Source: ARK Disrupt Issue 105: December 24th, 2017 Follow @wintonARK on Twitter

Bitcoin just had an incredible month and a terrible week. Having rallied from less than $8,000 just before Thanksgiving to a high of nearly $20,000 a week ago, bitcoin traded as low as $10,400 last week, before rebounding to more than $13,000 this weekend.

Among the signs of irrational investor behavior around bitcoin, publicly traded companies have rallied by multiples after nothing more than a name change which included “blockchain”, former global macro hedge fund investors have forecast that bitcoin’s price could quadruple in 12 months, and speculators have gone on margin to invest in bitcoin. Historically, these signs have marked the top, either cyclically or securely, for an asset class.

That said, institutional adoption of bitcoin is nascent and could burgeon given the launch of futures markets on the CBOE and CME during the last two weeks, potentially heralding another era of financial innovation. If blockchain technology truly is as fundamental a breakthrough as was the internet—as we, at ARK, believe—then institutions will take the baton from retail investors during the next six to nine months. As of today, as shown below, the number of blockchain articles published in the US is a fraction of those covering the internet at its peak in 2000. The bitcoin price may have become highly volatile, but the market for bitcoin is in very early days.

Graph showing the great number of articles about the internet compare to Blockchain, bitcoin and cryptocurrency

ARK’s statements are not an endorsement of any company or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any security. For a list of all purchases and sales made by ARK for client accounts during the past year that could be considered by the SEC as recommendations, click here. It should not be assumed that recommendations made in the future will be profitable or will equal the performance of the securities in this list. For full disclosures, click here.