Bitcoin isn't much of a macro hedge

June 25, 2022

Bitcoin is often sold as protection against adverse macroeconomic outcomes. This column argues that this depiction as a macro hedge does not stand up to scrutiny. Recent events — from Covid and inflation to war — provide a window into what sort of asset bitcoin actually is. It if were a true macro hedge, bitcoin would be positively correlated with macroeconomic uncertainty. Instead, it acts as a leveraged bet for speculators. And unlike gold, which has been trusted as a macro hedge for millennia, bitcoin requires access to electricity and the internet, precarious services in times of turmoil.