On November 3rd, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell finally hinted at the beginning of tapering resulting in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies taking a loss. The market has been moving sideways since then, cooling off after a rally that took BTC from $40,000 into price discovery above $65,000.
In the meantime, fund investors turned mathematical artist Nelson Saiers struck Wall Street once again with one of his iconic sculptures. Part of a series of conceptual art installations that should come out in the next weeks, Saiers sculpture is called “Cheap Money Is Out-of-Order” and was placed in front of the iconic Wall Street Bull statue as a response to FED Powell.
Below you can see the sculpture in its full glory. The piece is composed of a vintage gumball machine that offers people $10, hinting at the historical figure of Alexander Hamilton, whose ideas allowed the FED to be created, for only 50 cents as a statement made about the institution’s monetary policies in particular “cheap money”.
Its location is equally important, as it was placed at the heart of the U.S. financial sector. As you can see below, the gumball machine has a sign that reads “out of order” highlighting the moral questions raised about the FED in the past years.
Talking to Bitcoinist about the sculpture and what it represents in a world where the people have lost faith in the institutions, resulting in more Bitcoin adoption, the artist claimed the following:
I think people are nervous. The Fed’s balance sheet has grown tremendously over the last 13 years and more than doubled since spring 2020. You are seeing more and more worries about real inflation. I mean Jack Dorsey stated he was concerned about hyperinflation. I think this coupled with fundamental questions about who these policies have benefitted eg the ultra-rich have benefitted significantly from stock and asset appreciation.
The Bitcoin And The Bull, A Hedge Against The FED
As Bitcoinist reported, Saiers has a long track of calling out the FED. In 2018, the artist placed a massive inflatable Bitcoin rat in the U.S. Federal Reserve building. Similar to his latest piece, the rat conveyed a general sentiment of mistrust and lack of confidence in the institution.
Saiers’ work is a representation of the moral issues related to government officials, especially within the FED, apparently using their influence to benefit from market fluctuations. Some measures have been enforced by the institution to mitigate this behavior, but the FED’s reputation just like its monetary policies seems “cheap”, “out of order”, insufficient, and tarnish by hidden interest. The artist said:
(…) On top of all this, some real ethics questions were recently raised due to the personal account activity of several of the Fed’s presidents. I think this has placed the system itself under some scrutiny.
Bitcoin was born as a response to that demand for transparency and fairness. As the world economy enters uncertain times, once again, it seems like the only solution for those that want to op-out of the FED and their inflated $10 dollar bills.
As of press time, Bitcoin remains rangebound in the low $60,000 level. The FED’s Quantitative Easing program, due to slow down with the beginning of tapering, was one of the main drivers of BTC’s price year-to-year rally.
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In that sense, some experts expect downside pressure as liquidity begins to be removed from the global markets. In the long term, inflation risk remains as a bullish tailwind for the benchmark crypto as institutional investors and people buy Bitcoin as a hedge against it.