Cryptocurrencies dominated the financial news space in 2017, with bitcoin rising more 13 times this year, as per Coindesk, even as prices have remained very volatile. The cryptocurrency’s worth continued to fluctuate wildly this week, bouncing back to nearly £12,000 on Wednesday after plummeting to around £8,000 last week.
But a top financial services firm is making the case that, despite soaring stock prices, the popular digital currency Bitcoin may actually be worth nothing at all.
Jamie Dimon, the erstwhile CEO of JP Morgan Chase Bank, was quoted in an interview in New Delhi saying that ‘cryptocurrencies to me are worth nothing’. Morgan Stanley top analyst James Faucette sent out a paper to his group’s clients, titled ‘Bitcoin Decrypted’ devaluing the already volatile cryptocurrency. The memo suggested that the true value of Bitcoin was $0.00. Faucette said Bitcoin had ‘virtually no acceptance, and shrinking’.
Faucette’s team of analysts argue that not only is Bitcoin hard to equate to real-world money, less online retailers are accepting the cryptocurrency as payment. It operates as a payment network but there are very few places that actually accept it.
According to the report, the number of top 500 eCommerce merchants who accept Bitcoin has dropped from five in 2016 to three in 2017.
Bitcoin can’t be considered a ‘real currency’ like the U.S. dollar, because the cryptocurrency doesn’t have an interest rate associated with it, i.e. it has no cash flow, Faucette said.
In the report, Faucette opined that Bitcoin’s price is largely driven by the supply and demand for the digital currency, the same way in which investor attribute a high value to gold which makes it a worthwhile investment option.
“Unlike buying digital gold, Bitcoin doesn’t have any intrinsic use like gold has in electronics or jewellery, but investors appear to be ascribing some value to it.”