Jordan Belfort, the former stock broker made famous by Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese's "Wolf of Wall Street," is intimately familiar with scams.
He served 22 months in a California prison after pleading guilty in 1999 to a seven-year scheme at his Long Island brokerage, Stratton Oakmont, which manipulated the price of stocks and left investors holding nearly worthless securities. According to Belfort, that experience has given him insight into a modern financial asset: Bitcoin.
Belfort says bitcoin's price surges are thanks only to a belief by buyers that there will continue to be 'greater fools' who they can sell the asset to at a higher price.
Bitcoin traded near $6,600 Monday morning according to data from Coindesk, a 12 percent rebound from the cryptocurrency's lows last month. In 2017, bitcoin soared from below $1,000 to over $19,000 in December, before plummeting at the start of this year.
"There's no fundamental value [with bitcoin], it's all based on the next guy and the next guy," he says. "Get out if you don't want to lose all of your money because ... there's a very good chance it's going to crack. And when it really cracks, you're not going to be able to sell on the way down, there will be no liquidity."