Bitcoin Is A Hedge Against Currency Devaluation, Says Ark CEO Cathie Wood

Andrew Throuvalas
Last updated: | 1 min read
Cathie Wood Bitcoin ETF
Source: DALL·E 3

Bitcoin is becoming a valuable tool to escape high inflation in countries with less stable currencies, according to Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood.

Cathie Wood’s Bitcoin Thesis

The investor – whose asset management firm is a long-time bull on AI and blockchain – argued that little-discussed “currency devaluations” are part of what’s driving the asset’s rally this year.

“The Nigerian naira is down fifty, sixty percent in the last nine months,” said Wood during an interview with CNBC on Wednesday.

“Egypt just devalued by 40%, Argentina continuing to devalue… I think this is a flight to safety, believe it or not, taking place,” she argued.

The price of Bitcoin (BTC) has exploded 50% year to date, breaking a new all-time high above $73,000 last month. Wood’s theory around the rally contrasts with that of most analysts who credit the highly successful launch of Bitcoin spot ETFs in January as the primary catalyst – products more accessible to Wall Street investors than the average Argentinian citizen.

Yet Bitcoin’s appeal as an “inflation hedge” asset is often touted within U.S. borders. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink – whose asset manager is behind the top performing Bitcoin ETF – has previously called Bitcoin “digital gold,” and termed its prior rallies as a “flight to quality.”

Why Ark Likes Bitcoin

Wood echoed this view, referencing the March 2023 banking crisis – an event that boosted Bitcoin’s price by 40% as the government agreed to bail out depositors of Silicon Valley Bank.

Ark’s own Bitcoin ETF – ARKB – now holds roughly $3 billion worth of Bitcoin on behalf of clients. This week, the fund suffered its first two days of net outflows since launch.

“Bitcoin does not have counterparty risk,” Wood argued. “Bitcoin is both a risk-on asset… but it is risk-off.”

Wood said that Ark first “got in” when Bitcoin was $250, when Greece threatened to leave the European Union in the mid-2010s to address its debt crisis and potentially reintroduce the drachma as its currency.

“I think this is an insurance policy against rogue regimes, or just horrible fiscal and monetary policy,” she said.

CNBC anchor Andrew Sorkin expressed doubt earlier this week that citizens of such countries are actively pursuing Bitcoin to escape inflation, claiming the idea was “fairy dust” used by boosters to drive more speculation around the asset.