BitcoinBTC, ethereum and other major cryptocurrencies have surged this week amidst a banking crisis that could be about to cause a massive Federal Reserve earthquake.
Subscribe now to Forbes’ CryptoAsset & Blockchain Advisor and successfully navigate the latest bitcoin and crypto market crash
The bitcoin price has topped $27,000 per bitcoin, up over 30% since this time last week, hitting a level it hasn’t seen since June last year. The bitcoin boom has also sent the ethereum price and other major cryptocurrencies sharply higher.
Now, after JPMorgan analysts said the Fed’s new bank backstop program could inject up to $2 trillion into the financial system, technology investor and former CoinbaseCOIN chief tech officer Balaji Srinivasan has warned the latest banking crisis could spark hyperinflation in the U.S.—and advised people to “buy bitcoin now and get your coins off exchanges.”
It’s in a brutal bear market that you need up-to-date information the most! Sign up now for the free CryptoCodex—A daily newsletter for traders, investors and the crypto-curious that will keep you ahead of the market
“The central bank, the banks, and the bank regulators have bankrupted all of us,” Srinivasan, who’s been credited with calling the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic before the healthcare establishment, posted to Twitter.
“They hid their insolvency from you, the depositors. And they’re about to print $2 trillion to hyperinflate the dollar. In the digital age this will happen very quickly. So buy bitcoin now and get your coins off exchanges.”
Last week, Silicon Valley Bank (SVBVB), a regional bank that specialized in startup and tech company lending, was shuttered following panic among depositors that it was insolvent. Signature BankSBNY, a crypto-friendly bank, was also shut down by regulators, a move that may have been due to concerns over its anti-money laundering controls.
Former U.S. representative Barney Frank, a co-author of the Dodd-Frank banking regulation act, served on Signature Bank’s board and said he believes the bank was shut down to warn against doing business with crypto companies. “This was just a way to tell people, ‘We don’t want you dealing with crypto,'” Frank told the AP.
Earlier in the week, another crypto-friendly bank, Silvergate, collapsed due to fallout from the shock implosion of major crypto exchange FTX last year.
The collapse of SVB was the biggest U.S. bank failure since the 2008 financial crisis and sent shockwaves through the financial system as customers scrambled to withdraw cash and authorities tried to restore confidence.
Over the weekend, the U.S. Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Insurance Deposit Corporation (FDIC) said they’d fully back all deposits at both SVB and Signature.
“The usage of the Fed’s bank term funding program is likely to be big,” JPMorgan strategists led by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou wrote in a note to clients seen by Bloomberg.
Srinivasan said he was sending up a “bitsignal,” offering to give away $1 million in bitcoin, divided by 1,000 Twitter users who reply to his post, to draw attention to the banking crisis and what he fears is looming hyperinflation.
Sign up now for CryptoCodex—A free, daily newsletter for the crypto-curious
“The entire banking system is lying to you about solvency,” Srinivasan said. “They are trying to ensure you don’t exit to bitcoin before they print the money.”
Srinivasan added “the speed of hyperinflation” can take “people off guard.”
The unprecedented action by the Fed comes as it continues to battle inflation that surged to a 40-year high last year. The Fed has hiked interest rates at a never-before-seen pace in an attempt to stamp out inflation but has also put banks under pressure.
“Bitcoin benefits from full-blown government-guaranteed deposit insurance, from inflation falling back to the 3% level, which allows the central bank to become less hawkish, and from regulatory overhang that has impacted stablecoins such as BUSDBUSD and, recently, USDCUSDC,” Markus Thielen, head of research and strategy at Matrixport, wrote in an emailed note.
“Bitcoin loves liquidity and is the primary crypto weapon of choice when those liquidity floodgates are being alternated—such as now.”
Follow me on Twitter.