First Mover: Why the Fed Cares About Remote Working – And What It Means for Bitcoin

Bitcoin was lower after surging nearly $600 on Thursday to climb above $16,000 for the first time in almost three years.

“Investors should plan for volatility as well as price appreciation,” the blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis wrote in a newsletter.

In traditional markets, European shares fluctuated and U.S. stock futures pointed toward a higher open as investors weighed prospects for a new stimulus package against record coronavirus cases. Gold strengthened 0.1% to $1,879 an ounce.

Market moves

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has been sticking with his talking points lately. It goes something like this:

They’re all key themes cryptocurrency traders are following because a growing number of investors say extensive money printing could bolster bitcoin’s use as a hedge against inflation.

But what was perhaps more interesting and new among Powell’s comments at a virtual forum Thursday hosted by the ECB was his acknowledgement that life as we know it – and by extension the economy – is probably never going back to anything like it once was.

“You’ll see more telework,” Powell said at the virtual forum. “We’re not going back to the same economy. We’re recovering to a different economy.”

It was more than just a talking point. It might have offered a glimpse into a key issue that Powell hasn’t said much about. The coronavirus will have a lasting and scarring impact on the economy, but remote working might be another massive factor to consider for monetary policy.

The economy is in upheaval, and not just because people aren’t eating out or going to movies or traveling for leisure, or because so many businesses and households would be ailing right now without all the emergency aid.

A secular transition to commuting-by-Internet might be taking place, perhaps one of the biggest labor force transformations since the industrial revolution, which lured people to cities.

If workers genuinely enjoy the remote setup, and…

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