According to well-respected tech investor, Roger McNamee, 2018 is likely to be a decisive year for Bitcoin.
Similarities to the Internet Boom?
As the value of the world’s first digital currency has waffled since November 2017, from an all-time high near $20,000 to the current price of $15,920 at the time of writing, many investors have had second thoughts regarding the cryptocurrency. Needless to say, it has been a rocky couple of months for bitcoin in a year that saw every record broken.
Roger McNamee, co-founder of Elevation Partners, believes that 2018 will prove the biggest test yet for bitcoin. Should it survive the year, regardless of the number or the seriousness of crashes it sustains, it is likely to become a legitimate asset class.
“If a mania goes on long enough, it becomes self-fulfilling. Even after a crash, what follows is a legitimate industry,” McNamee said.
Spectators and investors alike have compared bitcoin to the dotcom bubble of the late 1990s. Although the latter played a crucial role in the American recession that followed its crash, internet-based companies were never completely eradicated, growing into a massive industry with each passing year.
McNamee has suggested that much the same outcome for bitcoin is on the horizon.
“You’ll have these big swings, up and presumably down, as well. And, you know, wherever that settles out I think will tell us a lot about the role of bitcoin long-term,” said the expert investor and financial analyst. Most importantly, he believes that a significant bitcoin crash would not be enough to eradicate the cryptocurrency completely.
“With the amount of activity going on around it, there are people willing to invest the kind of dollars it takes to make a thing like bitcoin into a long-term part of the financial market,” he said.
The Winklevoss brothers are a living embodiment of this statement, having invested $11 million into bitcoin when it was worth just $9 per coin.
After having profited well over $1 billion from the short series of purchase transactions, the brothers are firm advocates of the cryptocurrency. In what can be seen as a co-dependent relationship, their insistence on the currency’s positive future prompts investors to buy or to hold, which in turn, maintains the value of bitcoin.
Rob Isbitts, Forbes contributing author, is entirely against any form of cryptocurrency as an investment stream. “Its pure speculation, and despite the increasingly apparent benefits of blockchain technology, anyone who takes money they cannot afford to lose and invests it in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, they have only themselves to blame,” he wrote.
Fortune is another company to raise pertinent questions about bitcoin’s future in 2018. There is large debate about the chances bitcoin has of surviving its next 20 percent or higher crash, or whether it will ever achieve traction as a fully-functional digital currency.
Another looming threat for bitcoin is in the form of new cryptocurrencies that are faster, more secure, have greater anonymity and lower transaction fees. At this stage and quite possibly in the months to come, many investors will be moving their portfolios to cryptocurrencies that are better suited to their needs.