Corporates have started putting Bitcoin on the balance sheet. Central banks are pursuing their own digital currencies. The rise of cryptocurrencies is happening at a startling pace and will have a variety of impacts. Now is the time for treasurers to educate themselves and their businesses about the complex changes ahead, something explored in a recent TMI and Diginex webinar.
With companies such as MicroStrategy making headlines this year by investing significant amounts of corporate cash in to Bitcoin, and TMI accepting payment in Bitcoin this April, cryptocurrencies are now firmly on the treasury agenda. It’s not just Bitcoin either, with the overall market cap of crypto currently sitting at nearly US$2tr., we are seeing significant interest in the ecosystem as a whole.
Elsewhere, central banks are keenly investigating whether they can, or indeed should, digitise their money with central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Stablecoins, meanwhile, present a supposedly non-volatile form of cryptocurrency. The crypto space, whilst complex, is growing at an exponential rate and is becoming increasingly important for corporate treasurers to understand.
The volatility conundrum
That said, the positive noise in the market must be tempered by the reality of the cryptocurrency market. The volatility that has traditionally existed in the price of cryptocurrencies seemingly goes against the treasurer’s conservative stance of preserving capital. But with low or negative interest rates stifling the traditional short-term investment instruments that treasurers use to maximise the return on excess cash, the utility of Bitcoin as a store of value and capital appreciation can be appealing.