Bitcoin has had a roller-coaster month that’s seen prices spike from $7,000 up to $20,000, and most of the way back down again. Depending on who you listen to, Bitcoin is either the greatest investment opportunity since Apple, or the biggest bubble since someone thought that tulips looked pretty.

Professional analysts are having to change their perspective on Bitcoin as the amount of money involved shoots up, and right now, the biggest question about the coin is what it actually is. The easiest conclusion, of course, is that Bitcoin is a currency — after all, that’s how it was designed.

But economists point out that it fails most of the tests of usefulness for a currency: the value fluctuates dramatically, it isn’t universally accepted, and people just straight-up aren’t really using it to buy things. So perhaps it’s an investment — after all, some people are seeing returns of 25,000%.

But unlike most investments, it doesn’t have any intrinsic value, guaranteed payout, or usefulness. All of this has led Morgan Stanley analyst James Faucette to conclude that Bitcoin might be not all it’s cracked up to be. Read more from…

thumbnail courtesy of