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Analyst Who Called Bitcoin's Pre-Halving Rally to $70K Turns Bearish


Markus Thielen, founder of 10x Research, has de-risked his portfolio in the wake of rising Treasury yields.

  • Dwindling odds of Fed rate cuts and rising bond yields have weakened the bullish case in cryptocurrencies and stocks.
  • Flows into the U.S.-listed spot BTC ETFs have dried.

The analyst who predicted bitcoin’s (BTC) bottom in November 2022 and the recent pre-halving surge to record highs has turned bearish on risk assets, including technology stocks and cryptocurrencies.

“Our growing concern is that risk assets (stocks and crypto) are teetering on the edge of a significant price correction. The primary trigger is the unexpected and persistent inflation. With the bond market now projecting less than three cuts and 10-year Treasury Yields surpassing 4.50%, we may have arrived at a crucial tipping point for risk assets,” Markus Thielen, founder of 10X Research, said in a note to clients Tuesday.

“We sold all our tech stocks last night (at the open) as the Nasdaq is trading very poorly and reacting to the higher bond yield. We only hold a few high-conviction crypto coins. Overall, we are bearish risk assets (stocks + crypto).” Thielen added.

Traders have recently scaled back pricing for 25 basis point Fed rate cuts this year to less than three from six at the beginning of the year, data from CMEGroup show.

The so-called hawkish repricing, spurred by sticky U.S. inflation and a resilient labor market and economy, has lifted the 10-year Treasury yield 40 basis points to 4.61% this month, the highest since November 2023. The sharp rise in the so-called risk-free rate has dented the appeal of investing in high-risk/high-return assets like technology stocks and cryptocurrencies.

"Most of this 2023/2024 bitcoin rally is driven by expectations that interest rates would be cut, and this narrative is being seriously challenged now," Thielen noted, adding that inflows into the spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have dried.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) greenlighted nearly a dozen spot BTC exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in January, allowing investors to take exposure to the cryptocurrency without having to own and store it.

Since then, nearly $12 billion has flowed into these investment vehicles. However, most flows happened last quarter, powering the cryptocurrency higher, and the demand has faded this month.