25/10/2017 11:19

Bitcoin Price Has No "Right or Wrong" Value; Looks like a Bubble: BlackRock Strategist


BlackRock Strategist Richard Turnill says “there’s no inherent right or wrong” bitcoin price but the markets bear “many characteristics of a bubble”.

Turnill, the global chief investment strategist for the $6 trillion money manager, told Business Insider that BlackRock is “looking a lot” at blockchain and believes this technology will see increasing adoption over time. However, Turnill does not anticipate this will lead to a correlative increase in bitcoin adoption or value:

“We’ve been looking a lot at particularly blockchain as a technology. BlackRock, we’re starting to use blockchain. I think it’s a technology which is going to get more and more adoption over time,” Turnill said, “What that doesn’t mean is that the value of bitcoin and broader cryptocurrencies should continue to go up and up.”

The bitcoin price has risen nearly 800%in the past year, and Turnill says this is one indication that the crypto markets could be in a bubble. He says that the primary reason people are buying bitcoin is that the price is rising, which drives the price up further still and attracts new buyers to the ecosystem. Financial services firm UBS has made a similar claim, arguing that the bitcoin price is trapped in a “speculative bubble”.

“I would say that cryptocurrencies show many characteristics of a bubble right now,” Turnill added, “which is [to say] you’ve seen spectacular price increases. The main argument for buying them is that prices have risen, and are therefore going to continue to rise over time. But there’s no inherent right or wrong price for bitcoin.”

Ultimately, he says that unlike with conventional investments such as stocks and bonds, there is no “inherent” fair value for the bitcoin price. 

“You could say ‘what’s the fair value?’ you know, I’m an investor, I like to think about the fair value of stocks or bonds, I can’t answer what’s the fair value for bitcoin or any cryptocurrency,” he concludes. “For that reason, I’m not an owner.”

However, Turnill’s assertion that it is impossible to accurately determine the fair value of bitcoin is not universally-shared by by Wall Street strategists. FundStrat’s Tom Lee, for instance, believes that bitcoin is subject to Metcalfe’s law, which states that the value of a network — in this case bitcoin — is proportional to the square of the number of network users. Using this model, he predicts the bitcoin price will reach $25,000 by 2022.