The world of cryptocurrencies is one of the most divisive topics in finance right now. On the one hand, figures like J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon have called it a "fraud" and dubbed those trading it "stupid." On the other hand, there are those who see cryptocurrencies as one of the most revolutionary forces in finance.
But amid the debate, there are a lot of people asking how to value this stuff and why bitcoin has traded nearly as high as $20,000.
The answer right now is simple: There are no fundamentals.
Even Robert Shiller, who won the Nobel Prize in 2013 for assessing asset prices, recently remarked that the value of bitcoin is "exceptionally ambiguous."
There's no doubt that there is immense amount of speculation in the cryptocurrency market. But when the bubble bursts and the hype dies down, that is where we may find value and it all comes down to the use cases for the different coins on the market.
When bitcoin was created in 2009, the aim was to be an electronic cross-border payments system. The problem now is that bitcoin transactions are at record highs with faster traditional payment systems actually proving a better means. It's hard to say bitcoin has an inherent value beyond the belief of the people trading it. But as many have said, it could become "digital gold," in which case the price is likely to go higher.
But looking forward, it's highly likely that other digital tokens could surpass bitcoin because of their utility.