Analysis

Prof. Mark T. Williams: “My Concerns Over Bitcoin Remain”

Jayanand Sagar | July 1, 2014 | 9:20 pm
Analysis

Prof. Mark T. Williams: “My Concerns Over Bitcoin Remain”

Jayanand Sagar | July 1, 2014 | 9:20 pm

The chatter on social media surrounding December 2013 comments by Boston University Professor Mark T. Williams (better known inside the community as ‘Professor Bitcorn’) is as loud as ever as we begin the second half of 2014.

Williams had taken to business publication Business Insider to voice his concerns over the digital currency, which was at the time just out of a massive bubble and an all-time high.

“I predict that Bitcoin will trade for under $10 a share by the first half of 2014, single digit pricing reflecting its option value as a pure commodity play,” he wrote in a piece entitled FINANCE PROFESSOR: Bitcoin Will Crash To $10 By Mid-2014.

Yet here we are, smack-dab in the middle of the year, and bitcoin isn’t trading anywhere near $10 per coin as Williams predicted. In fact, the price at the Bitstamp exchange is over eight percent up in the past three days, hovering over $640 at the time of this writing.

Perhaps with the off-the-mark prediction we might see some level of a prediction change from Williams? Not exactly.

I caught up with Williams [who’s presently in Istanbul] on Tuesday evening to find out just where he stands on the subject. As it were, Williams told me his “concerns over bitcoin remain,” not surprisingly.

“In April I provided a 30 page congressional testimony listing my various risk concerns,” the professor pointed out (you can find it here or embedded below). “Bitcoin is in a hyper bubble and will implode.”

4-2-2014 Williams Final Testimony

In that testimony, Williams reaffirmed his concerns with the digital currency, outlining what he called “unaddressed” risks on a number of different fronts.

“Bitcoin is in a hyper bubble and will implode,” Williams told me. “Since my prediction in 2013 Bitcoin has dropped by 50 percent. In February during the flash crash a trade of 6,000 coins momentarily pushed the price down by over 80 percent to a low of $102. Bitcoin is extremely volatile. It is 7 times riskier than gold, 8 times riskier than S&P 500 and 15 times riskier than the US Dollar.”

During our exchange, the Professor also commented on this past Friday’s Marshals auction, which saw the sale of over 29,000 bitcoins seized from the illicit Silk Road marketplace in late 2013.

“The market is also thinly traded and this is why the U.S. Marshals Service held a private auction instead of selling on a public exchange such as [BTC-e]. If the government had dumped over 29,000 e-coins on the public market, prices would have plummeted,” he said.

Meanwhile, on social media, the bitcoin community has taken to make light of Williams’ [so far] inaccurate prediction. From Williams’ prospective, however, the bottom line is clear.

“The Bitcoin market remains unhealthy and extremely hazardous to investor financial health,” he concluded.

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