Bubble, Ponzi, tulip and trouble have been among the words used by crypto-critics over the past year as bitcoin powered from under $1,000 and passed the much talked about $10,000 marker.
Despite being talked down by some major financial names, not least JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, it looks like cryptocurrencies could be here to stay.
Bitcoin has posted a return of over 900 percent since the start of the year with one technical trader saying the rise of bitcoin in 2017 is the biggest bull market he has seen in over 40 years of working in finance.
David Shrier, academic and CEO of Distilled Analytics, told CNBC that he has absolutely no doubt that there is feverish speculation going on with cryptocurrencies but that in itself is not a bad thing.
"There is enough utility and utilization of bitcoin that it will retain some kind of value, even if the price settles down a bit. Amazon didn't go to $0 when the dotcom bubble burst, but other frothy stocks with no reality behind them did. Similarly, bitcoin won't go to zero, but I do believe a number of these other cryptocurrencies will fail," Shrier said.
Dominic Williams, chief scientist at research group the DFINITY Project, is also skeptical about the viability of initial coin offerings (ICOs) in particular, saying "only a fraction of the projects holding ICOs have any chance of success." ICOs are a way for companies to raise money — people pay money in exchange for a token or digital currency. The token doesn't usually give the investor equity in the company. Instead, it can be traded or used to do something with the firm.