Leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin crossed the $11,000 mark on Monday to hit a 15-month high amid the hype over social media giant Facebook and its latest cryptocurrency offering. Overall, Bitcoin is up 170 percent for the year to help erase memories of its unceremonious crash last year after reaching $20,000 in late 2017.
Instead of checking their banks to ensure their direct deposit went through, Facebook employees could open their cryptocurrency wallets on pay day as the social media giant will be rolling out its own digital currency soon. This news is setting the cryptocurrency space abuzz with optimism as Bitcoin reached a high of $20,000 near the end of 2017 and fell over 70 percent since, but is climbing back to prominence again following this news.
A year ago, the plan for Facebook to roll out its own form of cryptocurrency was set in motion when the company appointed former PayPal executive David Marcus to begin exploring the opportunity. Since then, rumors swirled that Facebook was developing its own digital currency that would allow its users to store, trade, and exchange for regular currency via apps like Messenger and WhatsApp.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was already hinting that new ventures like cryptocurrency would help diversify the company’s revenue streams, which relies heavily on advertising.
“The price surge is due to two major factors, one is an increasing consensus among the investment community that bitcoin is a legitimate store of value for the digital age, and two Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency launch has forced every CEO to take crypto seriously,” Jehan Chu, co-founder of Kenetic Capital, an investor in blockchain start-ups told CNBC.
The Non-Digital Gold Play
At its height, cryptocurrency was viewed as “digital gold,” but actual gold bulls can look to ETFs like the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) and SPDR Gold MiniShares (NYSEArca: GLDM), while short-term traders can also play the gold market through miners via the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners (NYSEArca: GDX), Direxion Daily Jr Gold Miners Bull 3X ETF (NYSEArca: JNUG) and the Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X ETF (NYSEArca: NUGT).
The recent trade war activity may have burned an image of volatility in investors’ minds that could drive their decisions with their portfolios for the rest 2019. As far as being a predictor of what may happen in the global economy, commodities like gold might actually be a more reliable crystal ball.
For investors looking for commodity ETFs as a broad-based play as opposed to just gold, the Aberdeen Standard Bloomberg All Commodity Strategy K-1 Free ETF (NYSEArca: BCI) could be a prime alternative.
BCi seeks to provide a total return designed to exceed the performance of the Bloomberg Commodity IndexSM, which is calculated on an excess return basis—-the first of its kind since its inception in the first quarter of 2017. BCI is actively managed and seeks to provide a total return designed to exceed the performance of the index.
With BCI offered at 25 basis points, it also offers a cost-effective solution to providing investors with exposure to commodities. Additionally, there are no K-1 tax documents issued, which is a requirement for investments in partnership interests.
For more trends in the ETF space, visit ETF Trends.