Legendary trader Mark Fisher sees similarities between the dramatic ascent of the bitcoin price and the trajectory that the silver price took during the 1970s.
Fisher, founder and CEO of futures clearing merchant MBF Clearing, told CNBC’s “Fast Money: Halftime Report” that he believes bitcoin’s dramatic year-to-date run-up is the modern-day equivalent of the silver run in the late 1970s following the collapse of the Bretton Woods system.
“Bitcoin was what silver was back in the late ’70s and ’80s — for sure,” he said. ” “No rhyme or reason.”
In January 1970, an ounce of silver was traded at an average of $6.08 Over the course of the decade, the silver price doubled, an understandable phenomenon considering that the U.S. dollar decoupled from the price of gold in 1971. However, in 1979, the price of silver began to explode, and by the end of the year, it had more than quadrupled. In January 1980, silver reached an all-time high of $49.45 — $111.84 in today’s dollars — after which it began a prolonged decline that ultimately saw it bottom out at $4.05 in 2001.
Bitcoin, meanwhile, has risen approximately 1,500% in the past year, and on Tuesday it pierced $12,000 for the first time.
Fisher chalks both price movements — including the implicit assumption that bitcoin will crash just as hard as silver did — up to the same phenomenon, namely that assets that at least appear to be disconnected from Wall Street capture the imaginations of retail investors.
“The reason people are so attracted to bitcoin is because people want something that’s actually moved dramatically, that there’s no Wall Street to it,” said Fisher. “The thing that every cab driver is talking about all day long.”
Of course, bitcoin is about to make its first foray into the Wall Street markets, because bitcoin futures are set to launch on derivatives exchange Cboe on Sunday — and Fisher is excited, even if he is not bullish on the “current iteration” of cryptocurrency.
“It’s going to be great volatility,” he said. “And for someone like me, who cares what it is, as long as it moves, right?”