“It has no value at all unless there is some common consensus that it has value,” Shiller, who is also Yale professor, told CNBC. The 2013 Nobel laureate in economics says while “other things like gold would at least have some value if people didn’t see it as an investment,” he doesn’t know “what to make of bitcoin ultimately.”
In December, bitcoin saw a dramatic surge in its price, hitting new record highs every day and ultimately reaching $20,000. However, a plunge followed, with bitcoin now trading at around $12,000.
“It reminds me of the Tulip mania in Holland in the 1640s, and so the question is did that collapse? We still pay for tulips even now and sometimes they get expensive,” Shiller went on, referring to an economic bubble in the Netherlands in 1637, when after prices frantically grew the market suddenly fell apart.
“[Bitcoin] might totally collapse and be forgotten and I think that’s a likely outcome but it could linger on for a good long time, it could be here in 100 years,” Shiller said.
The economist has previously spoken of bitcoin on numerous occasions, calling it a “fad” and saying the “story” behind bitcoin drives enthusiasm for it. “A new form of money that… sounds extremely revolutionary and involves a very clever use of cryptography” has inspired interest among people.
Shiller yesterday reiterated this view, encouraging investors to take profits and get out.
As we move forward in a world seeing new cryptocurrencies being created daily, we want to be very clear. We contend that cryptocurrencies are here to stay, but you should carefully consider which technology is superior before investing. As most investors know, bitcoin relies on blockchain technology. However, there are several reasons why bitcoin currently is not the best cryptocurrency for global applications.
First, there are many technical complications with bitcoin, although this argument applies to all cryptos. That said, compared to buying stocks or bonds (or even options), cryptocurrency purchases are not exactly easy. You have to know about encrypted wallets, safe storage, appropriate trading strategies, how you can spend/trade bitcoin, and more. We are going to assume that most readers here are familiar with these issues and have a rudimentary understanding of the basics. So what is the problem with bitcoin specifically on a larger scale?
As a means of actual currency, bitcoin has zero chance of scaling up in its present form. You see, bitcoin is currently useless for anything but larger transactions. For retail, and other micro transactions, there are several reasons bitcoin is simply impractical. First, it is abhorrently slow relative to other cryptos. Anyone who has used bitcoin for a transaction can attest to this. After new transaction is put out on the Bitcoin blockchain ledger, transaction can become visible quickly, but the actual movement of the currency can take many minutes. This isn’t always true, but it is slow. recipient within a few seconds. But in some cases, it can take a number of minutes for the transaction to travel across the network and reach the recipient’s connection, causing an inconvenient wait for both the buyer and seller.
What these delays open bitcoin up to is double spending risk, conflicting transactions, and ultimately theft. While this sounds sinister, there are no regulations here to protect you. It is a risk. Of course, this is alleviated by using a third party payment provider, however, this is where fees become a massive issue. In fact, bitcoin fees are now exceedingly high. A recent CNBC story pegs the average fee at $28 being paid to move bitcoin, and even cited a journalist that spent $15 to move $100 in bitcoin. That is unacceptable and makes it difficult to ever bring this to scale for real world purposes. Factor these fees in with the average time being 78 minutes for a bitcoin transfer to go through and you can see the problem. Other cryptocurrencies do not face this issue.