It seems everyone’s hopping on the Bitcoin bandwagon while the cryptocurrency hit an all time high of nearly $42,000 this month— that is, everyone except Mark Cuban.
In a recent Twitter thread, the billionaire investor likened the Bitcoin surge to the dom-com bubble, writing that investing in cryptocurrency without any financial leverage would be foolish.
“Watching the cryptos trade, it’s EXACTLY like the internet stock bubble. EXACTLY,” Cuban wrote. “I think [Bitcoin, ethereum] , a few others will be analogous to those that were built during the dot-com era, survived the bubble bursting and thrived, like AMZN, EBay, and Priceline. Many won’t.”
As the price of Bitcoin fell from its all-time high on Monday, $170 billion was suddenly erased from the market. The boom was largely driven by Wall Street banks and fund managers buying in. While the current price is hovering around $35,000, still well above previous rates, Wall Street is finding its future difficult to forecast.
Like the price of crypto rising dramatically, tech stock valuations in the 1990s rose fivefold in a few short years, only to fall dramatically in the early 2000s as investors sold off shares. The Nasdaq index alone tumbled 76% from a peak of 5,048.62 in March 2000 to 1,139.90 in October 2002. Just before the crash, in 1999, Cuban sold his startup to Yahoo. He made $5.7 billion from selling off Broastcast.com, an internet radio company he joined in 1995, avoiding the dot-com bubble just before it burst.
“As during the dot-com bubble ‘the experts’ try to justify whatever the pricing of the day is,” Cuban continued. “Crypto, much like gold, is supply and demand driven. All the narratives about debasement, fiat, etc are just sales pitches. The biggest sales pitch is scarcity vs demand. That’s it.”
Cuban advised investors to “learn how to hedge” so as not to lose their fortunes in a potential crypto bubble. Despite all the Bitcoin buzz, others have agreed with him, including the UK’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority. The Bank of America even called it “the mother of all bubbles.”
Cuban’s tweetstorm isn’t the first time he’s spoken out about the downsides of crypto. He once told Forbes that Bitcoin is “a store of value...that is more religion than solution to any problem.” Although he has invested in Bitcoin himself, Cuban says investing large amounts of money is a “gamble” due to extreme fluctuations in price.
Cuban added one more word of advice: don’t take on debt to invest in a volatile market.
“Let me add one thing: If you are taking on debt that you can’t afford to pay back to invest in crypto (or stocks or currencies), YOU ARE A FOOL and there is a 99pct chance you will lose EVERYTHING. Personal disaster stories are built on leverage,” he wrote.