‘There’s every opportunity that the U.S. will’ regulate crypto mining because of energy concerns: Ollie Leech

Lewis Naylor

Ollie Leech, CoinDesk Learn Editor, joins Yahoo Finance’s Adam Shapiro and Seana Smith to discuss how bitcoin is performing in the market as China cracks down on crypto mining and the future of cryptocurrencies is being debated in the United States.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: A wild day of trading for Bitcoin, turning positive after briefly falling below 30,000 earlier today. Investors are really trying to figure out where crypto, where Bitcoin is headed next. And for that, we want to bring in Ollie Leech. He’s the CoinDesk Learn Editor. And Ollie, it’s great to have you back. We just saw Bitcoin falling below 30,000, although recovering very quickly. What do you think this means, just in terms of where it’s headed next? Are we going to stay above that 30,000 level?

OLLIE LEECH: It’s really interesting, you know? You can see on the chart right now, there’s a real fight going on at that sort of $30,000, $31,000 level. Bulls are really trying to keep above that. I think if it does break below that, it could potentially go further. We are in a bear market. And like Jared and Brad said, you know, it’s very sentiment driven. We still have a lot of weak hands in this market. And I think that’s really what’s catalyzing this crash.

You know, like Adam said before, you know, this is nothing new. You know, China has announced clampdowns on mining, on the speculative crypto trading before. But new hands have only been in there a short while and might not certainly know that. And so they’re selling on this news. And so right now, like you said, you know, we arrange bond between this $30,000, $40,000 mark. And it’s going to be interesting to see where we go over the next couple of days.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Ollie, I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but I play one on TV. When you see these kinds of swings, is it possible– because we know there are some ginormous– I think that’s how the Gen Zs would say it– ginormous holders of Bitcoin. Do they hold enough that they could help perpetuate the momentum, whether it’s down or up, the way you’ve seen investment banks move into equities sometimes to support a stock?

OLLIE LEECH: Yeah, absolutely. You know, [INAUDIBLE] is one of the real problems that we see in crypto market manipulation. And right now, you can see, you know, on that support level, you know, we dropped below that $30,000 mark very briefly. Prices shot back up again, as we sort of grabbed that liquidity. It is now like Jared said. Before, you know, we expect now price to push higher from here. So he’s kind of collecting all of that, all of those stop losses and all that sort of retail fear, if you like, and is now starting to push back up again and punish those people and sort of force more capitulation to the upside now.

SEANA SMITH: Do you this is going to spook more institutional investors from getting involved? We’ve been talking about the fact that that’s kind of been driving or one of the drivers of the price of Bitcoin lately. When they see the fact that it still continues to be so volatile, another big drop earlier today, do you think that’s going to keep some of those institutional investors on the sidelines when it comes to crypto?

OLLIE LEECH: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, volatility has always been a big problem. And it’s something that either attracts you or very much dissuades you from getting into the market. And I think right now, we’re below the 200 moving day average. You know, it’s categorically a bear market. We have a death cross now in the market. I think that will keep a lot of institutional investors away in the short to mid-term, potentially long term, if we go into a sort of prolonged bear market through summer, maybe into Q4. So yeah, absolutely.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Ollie, many of us are susceptible to FOMO, the Fear Of Missing Out. And when it crossed below– I mean, it was below 29,000 at one point. My first reaction was, boy, I wish I had 50 grand, you know, at some point to maybe to buy almost two Bitcoin. Because we had a guest on yesterday who said, look, in the next couple of years, you’re going to see this valuation per Bitcoin around $100,000. Those of us who suffer from Fear Of Missing Out, would we be misguided to assume that there’s going to be an opportunity to buy at some point in the future? Or should we be more concerned about the regulatory hurdles that the cryptocurrency faces?

OLLIE LEECH: I think we’re always going to have a problem of regulatory hurdles. And I think, you know, in terms of where we’re going now, look last year. Look at March, you know, when prices went below 4,000. I think we were around 3,700 when the WHO announced the coronavirus pandemic. A year later, it went all the way to 60,000. You know, there’s always going to be an opportunity. There’s always going to be these extreme cycles.

I think, you know, as institutional money comes in, there’s a hope that it will help stabilize that volatility a little bit. But, like, it’s a global accessible market, you know? And a lot of people are investing in it. It’s still very speculative. There’s a lot of leverage products and things like that that kind of add gunpowder to a lot of retail trading and stuff like that. So yeah, I think there’s always going to be an opportunity.

SEANA SMITH: Ollie, the news of the escalating crackdown that’s happening over in China, any worries? And I know, obviously, it’s very, very different. And you can’t really compare what’s going on in China to what happens here in the US when it comes to regulatory measures. But could something similar potentially happen here in the US?

OLLIE LEECH: I mean, we’ve already seen with– I mean, the whole mining clampdown has kind of come out of a need to reduce the carbon footprint of the nation. And that’s what China attributes it’s clampdown to. And we’ve already seen that in the US and Elon Musk and Michael Saylor of MicroStrategy coming together and addressing Bitcoin mining energy consumption is a green issue.

So yeah, I mean, there’s every opportunity that the US will sort of [INAUDIBLE] on to this and say, we need to also regulate in this area. It does use an awful lot of energy. We need to be more mindful of that. I think right now, Bitcoin currently accounts for around 0.24{411eb973a98e0445d59679b103f9af09be25ea404b3987135139cfb5b0c3a2af} of America’s overall energy consumption. So, you know, any push to make that more renewable, greener, I think will be paramount to Bitcoin’s future success.

SEANA SMITH: All right, Ollie Leech, always great to speak with you. Ollie Leech, CoinDesk’s Learn Editor, thanks so much for taking the time to hop on with us today.

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