Steven McClurg is a Co-Founder of Valkyrie Investments. In this interview, we discuss the causes of the crypto crash of 2022 and the effects seeping into 2023. We talk about Genesis, GBTC and Valkyrie’s proposal; how over-leverage and debt are leading to a breaking point; the positives of political chaos, and how Bitcoin could have bottomed out.
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“In a risk-off environment, Bitcoin definitely goes down, there’s no doubt about it.” That was Steve McClurg being interviewed on What Bitcoin Did in October 2021. Since then we’ve witnessed the biggest players in the market going bankrupt one after another in the biggest domino toppling event the ecosystem has ever seen.
It is therefore more than timely to unpick what happened with one of those who foresaw problems and who manages one of the investment vehicles not having to charter chapter 11 proceedings. Steve himself admits to being surprised at the scale of the events that have occurred in 2022. The extent of recklessness, greed and criminality has shocked us all. But, there were warning signs.
The amount of yield on offer was eye-watering, particularly in the context of a fiat monetary system when lending returns were negligible. This was the canary in the coal mine. The fact that there was no meaningful borrowing market on the other side of these trades seems obvious in hindsight. However, the scale of over-leverage and rehypothecation was able to hide problems until the moment systemic collapse had become all but inevitable.
The question is, therefore, what now? Are some of the large funds still locked into active investment vehicles, such as GBTC, still safe? What can we do to protect the industry from such malign actions in the future, or, are crashes like these inevitable? And what about Bitcoin? Has its price bottomed out? Can it yet return as an investment vehicle for the masses? It’s time to ask someone at the coal face.