Bitcoin and Coinbase in Lofty Territory

In 2017, Bitcoin entered mainstream conversation even though it had been around since 2009. In June of that year, one bitcoin was selling for about $3,000 and it rose to almost $20,000 by December. It then fell back to about $3,200 by December 2018. It regained a price of about $10,000 and languished there until about October 2020. Then, it exploded to a price of approximately $63,000. Can any reasonable investor estimate if this is a “fair” value? We hope not. We admit that it has grown to this level, but is it reasonable to think it will stay there? Greed, speculation, and in many cases, inexperience have all driven the price to lofty levels. Tulips, dotcom, oil, and many other investments have traced a similar path and we all know how those turned out. If governments begin to issue their cryptocurrency, they could ban the use of Bitcoin. India, which has not issued its own digital currency, has proposed a bill to ban the use of Bitcoin. Russia and China may be the first governments to issue a digital coin. Then, we have Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange, which went public over the past few weeks by using a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) at a price of $50 per share. It immediately soared to $328 a share on the first day of trading.

The previous paragraph was written on Saturday, April 17th. That evening China started making noises about a digital currency and Bitcoin’s price fell to $49,059 almost overnight. While it has recovered somewhat, it remains a very volatile investment. We are not suggesting that digital currency has no future – we are saying that Bitcoin may not be the winner. Be careful.

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