Bitcoin as an Inflation Hedge
Inflation is a critical economic indicator that measures the rate at which the general price level of goods and services is increasing. Inflation is often referred to as an "insidious tax" because it erodes the purchasing power of currency, effectively reducing the value of money over time. As such, many Australian investors are looking towards Bitcoin as a potential hedge against this tax.
It's worth noting that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is often confused with inflation, CPI measures the price changes of a basket of goods and services commonly purchased by households. While the CPI is an important measure of inflation, it's not a perfect one. In fact, CPI is often criticised for understating the true level of inflation, which can have significant implications for investors.
One reason why CPI may understate the true level of inflation is that it's often subject to political influence. Governments may manipulate the CPI to suit their own narratives or interests, such as keeping inflation rates low to avoid public backlash or reduce the cost of social welfare programs. This can result in an understatement of the true level of inflation, which can have serious implications for investors who rely on accurate inflation data to make investment decisions.
In addition to political influence, CPI may also understate inflation because it fails to account for changes in the quality of goods and services over time. For example, a computer that costs the same as it did five years ago may have significantly better specifications, which means that the consumer is getting more value for their money. However, the CPI would still measure the computer's price as unchanged, which can understate the true level of inflation.
Bitcoin is often touted as a potential inflation hedge due to its limited supply and fixed issuance schedule. The Bitcoin network's design ensures that the total number of Bitcoins in circulation will never exceed 21 million, which makes it resistant to inflationary pressures. In fact, Bitcoin's scarcity and the increasing demand for it could cause its value to rise in response to inflation, as investors look to protect their wealth from the "insidious tax" of inflation.
Several prominent Australian fund managers have recently added Bitcoin to their investment portfolios, citing the need to diversify and protect against inflation as key drivers of their decision.
Pendal Group: In February 2021, Pendal Group, an Australian-based fund manager, announced that it had invested in Bitcoin through the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust. Pendal Group's Head of Bond, Income, and Defensive Strategies, Vimal Gor, stated that the investment was part of a broader strategy to diversify the firm's investment portfolio.
Apollo Capital: Apollo Capital is an Australian-based crypto asset fund manager that has recently added Bitcoin to its investment portfolio. The firm's co-founder, Henrik Andersson, has spoken publicly about the benefits of investing in Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation and a potential store of value.
Realm Investment House: Realm Investment House is another Australian fund manager that has recently invested in Bitcoin. The firm's CEO, Nikki Thomas, stated that the investment was driven by a desire to diversify the firm's portfolio and protect against inflation.
In conclusion, inflation is often confused with the CPI, which may understate the true level of inflation and be subject to political influence. Bitcoin, with its limited supply and fixed issuance schedule, can potentially serve as a hedge against this tax in Australia. However, investors should carefully consider the risks associated with Bitcoin investing before making any investment decisions.