Crypto markets have historically been led by retail investors, with professional investors following. Is that changing? After all, high-tech innovation in the past 15 years has executed an opposite about-face, flipping an enterprise-led pattern into a consumer-led pattern.
Retail’s lead was evident in the fourth quarter of 2017, as media hype soared, alongside the price. There’s no doubt the retail hype is quieter this time around. CNBC had nearly 100 “bitcoin” headlines in the first half of Q4 2017. These past six weeks, as bitcoin ran to a new all-time high in market value, it’s put up less than 40. Where the hell are Davy Day Trader and the “Robinhood effect” investors? Did their stimulus checks run out?
It’s premature to diagnose a secular trend in crypto investing, mostly because the retail/institutional dichotomy is problematically simplistic. Below, I’ll run through four dimensions of the market that show how the participants in this