Down 9% in the Past 5 Days, Is Now the Right Time to Buy Bitcoin? – The Motley Fool

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After Bitcoin (BTC 1.77%) crashed 65% in 2022, investors are surrounding it with a renewed sense of optimism. The price of the top cryptocurrency has soared 56% in 2023, almost double the gains of the Nasdaq Composite Index. 
But as of Aug. 17, Bitcoin’s price has dropped about 9% — and even more at some points. Perhaps there’s some bearish sentiment starting to take hold. 
Should investors take advantage of the dip and buy Bitcoin right now? Or is it best to wait until there’s more clarity about the near term? Let’s take a closer look at the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency. 
SpaceX, the private aerospace company founded and run by Elon Musk, sold all of its Bitcoin holdings during the first three months of 2023. This was after the business wrote down the value of that investment by $373 million in the last two years.
SpaceX has owned Bitcoin since mid-2021, so maybe the move was simply to take the loss, minimize the distraction that it might have caused, and instead focus on the core business of developing rockets and spacecraft. 
Bitcoin’s market cap is about $500 billion now, so the amount that SpaceX sold was tiny in the grand scheme of things. But it’s not hard to believe that when news of the sale broke, it could have spurred other investors to do the same. That’s because some parts of the investment community follow anything that Musk says or does very closely. So, when his company ditched its Bitcoin holdings, it’s certainly possible that others followed suit. 
Musk isn’t new to moving in and out of Bitcoin. In early 2021, Tesla bought a sizable $1.5 billion stake in the crypto and said it would accept it as payment for its popular electric cars.
Just a few months after, Tesla decided that it wouldn’t accept Bitcoin as payment due to climate concerns — something that Musk, a brilliant tech mogul, should have known about before buying the digital asset in the first place. And in July 2022, it was reported that Tesla sold 75% of its Bitcoin position. 
Besides Musk’s company potentially having an impact on Bitcoin, economic concerns could be at the top of investors’ minds. Although the Federal Reserve does expect to cut interest rates sometime in 2024, rates also could be kept higher for longer.
Specifically, officials believe it will be awhile before the federal funds rate gets back to where it was before the pandemic, between 2% and 3%. Higher rates are generally a headwind for risky financial assets. Just look at what happened to tech stocks and the crypto market last year. 
The near-term picture for Bitcoin is a bit unclear. Macroeconomic issues — like where interest rates and inflation are headed, as well as how the economy is holding up — will always be things to pay attention to. The price will continue to be volatile, which isn’t surprising to anyone. And developments around regulatory updates probably will affect price action, too.  
But I don’t think the long-term story for Bitcoin has changed. The central thesis for owning the digital asset is that it could become a viable alternative to gold as a store of value, especially as the world continues becoming more digital and the internet grows in importance.
Plus, Bitcoin possesses some characteristics that make it more attractive than gold, in my opinion. It is easy to transact in, and there are various financial services that allow users to buy things with it. And compared to gold, Bitcoin is more divisible and portable. These traits will likely be valued highly. 
After such a strong start to the year, Bitcoin appears to be taking a breather. Investors who are still bullish should take advantage of the recent dip. 
Neil Patel has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Bitcoin and Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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