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February 22, 2024
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Bitcoin ETF, CPI, inflation dominate crypto discourse


Santiment data shows that the most trending topics in the crypto part of social media concern the Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), the consumer prices index (CPI) and inflation.

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Crypto social media mid-term trends. | Source: Santiment

Bitcoin (BTC) ETF discussions being at the top of the list is hardly surprising. Many market participants are anticipating a spot Bitcoin ETF to be soon approved and the whole crypto market to be carried to new heights by this newfound accessibility — especially by more strictly regulated financial institutions.

On Jan. 4, Bitcoin’s price fell by over 10% in under three hours following the release of a report by financial services firm Matrixport, suggesting that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to reject all Bitcoin ETF applications this month. However, with Bitcoin ETFs guiding the crypto conversation these days, investors would be hard pressed to find a more relevant time to recall some of the original ideas of crypto.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) and inflation is a return to the roots of the movement. Bitcoin was born as a revolt against the monetary system which is set up in a way that results in the exploitation of the masses and fake value being created out of thin air, a reaction to a fiat monetary system that allowed nation states to print money at will.

The cryptocurrency community is not new to bringing those topics back in the spotlight.

In August 2021 that fifty year anniversary of when former President Richard Nixon took the US off the gold standard entered the crypto discourse. This decision effectively removed caps from inflation and unpegged net productivity from the hourly compensation rate.

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Net Productivity and hourly compensation chart. | Source: Statista

A dedicated website to remembering this event points out that — similarly — the growth of gross domestic product (GDP) also depegged from wages at that time, with income growth slowing. It is also important to remember that Bitcoin was created as a reaction to the consequences — widely shared — of banking mismanagement and fractional reserve banking, which resulted in private gains but public losses. Bitcoin clearly memorialized this intention by integrating the following headline into its first-ever block.

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Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks. | Source: The Times

Similarly, the crypto community is now pointing out the downfalls of the current economic system by pointing out the growing prices for consumer goods and inflation pains. The 12-months CPI change according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that prices increased by 3.1% on average, 2.9% for food, and 4% for all other items. Energy costs instead decreased by 5.4% as the world adapted to the new geopolitical situation that arose after the start of the war in Ukraine.

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Consumer Price Index | Source: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Similarly, inflation keeps draining money right out from our pockets, with the U.S. Inflation Calculator suggesting that the United States dollar has seen 18.6% of inflation since 2020. In other words — on average — an item acquired for $100 back in 2020 would now be expected to cost $118.6 instead.

The crypto community today seems hellbent on vindicating many of these core ideas, in particular that Bitcoin, can be not only a store f value, but also a hedge against rapidly increasing inflation.


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