It’s no secret that Bitcoin has become one of finance’s hottest topics, surging in popularity over the past year and taking investors’ breath away with each dramatic rise and fall of its value.
Pretty crazy for a digital currency system that everyone agrees is still in its developmental phase.
Bitcoin has come a long way in its nearly 10-year existence: The cryptocurrency began in the midst of the 2008 Great Recession, when an anonymous founder known online as “Satoshi Nakamoto” authored a technical paper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.”
Despite its trendiness, many in the banking industry — along with a number of financial experts — have shown a real aversion to Bitcoin. Among them has been money expert Clark Howard, who has taken on a considerable amount of flak for his refusal to hop on the cryptocurrency bandwagon.
This Is How Clark Feels About Bitcoin
Clark has consistently stressed that the issue with bitcoin is that its two applications in the real world — as an investment and as a form of currency — both fall short.
- As a currency: Clark says, “Bitcoin has been a failure as money because it doesn’t have a stable value. It moves by huge percentages day by day.”
- As an investment: Clark adds, “Bitcoin is not an investment either because its values gyrate so much, there is no predictable direction. And it’s worth whatever people say it is worth that day.”
He says that regardless of its popularity, Bitcoin has not yet become legitimized and by definition, it does not have the primary and most trusted characteristic of currency.
“The reality is that real money can be used to buy real things routinely and has stability in its value, and the cryptocurrencies don’t,” Clark says. “That’s why they are a strictly speculative endeavor.”
Should You Join the Bitcoin Frenzy?
If you’re thinking about joining the cryptocurrency craze, Clark wants you to know that, while the value roller coaster may be fun to ride, Bitcoin and the like still have a ways to go before they can be seen as dependable alternatives to the dollar.
For those who are adventurous with their money, he offers this definitive warning:
“So you want to buy this stuff because it’s fun, you want to buy this stuff with money you don’t care if you lose? Fine, and if you hit a big score, fine again, but just remember what money is,” he says. “It’s a method respected by others to buy and sell goods and services … and every cryptocurrency fails that test, because there is not transparency, there’s not normal liquidity, and there’s not stability.”
Clark says people who are interested in venturing beyond Bitcoin and into other types of cryptocurrencies need to be especially on guard because some of them are “actual criminal enterprise scams.”
If you’ve done your research and are sure you’re not getting scammed, here’s Clark’s parting advice.
“The reality is, if you want to jump on any of these cryptocurrency bandwagons, know that it is totally a gamble. It is completely like going to a casino. And if you like throwing money down at a casino, then go ahead and do it — but not with any money you’d lose sleep over.”
If you want to know more about investing, here’s how to do it the Clark Howard way.