Raoul Pal warns Bitcoin is a speculative bubble, “scarcity” may be a myth and it isn’t a “store of value”
06/15/2017 // Ethan Huff // Views

A bitcoin investor who purchased the popular cryptocurrency several years back when it was only about $200 – it's now valued at almost $3,000 U.S. – recently sold everything he had and moved his money elsewhere. And his advice is that you should do the same if you don't want to suffer the consequences of what he says is shaping up to be an impending bubble pop.

Since March, the price of Bitcoin in terms of the U.S. dollar has risen by a whopping 210 percent. This rapid increase has drawn many a first-time investor to view Bitcoin as a tool for getting rich quickly. But Raoul Pal, author and publisher of The Global Macro Investor, says that all this speculation is making Bitcoin even more risky.

"The explosion [in the price of Bitcoin] is mania," he's quoted as saying by Zero Hedge. "It's people looking for a rate of return. It's in the bubble phase. [Bitcoin] goes through this periodically ... it rises several hundred percent, and then collapses."

Pal hopes that people will be smart and remember that a similar situation occurred back in December 2013 when Bitcoin leaped in price to over $900. Amateurs who knew nothing about Bitcoin flocked to the cryptocurrency, only to watch it suddenly and quickly plummet over 360 percent to below $250. It took three years for the price of Bitcoin to return to its pre-collapse value, and a similar situation appears to be brewing right now as Bitcoin has reached what appears to be another plateau.

Bitcoin viability on the rocks as other platforms show better functionality, speed

Besides all the wild speculation taking place, there's also the changing nature of Bitcoin, including rumblings about it no longer having a fixed amount of coins. This built-in scarcity feature is what drew so many people to Bitcoin in the first place, but with talk of it going away many are wondering if Bitcoin is still even a viable store of value.


Pal doesn't think so, and that's why he's already dumped his small share of the 21 million Bitcoins that were originally said to be in existence. Bitcoin's senior developers and miners have been contemplating the creation of what they're referring to as a "hard fork," which would split Bitcoin into two and allow for the creation of more Bitcoins beyond what was originally promised.

"Bitcoin was supposed to be a store of value, you couldn't mess with the formula," Pal says. "And now they're talking about a 'hard fork' changing it? Even if they don't change the formula, the fact that they could? That's enough to say it's not a long-term store of value."

It's also important to consider that other technologies are already outpacing Bitcoin in terms of their long-term viability and functionality. In India, for instance, there's a new "frictionless" payment system known as "India Stack" that reportedly allows users to open bank and mobile phone accounts, as well as share medical records at any hospital or clinic using just fingerprints or a retinal scan.

Bitcoin developers have been trying for quite a while to implement a similar system of seamless integration, but so far they've been unsuccessful. Not only that, but India Stack functions about 50 times faster than Bitcoin, and it's currently serving some 1.1 billion people – which is far more than have ever even attempted to use Bitcoin.

"This revolutionary digital infrastructure will soon be able to process billions more transactions than Bitcoin ever has," says Pal. "It may well be a Bitcoin killer or at best, provide the framework for how blockchain technology could be applied in the real world."







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