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Yale's Shiller: Bitcoin an 'Interesting Experiment, Not a Permanent Feature'

Yale's Shiller: Bitcoin an 'Interesting Experiment, Not a Permanent Feature'
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By    |   Monday, 29 January 2018 09:52 AM

Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller thinks bitcoin is an “interesting experiment” but a temporary fad in the currency world.

"I tend to think of bitcoin as an experiment," Shiller recently told CNBC.

Digital currencies such as bitcoin have emerged as a new asset class over the last two years as its underlying technology called the blockchain, an online database, has gained worldwide acceptance from corporations and financial institutions.

Bitcoin, which is traded on exchanges, soared more than 1,700 percent last year to a record high, raising fears that the volatile emerging asset poses a risk to investors and the global financial system.

Shiller compared the cryptocurrency to other attempts to "change" currency. Shiller, who helped develop the widely-followed S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, cited bitcoin as “another really clever idea,” but nothing with a long life.

"I tend to think of bitcoin as an experiment," said Shiller, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences with Eugene Fama and Lars Peter Hansen in 2013.

"It is an interesting experiment, but it's not a permanent feature of our lives. We are over-emphasizing bitcoin, we should broaden it out to blockchain, which will have other applications," said Shiller, who developed the cyclically adjusted price-earnings (CAPE) ratio market valuation measure, which is calculated using price divided by the index's average historical 10-year earnings, adjusted for inflation.

Blockchain “is the technology that underpins bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It is a decentralized network that records cryptocurrency transactions,” CNBC explained.

Meanwhile, former macro hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz is one of several investors in VideoCoin, a startup eyeing a $50 million digital currency offering in a few months to take advantage of the growing appetite for cryptocurrencies, VideoCoin Chief Executive Halsey Minor told Reuters.

A recent $5 million initial funding round also attracted investors such as Distributed Network Advisors, a firm whose partner includes venture capitalist Brock Pierce; and Alphabit, a global fund that invests in digital currencies, Minor told Reuters last week.

Novogratz, formerly of Fortress Investment Group and who runs Galaxy Investment Partners, said in a statement on Thursday the project had all the elements he looks for in an investment. “We are convinced VideoCoin will revolutionize the video streaming industry.”

VideoCoin’s new token may be used by software developers and other users to pay for cloud-based video services on its network, such as encoding, storage, distribution, or rentals, Minor said.

“You get all these guys in early, and the rest comes along,” said Minor, a technology entrepreneur who in 1994 co-founded CNET, a U.S. media website on technology and consumer electronics that CBS bought for around $1.8 billion in 2008.

(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).

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Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller thinks bitcoin is an “interesting experiment” but a temporary fad in the currency world.
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2018-52-29
Monday, 29 January 2018 09:52 AM
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