Most Cryptocurrencies ‘Will Never See Recent Peaks Again’: Goldman Sachs

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Will the cryptocurrency markets recover from their present correction and ascend to new highs over the long-term? Goldman Sachs doesn’t think so.

Writing in a report dated Feb. 5, Goldman Sachs head of investment research Steve Strongin said that — contrary to the market’s historic movements — individual cryptoasset price swings should be less correlated to one another moving forward.

This, he said, spells doom for cryptocurrencies that do not emerge as clear winners in what should become a “few-winners-take-most” market:

“The high correlation between the different cryptocurrencies worries me,” Strongin said, according to a Bloomberg report. “Because of the lack of intrinsic value, the currencies that don’t survive will most likely trade to zero.”

Strongin stressed that it’s possible that one or a few of the currently-existent cryptocurrencies could emerge from the so-called “speculative bubbles” as the crypto-equivalents of Amazon and Google, but he said that it’s unlikely that most coins will ever recover to their recent all-time highs.

“Are any of today’s cryptocurrencies going to be an Amazon or a Google, or will they end up like many of the now-defunct search engines? Just because we are in a speculative bubble does not mean current prices can’t increase for a handful of survivors,” Strongin said. “At the same time, it probably does mean that most, if not all, will never see their recent peaks again.”

This, of course, supposes that the “speculative bubble” is nearing its endpoint and that investors will begin to judge cryptocurrencies on their individual merits, rather than as a collective asset class, as many casual retail investors are wont to do. It would also seem to assume that the initial coin offering (ICO) boom will flame out rather than continue to expand.

In any case, the “winners-take-most” view of the market is not unique to Goldman Sachs. Digital Currency Group (DCG) founder Barry Silbert made a similar comment on Wednesday at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit: Crypto, although with an understandably more optimistic outlook on the industry as a whole.

Silbert said that the vast majority of cryptoassets face a binary outcome — they will either become incredibly valuable or they will become worthless. This, he said, is why DCG portfolio company Grayscale Investments launched its latest product, a cryptoasset investment fund that holds market cap-weighted positions in the five largest crptocurrencies and rebalances quarterly to reflect market movements.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Josiah is a former ancient and medieval literature teacher. He has been writing about cryptocurrency since 2014, and his work has been cited in Business Insider, NPR, and Yahoo! Finance. He lives in rural North Carolina with his wife and son. Email him directly at josiah.wilmoth(at)ccn.com.