A Nobel Laureate economist, the next Chairman of the Fed, an investment banker and a legendary investor weigh in on the Bitcoin phenomenon. By now you, have probably heard of Bitcoin, the so-called cryptocurrency that has shot up in market value from less than a dollar in 2008 to more than $200 billion today.

For the unfamiliar, Bitcoin is an Internet-based currency made possible by a new technology called the blockchain, defined by Harvard Business Review as “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way.” The distributed nature of the ledger allows for decentralized transactions to occur without the control or oversight of a third party, most typically a bank. The possibilities of the blockchain technology are broadly considered to be far-reaching, with the potential to disrupt everything from the way we transfer money to how we vote.

Below, we have collected opinions from a diverse set of backgrounds and fields of expertise. Robert Shiller, Nobel Laureate and Professor of Economics at Yale University: I think that the value of bitcoin is exceptionally ambiguous.

Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman Nominee: In the long, long run, cryptocurrencies could matter. They don’t really matter today.

They’re just not big enough; there’s not close to enough volume for them to matter to us (the Federal Reserve). There’s no question that valuations have really gone up quite a lot in the last year or so. Read more from merionwest.com…

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