Bitcoin today reached an all-time high, surging past $4,500 for the first time. The cryptocurrency has more than quadrupled in value since December, and experts are beginning to get nervous. Peter Schiff, a longtime opponent to the idea that cryptocurrency has any long-term potential, decries this moment as further evidence that Bitcoin is a bubble about to burst.
If you believe him, it’s time to get out, and sooner is better than later. Schiff spoke to CoinDesk and dismissed the promise of Bitcoin as hyperbole:
There’s certainly a lot of bullishness about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, and that’s the case with bubbles in general. The psychology of bubbles fuels it. You just become more convinced that it’s going to work. And the higher the price goes, the more convinced you become that you’re right. But it’s not going up because it’s going to work. It’s going up because of speculation.
It’s very possible he’s correct, however TNW spoke with another expert, who had an entirely different point-of-view. Zen Protocol CEO Adam Perlow said:
People aren’t speculating in Bitcoin with Bitcoin. It is an asset. It’s very good at being an asset and providing value. If it is a bubble, It’s very much like the internet. That was a bubble too, and it burst. The internet is still here.
Schiff might not be as optimistic about Bitcoin because he’s not really a fan. He also said:
The main benefit of bitcoin – the only segment of society where it’s used for something other than speculation – is crime.
When we spoke to Perlow a few days back we asked him a question about the misconception that Bitcoin is only useful to criminals, he provided us with a different point of view:
Cryptocurrency can serve a lot of great purposes that regular currency can’t. We’ve seen India make most of its currency, the biggest denominations, illegal – they’re crazy for cryptocurrency. Everyone there has digital wallets. In other places, places where you might have a totalitarian government, it could be impossible to conduct financial transactions any other way.
Cryptocurrency, for example, can help to fund aid for people stranded in places where they can’t report any money they have or recieve. It also solves a lot of smaller problems too, such as working with international companies without needing banks to insure transactions — and take a cut. Right now, Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency, and thus has the most potential.
That’s neither here-nor-there if you’ve already got skin in the game, though. The real question is: how high will Bitcoin go?
A popular investor who goes by masterluc, referred to as legendary by cryptocurrency website Coin Telegraph, says we’ll hit 15,000 by December. Take that with a grain of salt, but there’s plenty of others who are predicting that the upward trend is going to continue, including Goldman Sachs who’ve gotten it right so far.
As for me – the humble tech journalist reminding you that you shouldn’t get your financial advice from a writer, but instead consult legit finance people – I’d wager we’ll see $7,500 before Halloween, and $10,000 by Christmas.
Then again, I just love a good story with a happy ending.