MUMBAI: Renowned author and investor Morgan Housel has said that no one can call Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency in the world, “a joke anymore”.
Speaking at a virtual event hosted by Motilal Oswal Asset Management earlier this week, Housel said that he himself may have thought of Bitcoin as a joke five years ago but does not think so anymore.
“So many of the smartest people are devoting their life to making this work,” Housel said.
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Bitcoin has given an annual return of more than 400 per cent over the past five years and has grown to command a market value of more than $1.4 trillion in the same period.
The father of all cryptocurrencies has seen a tremendous rise in adoption across the world over the past 18 months as institutional investors joined retail investors in seeing value in the digital currency. Several global hedge funds, pension funds and companies like MicroStrategy and Tesla have taken exposure to the cryptocurrency since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While detractors of the cryptocurrency are many, several big names in the investment world such as Ray Dalio, Paul Tudor Jones and others have vouched for the cryptocurrency’s place in the investment world.
Bitcoin today is seen as a store of value, a hedge against rapidly rising inflation and a substitute for gold even as its true followers see it as the future of money. Based on blockchain technology and cryptography, Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer cash transfer system that does away with the need for a third-party to validate a transaction.
“Five years ago, I probably would have laughed at Bitcoin, but today I won’t bet against it,” Housel said. He, however, warned that the cryptocurrency could still destroy investor wealth as large draw downs are part and parcel of investing in Bitcoin.