The surreal growth in the value of cryptocurrencies has led many critics to compare it to a bubble. One of the characteristics of a bubble is that the value of the asset goes up dramatically to seemingly unrealistic levels in a relatively short period of time. This is referred to as a highly inflated value. With bitcoin, its price has definitely skyrocketed from around $1,000 in January 2017 to its present value approaching $18,000 (CoinMarketCap). These huge price surges have been accompanied by a lot of misinformation propaganda.
Many people have been investing in bitcoin, ether, and other altcoins simply because there is so much focus and attention on them. Their main reason for investing is simply because “this is the hot thing right now and the prices are going up”. So, “let’s all invest in the crypto-market because it will go up even more”. Chairperson of the US Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, has said that bitcoin is “not a stable source of value“. Yellen doesn’t even consider bitcoin to be “legal tender”. Furthermore, she asserts that it’s “highly speculative”.
Newcomers to the cryptosphere, particularly the new investors, are making their investment decisions because of the Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) . People just don’t want to be left out of the party, so to speak. Litecoin’s founder, Charlie Lee, would like to see a shift of focus from the wild prices. He has gone on record to say, “I would be happy if litecoin stays at around $300 by the end of next year”. Litecoin is already trading at $295 at the time of this writing (CoinMarketCap).
Lee also noted that, because of crypto’s gigantic surges, people have been thinking of cryptocurrencies as more of what you’d consider speculative assets. What he’d like for to happen is that more people think of them and use them for normal, day-to-day transactions. This year, 2017, has witnessed such a sharp rise in crypto activity that countries like China and South Korea have struggled in their attempts to regulate them and even ban ICO’s.
Wide-scale or mainstream adoption of bitcoin and other altcoins will definitely take a few solid years. The number of merchants who accept bitcoin and crypto is expected to rise. Already, WordPress.com, Microsoft, Reddit, and Shopify accept bitcoins. There’s even an Indian restaurant in Zambia that accepts bitcoin as a form of payment. There’s nothing wrong with change coming gradually. In most cases, gradual change is more stable and long-lasting compared to abrupt and frantic change, which leads to a lot of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt).
When something happens too quickly, people don’t get the chance to absorb the new changes and cannot react to them in an informed manner. This is exactly what makes these people susceptible to FUD’s disinformation strategy. Members of the political community, even people linked to news outlets, disseminate “disinformation propaganda” in order to steer people away from a new technology or phenomenon, in this case, bitcoin or cryptocurrency.
Famous billionaire, Mark Cuban, says you should only invest in bitcoin if you’re ready to lose your money. JPMorgan Chase CEO, James Dimon, called bitcoin a “fraud”. It can be argued that this fits the criteria of “disinformation propaganda” because these blanket statements have not been backed up by ample logical reasoning and sound explanations as to why bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies will not be successful.
Crypto-enthusiasts are well-aware that bitcoin futures were launched on the regulated Cboe exchange less than a week ago. The CME group is next in line (December 18th) along with NASDAQ (next year). If reputable, established, and regulated exchanges are adopting bitcoin, then it should not be considered a bubble. After all, bitcoin and many of the other cryptos are backed by revolutionary blockchain technology. If anything, we should all learn more about this amazing technology and find ways to embrace it instead of falling for the disinformation propaganda.