Vanguard is the nation’s largest mutual fund company, which is the primary reason people in the market listen to the opinions of its management and researchers. Its chief economist made the argument that the value of bitcoin could go to zero.
Joseph Davis, the global chief economist and global head of Vanguard Investment Strategy Group, wrote in answer to the question “What do you think about bitcoin?”:
I’m enthusiastic about the blockchain technology that makes bitcoin possible. In fact, Vanguard is using such technology. As for bitcoin the currency? I see a decent probability that its price goes to zero.
It is a stunning criticism of the largest cryptocurrency based on market value. Davis’s primary reason is that central banks could begin to regulate bitcoin and the trading methods that make its existence possible.
Davis also argued that the value of bitcoin is not based on any real-world factors:
The investment case for cryptocurrencies is weak. Unlike stocks and bonds, currencies generate no cash flows such as interest payments or dividends that can explain their prices. National currencies derive their prices from the underlying economic activity of the countries that issue them. Cryptocurrency prices, on the other hand, are generally not based on economic fundamentals. To date, their prices have depended more on speculation about their eventual adoption and use. The speculation creates volatility that, ironically, undermines their value as a currency.
After a peak value of over $19,000 set in December, prices have dropped to $8,500. Based on past trading patterns of tremendous and rapid changes in valuation, volatility will continue to be a hallmark of the market.
The value of the bitcoin market has topped $400 billion, so traders could see massive fortunes wiped out if Davis is correct.