“Hey, how do you feel about bitcoin?”
It’s a question that famous investors, CEOs and economists can’t escape. And collectively, the brightest minds in finance don’t agree. Is it a bubble? A safe haven for criminals? Or the most important disruptive technology of our time?
It depends who you ask.
Jamie Dimon famously called the cryptocurrency a fraud. Others think it’s in a bubble. But nobody doubts the alchemy by which bitcoin has been able to turn curiosity into rampant speculation. The price of a single bitcoin recently surpassed $6,000, pushing its market capitalization above $100 billion, according to Forbes
. The return on a bitcoin purchased this time last year: 814%.
But the returns are part of the problem. Currencies need low levels of volatility to be effective, argues Ray Dalio, founder of investment firm Bridgewater Associates. And the anonymity provided by the blockchain is a major problem for regulators who don’t want to see the platform used for money laundering or funding terrorism.
If you or your clients decide to invest in bitcoin, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has some advice. “Pretend you've already lost your money,” he says.
One thing’s for certain — as long as the price of cryptocurrencies keep rising, the powers that be will be pestered by the bitcoin question. Click through to read what finance’s best and brightest think about bitcoin.