Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency mania has had a rollercoaster few months but there is a “growing” appreciation for digital currencies among institutional investors, according to Dr Garrick Hileman, from the Cambridge University Centre for Alternative Finance.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, he said: “Any breakthrough technology, and bitcoin and blockchain, are certainly breakthrough technologies, hype often outpaces the reality.
“In terms of both of how mature the technology is, the rates of adoption.
“We’ve seen this before with bitcoin and we’ve seen the price shoot up first in late 2013 when it first entered the mainstream public consciousness.
“The price subsequently crashed 85 percent as security at a major exchange broke down and bitcoin’s were stolen.
“So we’ve seen this kind of story repeat where bitcoin rises, gets hyped and then there’s a crash.”
Dr Hileman who has advised the CIA and US army on cryptocurrencies said it was possible that this could happen again.
He said: “Given the incredible price appreciations we’ve seen in the last few months, I mean it’s possible we could see that repeat again although it’s hard to say.
“I think there’s an increasing, growing appreciation amongst institutions that there’s something significant here that is really game-changing.”
Dr Hileman also said that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are in the sights of regulators worldwide, who must strike a tricky balance.
He said: “Many regulators are trying to strike the right balance here between not crushing the sector and allowing innovation to foster and attract new investment to their local economies, job growth, etcetera.”
“But also trying to protect investors who are entering the space who may not have not have the resources to fully vet some of the purchases they are making.”