An introductory Bitcoin investment approach with "moon insurance"
According to a 2021 Gemini report, 63% of US adults are crypto-curious — not invested in crypto yet, but interested to learn more or planning to invest soon.
This strategy seeks to introduce the world of Bitcoin to the next wave of Bitcoin investors by speaking to both the hopes and fears of the Bitcoin-curious.
To hedge against potential Bitcoin crashes, investors can hold a diverse portfolio of public, Bitcoin-adjacent companies, with varying levels of Bitcoin correlation (e.g. Bitcoin miners, exchanges, holders).
This creates the potential to achieve some level of Bitcoin correlation while also introducing value independent from Bitcoin.
To complement an otherwise defensive strategy, investors can overlay call options on the most Bitcoin-correlated companies (e.g. MSTR), creating the potential to keep up if they skyrocket.
Thanks to the asymmetric nature of calls, investors can tap into unlimited upside potential for limited additional risk.
Check out our Bitcoin simplified infographic that explains Bitcoin in a visual way.
In a nutshell: to understand the promise of Bitcoin, think about the US Dollar. Why does a piece of paper have value? The paper and ink itself is not inherently valuable from a materials perspective. Ultimately, it has value because there is social consensus that it can act as 1.) a store of value and 2.) a medium of exchange for goods/services. Bitcoin has the potential to become this, while being better than the USD in significant ways (decentralized, digital, and deflationary).
The more conservative Bitcoin bull position is that Bitcoin will be useful just as a store of value (like digital gold), not necessarily a currency (like a digital USD). Gold's market cap is roughly $11 trillion. Bitcoin's market cap is currently less than $1 trillion (Sep 2021). Even if Bitcoin reached only half of gold's market cap, that's more than a 5x increase to go.
Holding a basket of companies focusing on different things brings value that's not tied to Bitcoin. That non-Bitcoin value won't be as affected for Bitcoin-related crashes.
For example, though Tesla is a big holder of Bitcoin, their major value comes from things like autonomous car development, energy, etc. So if Bitcoin crashed tomorrow because of some Bitcoin-related issues, Tesla's share price is unlikely to be as severely affected.
Though not investing in Bitcoin directly, some of the companies being held should have higher levels of Bitcoin correlation (MicroStrategy is one example). That said, the less-correlated companies could indeed drag the performance of the portfolio in a bull run.
That's where options come in. Layering on the amplifying power of call options on high-correlation companies has the potential to offset the drag.
Call options can definitely be powerful, but they're not magic ;) We recommend learning the basics of how they work if you don't know already.
They come with some additional speculation (e.g. you have to try and choose a good strike & expiry) and risk (e.g. if they reach their expiration worthless, there's not an opportunity to rebound like you might have if you kept holding with stocks).
But the risk you take on is asymmetric - there's a limit to how much you can lose but no limit to how much you can gain. Having a good system with a constrained portion of your portfolio dedicated to calls can help take advantage of that asymmetric bet.
We're fans of that too :) There's a lot of value in holding Bitcoin directly — you own the coin, you directly participate in the movement, your returns are directly tied to Bitcoin rather than being a step or two removed.
But this strategy has some unique value as well:
1. Easier to invest in from a typical retirement account. A typical retirement account won't currently allow investors to invest in Bitcoin directly. It's a different type of asset that requires different infrastructure (e.g. digital wallets). However, investing from your retirement fund can be appealing because of the tax-advantages. Roth accounts are particularly intriguing because gains from investments are tax-free. Investors should do their own research to see if this approach would make sense for them.
2. Hedged against Bitcoin crashes. See the "defense" section of our strategy above.
3. In extreme run-ups, potential to outperform Bitcoin. If your options cards are played right, this strategy could potentially outperform Bitcoin in extreme run-ups.
4. Indirectly supporting the Bitcoin movement. You are basically supporting the supporters of Bitcoin, encouraging a healthy and robust Bitcoin ecosystem.