Mainstream investment businesses are starting to predict a breakout moment for bitcoin.
British asset manager Ruffer (RICA.L) on Monday predicted the long-term adoption of bitcoin (BTC-USD) by traditional financial institutions. Separately, Citigroup said the cryptocurrency could be at the tipping point of usage.
Ruffer, which manages £21bn ($28.3bn) of investor money, disclosed in November it had taken a small position in bitcoin.
"We think we are relatively early to this, at the foothills of a long trend of institutional adoption and financialisation of bitcoin," the company said on Monday.
"Think of bitcoin's bad reputation as a risk premium - as we move through the process of normalisation, regulation, and institutionalisation, the compression of this premium can have a dramatic effect on the price. If we are wrong, bitcoin will return to the shadows and we will lose money - this explains why we have kept the position size small but meaningful."
Ruffer has invested just over 3% of its assets into bitcoin — worth around £600m. The company owns bitcoin directly and has indirect exposure through shareholdings in Microstrategy (MSTR), a data company that has invested more than $3bn in bitcoin, and crypto-focused merchant bank Galaxy Digital Holdings (GLXY.TO). It's equity investment have gained more than 100% since November, while bitcoin itself is up 90%.
The performance helped Ruffer deliver a total return per share of 6.4% in the six months to 31 December. That was almost double the 3.3% growth delivered a year earlier. Shares rose half a percent in early trade in London.
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Ruffer said it had invested in bitcoin because it "brings something significantly different to the portfolio."
"Due to zero...