Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have seen a violent return to volatility over the last two weeks with the combined crypto market losing then gaining around $300 billion (subscribe now to Forbes' CryptoAsset & Blockchain Advisor and discover crypto blockbusters poised for 1,000% gains).
The bitcoin price, currently trading comfortably around the psychological $40,000 per bitcoin level, remains significantly down from its peak of almost $65,000 set in April.
Now, amid reports institutional investors are gearing up to reenter the bitcoin and crypto market, a new law in Germany will allow institutional investors that currently manage a staggering 1.8 trillion euros ($2.1 trillion) to invest in bitcoin and crypto for the first time.
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So-called Spezialfonds, only available to institutional investors such as pension companies and insurers, will be able to invest up to 20% of their holdings in bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies from Monday.
"Most funds will initially stay well below the 20% mark," Tim Kreutzmann, an expert on crypto-assets at BVI, Germany’s fund industry body, told Bloomberg, which first reported the news. "On the one hand, institutional investors such as insurers have strict regulatory requirements for their investment strategies. And on the other hand, they must also want to invest in crypto."
Earlier this week, some $2.5 billion in bitcoin moved off crypto exchanges including Coinbase, Kraken and Binance, according to market data provider Glassnode in what was described by CNBC as "a signal that institutional investors are getting off the sidelines."
Some 63,000 bitcoin were transferred off major exchanges, Glassnode data reportedly showed.
"Trading activity has been higher in the past few days than what we've seen recently," Jeremy Welch, chief product officer at U.S. bitcoin and crypto exchange Kraken, said in comments sent via Twitter DM and predicted "greater participation from regulated entities ... If the narrative holds, this could ultimately prove to be highly price-positive for the crypto space."
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The recent bitcoin price rally was kickstarted by reports that online retail giant Amazon plans to roll out bitcoin and crypto support as soon as this year. The company denied the City AM report but said it's "exploring what [crypto support] could look like on Amazon."
"Regardless of whether [Amazon adoption] materializes or not, the point is that adoption from institutions and corporations remains one of the market's driving narratives," added Welch.