By E. Lam
The great bitcoin plunge? Bitcoin’s recent wobbles have given fresh urgency to a question that’s gripped market observers for much of the past year: Will the cryptocurrency go down as one of history’s most infamous bubbles with this bitcoin plunge, alongside tulipmania and the dot-com craze? Or are you on the sidelines looking for finally get in on the action, or pick up altcoins during this mess? Then get cryptocurrency now.
The magnitude of Bitcoin’s boom (before it lost as much as 50 percent from its Dec. 18 high) suggests investors have reason to be worried.
As the chart shows, the cryptocurrency’s nearly 60-fold increase during the past three years was truly extraordinary.
It dwarfed the Nasdaq Composite Index’s gain during the headiest days of the 1990s. Going further back, it comfortably outstripped the Mississippi and South Sea bubbles of the 1700s. It even topped the Dutch tulipmania of the 1630s, though that last comparison should be taken with a grain of salt given the scarcity of recorded tulip values. Read more about the major problems with bitcoin.
There’s also more than one way to slice a rally. On an annualized basis, Bitcoin’s three-year rise has been slower than the gains seen during several of history’s biggest manias — most notably the Mississippi and South Sea bubbles.
Still, skeptics abound. Howard Wang of New York-based Convoy Investments LLC and Jeremy Grantham of GMO LLC have analyzed Bitcoin’s advance relative to past frenzies and concluded that it’s unsustainable. Grantham, who helps oversee about $74 billion as GMO’s chief investment strategist, summed up his concerns in a Jan. 3 letter to investors:
“Having no clear fundamental value and largely unregulated markets, coupled with a storyline conducive to delusions of grandeur, makes this more than anything we can find in the history books the very essence of a bubble,” he wrote.
The strategist has a mixed record of success with such warnings. While Grantham was correct to call the 1990s surge in tech stocks a bubble, he exited too soon and missed out of some of the market’s biggest gains.
Syndicated via Bloomberg
What about altcoins? Tronix, IOTA and Ripple have all been crushed. Are you buying? Is there a real world utility for these? Let us know in the comments below.