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Did Bitcoin Just Burst? How It Compares to History’s Big Bubbles

Bitcoin’s recent wobbles please give fresh urgency to a question that’s gripped market observers for much of the past time: Will the cryptocurrency go down as one of history’s most infamous bubbles, alongside tulipmania and the dot-com hysterium?

The magnitude of Bitcoin’s boom( before it lost as much as 50 percent from its Dec. 18 high) proposes investors have reason to be worried.

As the chart proves, the cryptocurrency’s nearly 60 -fold increase during the past three years was truly extraordinary.

It dwarfed the Nasdaq Composite Index’s gain during the headiest periods of the 1990 s. Going farther back, it comfortably outshone the Mississippi and South Sea bubbles of the 1700 s. It even topped the Dutch tulipmania of the 1630 s, though that last comparing should be taken with a grain of salt given the scarcity of recorded tulip values.( The map includes costs for merely one varietal; consistent post-peak figures were unavailable .)

Bulls say that Bitcoin’s boom is still far from over, and that there’s more to analyzing a market than just measuring cost gains. While the recent tumble has alarmed some investors, the cryptocurrency has bounced back from several previous swoons exceeding 50 percent. If Bitcoin did become a widely-accepted shape of digital amber, as predicted by Cameron Winklevoss of Facebook fame, it could have a lot further to surge.

Read more: Crypto Hedge Funds Soar More Than 1,000% Amid Bubble Debate

There’s also more than one way to slice a rallying. On an annualized basis, Bitcoin’s three-year rise has been slower than the gains watched during several of history’s biggest manias — most notably the Mississippi and South Sea bubbles.

Still, skeptics abound. Howard Wang of New York-based Convoy Investments LLC and Jeremy Grantham of GMO LLC have analyzed Bitcoin’s advance relative to past crazes and concluded that it’s unsustainable. Grantham, who helps oversee about $74 billion as GMO’s chief investment strategist, summed up its deep concern in a Jan. 3 letter to investors 😛 TAGEND

” Having no clear fundamental value and largely unregulated markets, coupled with a storyline conducive to delusions of grandeur, attains this more than anything we can find in the history books the very essence of a bubble ,” he wrote.

The strategist has a mixed record of success with such admonishes. While Grantham was correct to call the 1990 s surge in tech stocks a bubble, he exited too soon and missed out of some of the market’s biggest gains.

Only period will tell whether Grantham and other endures are right, wrong, or simply too early when it comes to Bitcoin.

For more on cryptocurrencies, check out the podcast 😛 TAGEND

For a menu of cryptocurrencies on Bloomberg: VCCY
For bitcoin prices: XBT Curncy

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