For crypto watchers and investors, recent months have brought some ecstasy-inducing highs and some punch-in-the-gut lows. At the end of 2017, Bitcoin climbed more than 1,300% to around $15,000 but just three months later it had crashed to below £5,000.
And all this instability throws into serious doubt claims by the likes of Twitter boss Jack Dorsey that Bitcoin will soon become the world’s only currency.
“The world ultimately will have a single currency, the internet will have a single currency. I personally believe that it will be Bitcoin… probably over ten years, but it could go faster,” he confidently predicted.
One person who is definitely not on board the Bitcoin bandwagon is former PayPal CEO Bill Harris, who thinks the value of the cryptocurrency will continue to fall because “there’s just no value there.”
“The cult of bitcoin [makes] many claims — that it’s instant, free, scalable, efficient, secure, globally accepted and useful — it is none of those things,” Harris said on CNBC’s Fast Money.
“We’ve got digital currencies. And we’ve got digital currencies that are more stable, more widely accepted and have intrinsic value. We’ve already got it — it’s called the dollar, the yen, you name it,” Harris said.
“There has to be something underpinning it,” he said. “Bitcoin makes no revenue, no profitability.”
So the battle over crypto credibility rages on with no obvious end in sight.
One big question on the horizon is when and how governments will start getting a firmer grasp on cryptocurrency regulation – and what this will be mean for investors.
In the Harvard Business Review, Stephen Obie and Mark Rasmussen recently argued that regulation could actually help cryptos to grow.
“Without clear regulations, cryptocurrency innovation in the United States is being stifled. Entrepreneurs sit on the sidelines for fear of innocently running afoul of the law. Investors, meanwhile, hang back because of uncertainty regarding valuations,” they write.