Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and other cryptocurrencies have been on a roller coaster lately. Sharp upturns have been followed by sharp downturns, with each upturn and downturn lasting only a few weeks or a few days.
Thus far, the cryptocurrency roller coaster has helped speculators who have been on the right side of the market to amass fortunes.
The trouble is that no speculator is smart enough or lucky enough to “time” the market. At least that’s what mainstream financial economics claims.
Seven-Day Price Change For Major Cryptocurrencies
Source: Coinmarketcap.com 2/12/18 at 7:30 p.m.
Sooner or later, speculators who play this game will find themselves on the wrong side of the market, losing the fortunes they have amassed early on and then some.
That’s why cryptocurrency investors should look beyond the current roller coaster, and ask where cryptocurrencies will be twenty years from now.
[Ed. note: Investing in cryptocoins or tokens is highly speculative and the market is largely unregulated. Anyone considering it should be prepared to lose their entire investment. Disclosure: I don’t own any Bitcoin).
“Unfortunately, almost anything connected with the future of bitcoin is speculative right now,” says Jason Labrum, founder and president of Labrum Wealth Management. “When you look at the sophistication level of the average person buying bitcoin, it’s scary. They just see an asset that at times has gone up a whole lot in value, so you get a herd mentality of people wanting to jump on the bandwagon.”
Labrum isn’t clear how things will look in twenty years from now. “It will be interesting in 20 years to look back on the conversations we are having today about bitcoin. By then, cryptocurrency could be a normal part of everyone’s life, or it could be a once-trendy thing that everyone has forgotten about.”
Matthew Schutte, Director of Communications at Holo, takes a pessimistic view on cryptocurrencies. “By 2038, the Euro, the Dollar, and other national currencies will be largely extinct, but so will Bitcoin and the rest of the current generation of money-like cryptocurrencies.”
But he’s optimistic on blockchain technology. “They will not have been killed off by some single new token of value – but will instead have been replaced by a vibrant ecosystem of cryptographic currencies — i.e. digitally signed signals — each designed to make particular flows of activity visible, so that the individuals, organizations, and communities that make use of them are better able to sense and steer,” adds Schutte.
While it’s still unclear where cryptocurrencies and the technologies behind them will be twenty years from now, one thing is clear: volatility will continue in the cryptocurrency markets – and that is a game for speculators rather than investors.