Bitcoin: Lovers, haters & bystanders

Currencies FOXBusiness

Bitcoin phenomenon continues to create controversy

Belpointe Asset Management chief strategist David Nelson and Bulltick Capital Markets head of research Kathryn Rooney Vera discuss Bitcoin's shocking, year-long turnaround and whether it's a bubble waiting to burst or the currency of the ... future.

This story was originally published on Nov. 27 and last updated  12/8.

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JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon (JPM), Silicon Valley whiz Peter Thiel and former Fed Head Alan Greenspan have all weighed in on bitcoin and are divided. 

This as bitcoin continues its climb, hitting the $16,000 level earlier this week, before tumbling lower, at one point to the tune of a 20% drop.  Experts say investors should prepare for days and weeks of volatility like this. 

On Sunday, the Cboe (CBOE) will begin trading bitcoin futures, followed by the CME (CME) on December 18. These exchanges are promising to bring more regulatory oversight to the controversial asset class. 

FOX Business takes a look at some of the top business leaders and investors to see where they stand on bitcoin.

  • 1. Peter Thiel

    Peter Thiel

    AP

    The billionaire who co-founded payment processor PayPal (PYPL) said bitcoin is “very underestimated,” even though he is skeptical of most forms of cryptocurrency.

    “It’s like a reserve form of money. It’s like gold and it’s just a store of value. You don’t actually need to use it to make payment,” he told Maria Bartiromo during an interview at a conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
     

  • 2. Patrick Byrne

    Patrick Byrne

    Official Photo

    The Overstock.com (OSTK) CEO remains bullish on the cryptocurrency, and remains optimistic despite some investors’ concerns that bitcoin is in a bubble.

    “You think that’s a bubble? What do you think that fiat currency you carry around in your purse is?” Byrne told Maria Bartiromo. “This dollar stuff, it’s just some fiat currency based on … the surplus taxing authority of the U.S. Treasury of which I assert there is zero. ... It’s about time the world switches to real money. Either gold or bitcoin.”

    Overstock.com was one of the first major online retailers to use the currency.

    Are you a bitcoin ignoramus? Read on....

  • 3. Terry Duffy

    Terry Duffy

    Reuters

    The CME Group (CME) announced in late October its plans to launch bitcoin futures in the fourth quarter of 2017.

    “We are bringing forth a contract on bitcoin on the concept of people wanting to find different ways to do commerce, and we are going to put it on our regulated platform. We will have position limits, we will have different margining regime, we will have an auto trail function, we will have distribution and we will have our name behind it,” he told FOX Business’ Liz Claman on “Countdown to the Closing Bell.”

    More on this...

  • 4. Jamie Dimon

    Jamie Dimon

    Reuters

    The CEO of JPMorgan Chase (JPM) called the cryptocurrency a “fraud” while speaking at an investor conference in New York in September.

    "The currency isn't going to work. You can't have a business where people can invent a currency out of thin air and think that people who are buying it are really smart," the JPMorgan chief executive said, adding that if any of the company’s traders were trading bitcoin, he “would fire them in a second, for two reasons: It is against our rules and they are stupid, and both are dangerous."

  • 5. Warren Buffett

    Warren Buffett

    Reuters

    The “Oracle of Omaha” is not buying into the charm of bitcoin just yet, warning that it could be a bubble that’s getting ready to burst, given the soaring price of the cryptocurrency.

    “You can’t value bitcoin because it’s not a value-producing asset,” Buffett told MarketWatch. He said that it is impossible to say how far bitcoin’s value will rise, adding that there is a “real bubble in that sort of thing.”

  • 6. Jim Rogers

    Jim Rogers

    FOX Business Network

    Like Buffett, legendary investor Jim Rogers believes bitcoin “looks like a picture of a bubble.”

    “If you just showed me charts, and showed me what has happened in that market for the past year or two, and didn’t tell me what it was, I’d say, Stuart, this looks like every bubble I’ve read about,” Rogers told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney. 

  • 7. Larry Fink

    Larry Fink

    Reuters

    BlackRock’s (BLK) chief executive slammed bitcoin at a conference hosted by the Institute of International Finance, calling it an “index of money laundering.”

    “Bitcoin just shows you how much demand for money laundering there is in the world,” Fink said at the conference. “That’s all it is.”

  • 8. Mike Novogratz

    Mike Novogratz

    Reuters

    Despite concerns about bitcoin’s direction going forward, Novogratz remains bullish on it, suggesting retail investors put 2% or 3% of their net worth into the cryptocurrency.

    “I think the whole space will be far higher a year from now, and a lot higher five years from now,” he told FOX Business’ Liz Claman on “Countdown to the Closing Bell” on Thursday.

     

  • 9. Alan Greenspan

    Alan Greenspan

    Reuters

    Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan didn't have to worry about bitcoin during his multi-decade run as the world's top central banker. Still, he has some opinions.

    “Bitcoin is what used to be called fiat money.” He then compared Bitcoin to the currency issued by the Continental Congress after the American Revolution. “I would use the analogy of Continental currency. Continental currency in 1775 was issued with no backing and it sold at par in the marketplace for quite a while until they started to build up more and more printing of continentals" said Greenspan during a recent appearance on FOX Business' Mornings With Maria.

    According to Greenspan, the perception of the cryptocurrency is not necessarily matching the reality, saying, “Human nature is such that if you get something such as Bitcoin, you think there is some value there whether there is or there isn’t.  But that’s the same thing as a Continental, greenbacks in the Civil War, all of these currencies which didn’t have any backing.”

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