比特币为何能吸引企业关注?

Quantstamp Labs
November 5, 2020

MicroStrategy, a Nasdaq-listed business intelligence company, made headlines this summer as the first publicly-traded company to buy Bitcoin as part of its capital allocation strategy. In an effort to avoid inflation and maximize value for shareholders, the company believes that this investment in Bitcoin will perform better over the dollar long-term. After an initial investment of $250M, the company decided to purchase more Bitcoin in the weeks that followed, leading to a cumulative total of 38,250 BTC or $425M. 

This wasn’t a decision that came quickly for the company. Determining their capital allocation strategy took “months,” according to a mid-August press release. MicroStrategy’s decision was influenced by a myriad of factors affecting the global economy, many due to the COVID-19 pandemic: economic uncertainty, unprecedented levels of financial assistance from governments, and quantitative easing around the world. 

Other companies shortly followed suit. In October, Square, Inc. purchased more than 4,700 bitcoins at an aggregate purchase price of $50 million. Later in the month, Mode Global Holdings PLC, a U.K-listed company, announced plans to convert around 10% of its cash reserves to Bitcoin as part of a long-term strategy to "protect investors' assets from currency debasement."

A Changing Economic Landscape


On March 15, 2020, the Federal Reserve announced the intention to carry out quantitative easing to increase the liquidity of U.S. banks. As of October 2020, the balance sheet had ballooned to 7.18 trillion U.S. dollars. While this was done to increase money supply and stimulate economic growth in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many believe that this will ultimately make the dollar weaker and destabilize the economy. 

Considering the potential for the long-term real value of fiat currencies and conventional assets to depreciate, more enterprises are seeing investment in cryptocurrency as a way to manage long-term risks to their corporate treasury program. 

Size of the Federal Reserve's balance sheet since quantitative easing (QE) measures were introduced from March to October 2020 (in trillion U.S. dollars)


Recession-Proofing Investments

In the past, a lot of companies would choose to hedge against stock volatility with gold, which was traditionally thought of as a “safe haven” asset due to some of its properties. It is useful for manufacturing certain goods, and is relatively scarce; its supply can’t simply be increased in the same way a federal bank prints money. 

Since 1971, when President Nixon cut ties between USD and gold as a base, it has been fairly uncorrelated to assets like currencies and stock indices. It can provide a good hedge when the stock market declines, and as more investors offload stocks and invest in gold, the price has a tendency to rise.


Bitcoin as Digital Gold

You may have heard Bitcoin referred to as “digital gold.” In reality, this is more than just a catchphrase. Bitcoin and gold share important features that undoubtedly appealed to these companies as they weighed various asset classes for potential investment.

Having been used as a currency for 2000+ years, gold has a relatively established method for trading, weighing, and tracking. Compared to other assets, it can be difficult to make fake gold or corrupt the metal. Although Bitcoin is digital, cryptography is used to secure transactions, which are public, traceable, and permanently recorded on the network. 

There isn’t a clear answer as to when all the world's gold will be mined, but it is relatively rare. Similar to gold, Bitcoin is a finite resource; as of August 2020, 17 million has already been mined out of a total of 21 million.

Finally, neither gold or Bitcoin are issued by a central bank or government. This is different from fiat currencies, where central banks have the power to add or remove money from circulation and can exert economic influence via monetary policy.

Where Bitcoin Wins Over Gold

In most commodity markets, greater demand leads to higher prices, which in turn leads to greater production of the commodity and price stabilization. Bitcoin enforces a fixed supply, using Proof-of-Work (PoW) and other rules to create something that is digitally scarce. In order to avoid the market being flooded, the protocol stipulates that the amount of newly minted Bitcoin halves every four years. 

Another advantage is the ability to trustlessly verify your Bitcoin. In July 2020, the gold industry was rocked after discovering that fake gold was used as collateral for loans worth 20 billion yuan. With a Bitcoin node, transactions can be verified by the user themselves or through multiple third parties. 

Lastly, there is the cost of transportation. Bitcoin can be easily transferred to someone across the world in an hour for a nominal transaction fee. Transporting gold is also riskier considering that it relies on trusting multiple third-parties. 

While these may stand out as the fundamental advantages of Bitcoin over gold, MicroStrategy’s CEO, Michael J. Saylor referenced numerous other factors driving their decision—Bitcoin’s global acceptance, brand recognition, network dominance, architectural resilience, and community ethos. In a recent whitepaper, Square mentioned more altruistic advantages, describing Bitcoin as “an instrument of global economic empowerment...a way for individuals around the world to participate in a global monetary system and secure their own financial future.”

What’s Next?

Over the long term, Bitcoin could potentially have the opportunity to earn better returns and preserve the value of capital over time, much better than cash, and potentially better than gold. 

While traditional companies have been slow to dive into the world of cryptocurrency, Saylor stands behind Bitcoin as a dependable store of value and an attractive investment asset. “We expect its value to accrete with advances in technology, expanding adoption, and the network effect that has fueled the rise of so many category killers in the modern era.” (Source)

While these enterprises are clearly confident in their strategy, it will be interesting to see if they clear the path to more widespread adoption, and whether Bitcoin will continue to rival its shiny, yellow counterpart.


