howard marks

Oaktree Capital founder Howard Marks has bitcoin on his- mind.-

Marks, who called bitcoin, the digital coin up- over 350% this year, a "fad" in a July memo, has warmed up to it after receiving- backlash from the cryptocurrency community.

Marks revisited his thoughts on the digital coin in a wide-ranging memo sent out to clients on Thursday. The long and short of the note: Marks has changed his mind, but he still has reservations.-

Marks concedes he might have been too quick to dismiss the idea that bitcoin can be considered a currency akin to the US dollar.-

"What bitcoin partisans have told me subsequently is that bitcoin should be thought of as a currency -ndash; a medium of exchange -ndash; not an investment asset," Marks wrote. "Given that the evolution of bitcoin is so topical, I think further discussion is in order."

After exploring the key characteristics of a currency, Marks concedes that- bitcoin does, in fact, share characteristics of money. Specifically, its use as a form of legal tender and a store of value.-

"So my initial bottom line is that I see no reason why bitcoin can-rsquo;t be a currency," Marks said.-

Screen Shot 2017 09 08 at 2.01.51 PMBut this doesn"t mean Marks is completely on board with the bitcoin trade. According to Marks, just because- bitcoin could be considered a currency, doesn"t mean its not in a speculative bubble. Here"s Marks (emphasis ours):

Being willing to agree that Bitcoin may become an accepted medium of exchange is not the same as saying you should buy it now to make money.- Think about the fact that the price of Bitcoin has risen more than 350% so far this year and 3,900% in the last three years.- To the degree people argue that Bitcoin is a currency, then (a) why is it so volatile? and (b) is that desirable?- You might want to consider whether a real currency can do that, or whether speculative buying is determining Bitcoin-rsquo;s price.- And whether what-rsquo;s gone up can come down.

That said, Marks, a self-professed "bitcoin dinosaur," is open to further debate.-

"I-rsquo;m willing to be proved wrong," he concluded.-

SEE ALSO:- MARKS: The media loves to hear 2 things about the market — here"s why I will never say them

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