Controversial investment manager Cathie Wood says she thinks deflation is a bigger threat than inflation — and she suspects that central banks in emerging markets might buy cryptocurrencies instead.

While most headlines and economists are focused on inflation, the founder of Ark Investment Management told the Consensus crypto conference that she thinks deflation is much more likely.

“I know most people think that’s crazy, given what’s going on. But we have seen a crack in some commodity prices already,” she said.

Wood said that consumers are going to shift from buying goods to services as the pandemic recedes, catching out businesses that are triple and quadruple ordering to try to get supplies.

“They’re going to get those supplies as the market basket is shifting towards services, and I think commodity prices are going to fall significantly into next year,” said Wood, who is known for bucking conventional wisdom.

She said that innovation from sources such as artificial intelligence will improve productivity, cutting costs.

“Artificial intelligence is going to permeate every industry, and every company, we believe, around the world – any company of any size.”

Blockchain will also cause inflation by cutting out middlemen, she said.

Many emerging markets have their currencies linked to commodity prices, Wood said.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if someone of these emerging market, central banks start accumulating Bitcoin and other (crypto) currencies because they know their currencies are going down, and they will be under attack as reserves go down — maybe they’ll have a balance with Bitcoin and other crypto-assets.”

Tom Brady, Bitcoin buyer

Meanwhile, legendary US quarterback Tom Brady told the Consensus conference that he was “definitely” involved in cryptocurrency investing.

“You know, one of my coaches is on it for eight, nine months, so we talked about it basically every day, the prices of the different tokens, how the space is doing.

“It’s definitely something that is on all our minds, we’re very interested in learning more and more about these emergent systems.

“I’m a big believer in it; I don’t think it’s going anywhere.

“Absolutely, there’s going to be volatility — but at the time, you know when there’s a lot of change and disruption in markets, there’s a lot of people that are going to fight those systems.”

Brady noted that his own unorthodox fitness regimen, which he credits with keeping him in the game at age 43, has also drawn scepticism as a new way of doing things.

“Until they adopt it and go, wow, this is amazing.”

Brady said he’s still learning about cryptocurrencies and he expects to be in it for a long time. “It’s definitely a marathon …. understanding what is happening in the world and where things are going, it’s very exciting for me.”

The world, Brady noted, is constantly changing. How people pay for things is very different today than a few decades ago, and even a transaction between two people a few feet away is generally a matter of exchanging information rather than cash.

“You need to be ahead of the curve or behind it — and as someone who wants to be on the forefront of things, I’m going to try to help create the trend and adopt it and recognise that this is where the world’s heading.”

Bitcoin, Eth little changed

Meanwhile, crypto markets have been moving sideways for the past 24 hours.

At 11.27am AEST, Bitcoin was trading at US$38,111 ($49,240), while Ethereum ($3,490) was changing hands for US$2,700.

BTC spiked over US$40,000 a little before midnight, after the New York Times reported that US President Joe Biden would propose a US$6 trillion budget that would push US spending to its highest sustained levels since World War II.

But Bitcoin started giving up its gains around 1.30am AEST.

Twenty-six of the top 100 coins had gained ground, led by Helium (up 18 per cent) and THORChain (up 14.7 per cent), the only tokens to post double-digit gains.

Tenset (10SET), the No. 142 token by market cap, was the biggest coin to set an all-time high recently.

Sixty-seven of the top 100 coins had lost ground, with Nexo the biggest laggard, falling 8.3 per cent.

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