A bloodbath gripped the crypto markets this week, with virtually every single major cryptocurrency taking significant losses, but huge amounts of excitement remains about the space from all corners of society.
Bitcoin, the first, biggest, and most recognisable cryptocurrency, has been at the heart of much of that excitement, with acolytes touting it as the future of global finance, and some even suggesting that it could replace fiat currencies like the dollar and the pound.
Bitcoin's rise has been so rapid and so aggressive that the market's more established institutions and figures have been simply unable to ignore it.
There is a big spread of opinion across the sector, with some seeing cryptocurrencies as a possible driver of a fundamental shift in the global financial system, others disliking bitcoin, but having some faith in the blockchain technology that underlines it, and others just seeing crypto as, basically, a complete waste of time.
To find out where the industry's big players stand on the cryptocurrency world, Business Insider looked back through recently published analyst notes from major investment banks, research houses, and asset managers.
You can see what staff from the likes of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan think below:
Bullish or bearish?: Bearish
What they say: Faucette's issue with the currency is that it is incredibly hard to value, and that it also very hard to determine what kind of an asset it is.
As BI's Jim Edwards wrote back in December when the note was first released:
"Morgan Stanley analyst James Faucette and his team sent a research note to clients a few days ago suggesting that the real value of bitcoin might be ... $0.
"That's zero dollars. (Bitcoin stood at around $14,400 at the time of writing.)
"The paper (titled "Bitcoin decrypted") did not give a price target for bitcoin.
"But in a section titled "Attempts to Value Bitcoin," Faucette described why it is so hard to ascribe value to the cryptocurrency. It's not like a currency, it's not like gold, and it has had difficulty scaling."
Bullish or bearish?: Bearish on bitcoin, reasonably bullish on blockchain.
What they say: "Cryptocurrencies have soared in popularity since 2008, with more than 1,000 in existence today and an aggregate value greater than the market capitalization of IBM. But we are highly doubtful whether they will ever become mainstream currencies," a note from the Swiss bank said back in October 2017.
"The need for companies and individuals to pay tax receipts in government-issued currency, and the potentially unlimited crypto-money supply, pose significant barriers to widespread adoption. We think the sharp rise in crypto-currency valuations in recent months is a speculative bubble."
"But while we are doubtful cryptocurrencies will ever become a mainstream means of exchange, the underlying technology, blockchain, is likely to have a significant impact in industries ranging from finance to manufacturing, healthcare, and utilities."
Bullish or bearish?: Bullish
What they say: Panigirtzoglou and his team believe that the recent introduction of futures contracts for bitcoin have the "potential to elevate cryptocurrencies to an emerging asset class."
"The value of this new asset class is a function of the breadth of its acceptance as a store of wealth and as a means of payment," Panigirtzoglou and his team said in the note back in December.
"Simply judging by other stores of wealth such as gold, cryptocurrencies have the potential to grow further from here."
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