk of being branded a security and becoming subject to an enforcement action,” the report said.
The sole exception is bitcoin, “which, by virtue of the decentralization stemming from the design of its blockchain protocol, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other regulators characterize as a commodity rather than a security,” wrote analyst Mark Palmer.
The bank sees bitcoin’s price appreciation in the last few months as a sign that “more investors are recognizing it as a sensible alternative not only among crypto tokens, but also within a global financial context.”
The recent banking crisis in the U.S. and concerns over the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policies have led some countries to reduce their exposure to the U.S. dollar, which has fueled concerns about de-dollarization, the note said, and “could help to highlight bitcoin’s value proposition.” De-dollarization is the decline of the greenback’s dominance as the world’s global reserve currency.
The fourth bitcoin halving date, scheduled for May 2024, is another potential positive catalyst for the cryptocurrency, the report said, noting that “if history is any guide, then bitcoin could rally ahead of and after this much-anticipated halving.”
“The utility of the Bitcoin blockchain has been highlighted by the increasing traction gained by the Lightning Network,” the report added. The Lightning Network creates a layer on top of the Bitcoin blockchain exploiting user-generated micropayment channels to conduct transactions more efficiently.