Wall Street has been overwhelmingly hesitant to embrace cryptocurrency. CEOs from Warren Buffett to Jamie Dimon have issued warnings about trading bitcoin, while Nouriel Roubini, an economics professor at New York University, called it “the mother of all bubbles” favored by “charlatans and swindlers.”
Holden said in a white paper accompanying Juniper’s research that the firm “is aligned far more closely with the cryptocurrency skeptics than the evangelists; we do not believe a recovery to the levels witnessed in 2017 is likely …. Indeed, we would argue that further falls are highly probable.”
Other cryptocurrencies have struggled alongside bitcoin. The total market capitalization for cryptocurrencies is down more than 60 percent this year, according to data from CoinMarketCap.com.
Holden pointed to other issues: There is a decline in the base of individuals who are willing to pay inflated prices for cryptocurrencies, credit card companies have banned customers from paying for bitcoin on a card, and social media sites have banned initial coin offering advertising.
“Taken together, this means that there is likely to be less demand, with less funds available to invest in Bitcoin,” Holden said.
The researcher also highlighted bitcoin’s potential as a means for money laundering and buying illegal substances and its persistent volatility as a roadblock to gaining mainstream acceptance.
Still, others are more bullish on its underlying technology, blockchain. Equity investing in blockchain and crypto companies has captured the attention of top venture capitalists such as Andreessen Horowitz andthe backing of Yale’s influential endowment investor David Swensen.