Josh Brown, a popular blogger and investment adviser, announced last week that he joined the crypto circus with his first-ever bitcoin purchase.
“So you are now free to dump all of your cryptocurrencies because this surely marks an all-time top,” he joked (kinda). “But I thought I’d mention it anyway.”
He later told MarketWatch that, even if his investment turns out to be a bust, he’ll probably learn enough to come away with something valuable.
“I’m not a disruption hippie or an early adopter or a visionary or an evangelist,” he said. “But I’m too curious to not experience bitcoin ownership for myself.”
While Brown may have given in to FOMO (fear of missing out), many of his peers aren’t exactly tempted by bitcoin BTCUSD, +0.10%
Not yet anyway.
“Honestly, I have no idea why we need to be a part of that whole thing,” says Dana Lyons of J. Lyons Fund Management, chalking up his hesitation to Warren Buffett’s BRK.A, +0.11% “don’t invest in what you don’t understand” philosophy.
“I know a lot of institutional backing is there with blockchain, but it seems like the entire phenomenon could vaporize at any time,” he said. “I’m probably wrong, but without having an identifiable edge, I strain to find any reason to allocate capital (especially clients’) to the space.”
‘A mania such as this has already transcended all logical limits; thus by definition, logic no longer applies. It’s just a mania.’
“People are comparing bitcoin to tulip bulbs. I think those comparisons are apt,” he said. “But at least with tulips, you had something tangible — a plant.”
Wolf Richter of the Wolf Street blog isn’t going anywhere near it, either.
“There are no fundamentals to consider because there are no fundamentals with bitcoin,” he explained. “You’re participating in a system where the only hope is that someone even more enthusiastic will buy it from you at a higher price.”
Not that there aren’t profits to be made, of course.
“A mania such as this has already transcended all logical limits; thus by definition, logic no longer applies. It’s just a mania,” Richter said. “You can make a lot of money riding up a mania, IF you can get out in time. But it’s not for me.”
“As a speculative instrument it’s an interesting bet on its widespread acceptance as a medium of exchange, but we should be very clear that we are speculating when we buy bitcoin,” he said. “In this sense it is more akin to something you might gamble on as opposed to something you prudently invest in. Not an inappropriate endeavor, but probably not one that should be an excessive portion of anyone’s asset allocation.”
Eddy Elfenbein of the Crossing Wall Street blog agreed on the idea of rolling the dice, and actually didn’t rule it out for himself.
“I’d buy bitcoin as a fun bet, but it still has a long way to go,” he said. “If a currency moves 15% a day, then it’s not a currency.”
J.C. Parets of the All Star Charts blog, on the other hand, wasn’t nearly as dismissive as some of the others. He looked at it through his technical analysis lens and used this chart to illustrate his mixed view on where it goes from here, saying “opportunity cost” could be an issue going forward.
“We just saw a massive rally in the first half of 2017. It could take a while to digest those gains,” Parets wrote. “We could see some sideways action for the rest of the year. And I think that would be a good thing that would suggest higher prices.”
Finally, Sven Henrich, known online as the Northman Trader, said he doesn’t have strong feelings either way, but did flag its bubble potential.
“Since I hear some people are threatening to eat parts of their own anatomy on TV if certain price targets are not met, perhaps things need to, ugh, deflate a bit first,” he wrote.