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‘Bitcoin is not a bubble’: Expert says the time to act is now

·3-min read
Phone with a Bitcoin chart showing price rises and an image of a bitcoin
Phone with a Bitcoin chart showing price rises and an image of a bitcoin

The volatility in the cryptocurrency market is often enough to scare off new investors – but Matt Harry, Fund Manager at DigitalX - which offers investors access to Bitcoin through a traditional fund structure, has not been deterred.

According to the fund manager, the volatility is not only expected, but it will happen again – but that shouldn't worry investors.

“Yes, crypto will crash and it will rise several times over in coming years, as it has done in the past, until it reaches a point at which the technology becomes globally ubiquitous and volatility and valuation fall more in line with something more sustainable over the long term,” he said.

Harry said those calling the meteoric rise in the price of Bitcoin a “bubble” simply don’t have a thorough understanding of how the digital asset works.

“People are quick to call ‘bubble’ here, but such calls really highlight a lack of understanding about both what bubbles are and the history of Bitcoin and digital assets.”

“Bitcoin is not a bubble,” Harry said. Instead, he believes it is going through something called a “hype-cycle”.

What is a hype-cycle?

Coined by Gartner Research a hype-cycle is caused when a new technology enters the market and, importantly, pays off.

The ‘hype’ around the new technology will cause volatility but also demonstrate the expectation that the innovation will have.

Gartner said in a hype cycle, the new technology will progress through a pattern of “over-enthusiasm and disillusionment”, eventually leading to productivity.

How do hype cycles work?

According to Gartner, each hype cycle drills down into the five key phases of a technology’s life cycle:

  1. ‘Innovation Trigger’: A potential technology breakthrough kicks things off. Early proof-of-concept stories and media interest trigger significant publicity. Often, no usable products exist and commercial viability is unproven.

  2. ‘Peak of Inflated Expectations’: Early publicity produces a number of success stories, often accompanied by scores of failures. Some companies take action; many do not.

  3. ‘Trough of Disillusionment’: Interest wanes as experiments and implementations fail to deliver. Investments continue only if the surviving providers improve their products to the satisfaction of early adopters.

  4. ‘Slope of Enlightenment’: More instances of how the technology can benefit the enterprise start to crystallise and become more widely understood. Second- and third-generation products appear from technology providers. More enterprises fund pilots; conservative companies remain cautious.

  5. ‘Plateau of Productivity’: Mainstream adoption starts to take off. Criteria for assessing provider viability are more clearly defined. The technology's broad market applicability and relevance are clearly paying off.

A graph demonstrating how a hype cycle works
(Source: Gartner)

Making the right decision for you

Whether or not your adviser supports cryptocurrencies, if they can’t speak intelligently in relation to digital assets, then they aren’t doing their job and you really need to find a new adviser, Harry said.

“These assets have earned the right to consideration by every investment professional and investor, and absolutely need to be understood and taken seriously,” Harry said.

“Without knowledge there is zero ability to make an informed decision one way or the other.”

Harry said education is key to determining if the crypto market is best for you, but said price fluctuations shouldn’t be cause for concern.

“Don’t be frightened by the volatility; it is simply the price you pay to access this high growth, nascent market,” he said.

“By the time volatility falls to something similar to that of bonds or equities, the lion’s share of the growth opportunity here will be lost. Time to act.”

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