Price volatility has been a non-starter for some investors, but bitcoin has paid off for long-term buyers. Since 2013, bitcoin’s annual return has been 216 percent. In comparison, stocks and investment grade bonds have risen 16 percent and 1.6, respectively, according to UBS. On a risk adjusted basis though, bitcoin only modestly beat stocks, Teves found.
Still, she said there is no certainty on whether bitcoin’s past performance can be repeated.
Teves also mentioned technical limits, and something known as scalability, size and speed. Changes by developers to address the issue have been “insufficient,” she said.
“Bitcoin cannot handle the volume of transactions processed by mechanisms being used in the real world,” Teves said.
UBS didn’t completely rule out bitcoin’s future as a form of payment. Teves outlined several conditions for it to become a “legitimate asset class,” including regulatory support with consumer safeguards.