World Economy

Big Investors Siding With Bitcoin

Bitcoin was trading at $7,207 in Hong Kong  on Friday.Bitcoin was trading at $7,207 in Hong Kong  on Friday.

Is bitcoin a legitimate asset, or a super-bubble waiting to implode? As prices for the cryptocurrency skyrocket, investors and pundits are increasingly taking sides.

Whether you’re a backer or a detractor, what’s not in doubt is bitcoin’s dizzying rally this year. The most widely used digital currency crossed the $7,000 mark on Thursday and is up more than 650% in 2017. It’s managed to whip past the $100 billion total value mark despite governmental crackdowns and mainstream market skepticism. Bitcoin was trading at $7,207 in Hong Kong on Friday, Bloomberg reported.

With the rhetoric for and against heating up this week amid bitcoin’s barreling gains, here’s a look at where some big names in finance stand—from those who see it as the natural evolution of money, to the naysayers waiting for the asset to crash and burn.

The digital currency’s evangelists are led by Roger Ver, known in the industry as “Bitcoin Jesus”. Ver remains optimistic about bitcoin’s sustainability amid attempts from governments like China to curb some of the more speculative elements of trading. “The only way to stop (bitcoin) is to turn off the entire Internet in the entire world and keep it turned off,” he said in a September interview with Bloomberg News.

Some countries are jumping on the bitcoin bandwagon, with Argentina’s most important futures market considering offering services to investors in digital currencies, while Turkish Central Bank Governor Murat Cetinkaya said digital currencies may contribute to financial stability if designed well.

Former Legg Mason Inc. fund manager Bill Miller has boosted his Miller Value Fund’s holdings in bitcoin to 30% from 5% a year ago. The investment has paid off—his fund is up 72.5% this year.

Speculation around bitcoin is the “very definition of a bubble,” Credit Suisse Group AG CEO Tidjane Thiam told reporters in Zurich on Thursday. “The only reason today to buy or sell bitcoin is to make money,” and such speculation “has rarely led to a happy end,” Thiam said.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon remains one of Wall Street’s most strident bitcoin opponents, saying in October that people who buy the currency are “stupid” and that governments will eventually crush it.

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