Quantstamp 实验室
2020年11月5日

纳斯达克上市的商业智能公司MicroStrategy今年夏天成为头条新闻,因为它是第一家购买比特币作为资本配置策略的上市公司。为了避免通货膨胀,为股东实现价值最大化,该公司认为,此次投资比特币的长期表现将优于美元。在初始投资2.5亿美元后,该公司决定在随后的几周内购买更多的比特币,从而累计购买了38250个BTC或4.25亿美元。

对该公司来说,这不是一个很快就能做出的决定。根据8月中旬的一份新闻稿,确定他们的资本分配策略花了"几个月时间"。微策略公司的决定受到了影响全球经济的众多因素的影响,其中许多因素是由于COVID-19的流行:经济不确定性、各国政府前所未有的金融援助以及全球量化宽松政策。

其他公司也很快跟进。10月,Square公司购买了4700多个比特币,总购买价格为5000万美元。本月晚些时候,英国上市公司Mode Global Holdings PLC宣布,作为"保护投资者资产不受货币贬值影响"的长期战略的一部分,计划将其约10%的现金储备转换为比特币。

变化中的经济格局


2020年3月15日,美联储宣布打算进行量化宽松政策,以增加美国银行的流动性。截至2020年10月,资产负债表已膨胀至7.18万亿美元。虽然这样做是为了在COVID-19大流行的情况下增加货币供应量,刺激经济增长,但许多人认为,这最终将使美元走软,破坏经济稳定。

考虑到法币和传统资产的长期实际价值可能贬值,越来越多的企业将投资加密货币视为管理企业财资项目长期风险的一种方式。 

2020年3月至10月量化宽松(QE)措施推出以来美联储资产负债表的规模 (单位:万亿美元)


抵御经济衰退的投资

过去,很多公司会选择用黄金来对冲股票的波动,由于黄金的一些特性,黄金在传统上被认为是一种"避风港"资产。它对制造某些商品有用,而且相对稀缺,它的供应量不能像联邦银行印钞票一样简单地增加。 

自1971年尼克松总统切断美元和黄金之间的联系作为基础以来,它与货币和股票指数等资产的相关性相当低。当股市下跌时,它可以提供一个很好的避险工具,随着越来越多的投资者脱手股票,投资黄金,价格有上涨的趋势。


比特币作为数字黄金

你可能听说过比特币被称为"数字黄金"。实际上,这不仅仅是一个口号。比特币和黄金有着共同的重要特征,在这些公司权衡各种资产类别的潜在投资时,这些特征无疑吸引了他们。

黄金作为货币使用了2000多年,已经有了比较成熟的交易、称重和追踪方法。与其他资产相比,制造假黄金或破坏金属是很困难的。虽然比特币是数字货币,但加密技术是用来保证交易安全的,交易是公开的、可追溯的,并永久记录在网络上。 

世界上所有的黄金什么时候能被开采出来,目前还没有一个明确的答案,但比较难得。与黄金类似,比特币也是一种有限的资源,截至2020年8月,在总共2100万枚比特币中,已经有1700万枚被开采出来。

最后,黄金和比特币都不是由中央银行或政府发行的。这一点与法币不同,在法币中,中央银行有权从流通中增减货币,并可以通过货币政策施加经济影响。

比特币胜过黄金的地方

在大多数商品市场上,更大的需求会导致更高的价格,进而导致商品的产量增加,价格稳定。比特币强制执行固定的供应量,使用工作证明(PoW)和其他规则来创造数字上稀缺的东西。为了避免市场被淹没,该协议规定,新发行的比特币数量每四年减半。

另一个优势是可以对你的比特币进行无信验证。2020年7月,黄金行业被发现用假黄金作为抵押品,获得价值200亿元的贷款后,黄金行业被震撼了。有了比特币节点,交易可以由用户自己或通过多个第三方进行验证。

最后,是运输成本。比特币可以很容易地在一个小时内转移到世界各地的人,只需支付象征性的交易费用。考虑到黄金的运输依赖于对多个第三方的信任,运输黄金的风险也比较大。 

虽然这些可能是比特币相对于黄金的根本优势,但MicroStrategy的首席执行官Michael J. Saylor提到了许多其他推动他们决定的因素--比特币的全球接受度、品牌认可度、网络优势、架构弹性和社区精神。在最近的一份白皮书中,Square提到了更多利他主义的优势,将比特币描述为"全球经济赋能的工具......是全世界个人参与全球货币体系并保障自己金融未来的方式"。

下一步是什么?

长期来看,比特币有可能有机会获得更好的回报,并使资本长期保值,比现金好得多,也有可能比黄金好。 

虽然传统公司在涉足加密货币世界方面进展缓慢,但Saylor支持比特币作为一个可靠的价值存储和有吸引力的投资资产。"我们预计它的价值将随着技术的进步、采用范围的扩大以及网络效应而不断累积,这种网络效应推动了现代许多类别杀手的崛起。"(来源)

虽然这些企业显然对自己的战略很有信心,但他们是否扫清了更广泛采用的道路,以及比特币是否会继续与其闪闪发光的黄色同类产品相抗衡,这将是有趣的。


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