When it comes to the future of cryptocurrencies, even Nobel Laureate, Ivy League professors aren't quite sure what to say. (See also: Bitcoin Price Falls Into Correction Territory.)

According to a report by Coin Telegraph, Yale University economics professor and Nobel Prize recipient Robert Shiller admitted that he "doesn't know what to make of bitcoin, ultimately." Previously, Shiller had pointed to the top digital currency by market capitalization as "the best example of a bubble."

Bitcoin May Be a Long Bubble

Shiller spoke about his uncertainty in a recent interview, suggesting that "[bitcoin] might totally collapse and be forgotten, and I think that's a good likely outcome, but it could linger on for a good long time, it could be here in 100 years."

With this statement, Shiller seems to suggest two things: first, he isn't ready to predict one way or another whether bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will be the major game changers that crypto enthusiasts believe they are.

Supporters of the movement believe that digital currencies could come to replace fiat money throughout the world, and that the advancements in blockchain technology could spread outside of the cryptocurrency world and inspire innovation across a much broader spectrum of businesses. (See also: How Blockchain Is Changing the Energy Industry.)

Second, Shiller's comments suggest that, while bitcoin could be a bubble, perhaps it will behave in a way that is different from other historic bubbles. The cryptocurrency phenomenon has been likened to "Tulip Mania" in the 17th century, one of the very earliest bubble phenomena.

Question of Bitcoin's Value

Shiller explained that a cryptocurrency "has no value at all unless there is some common consensus that it has value. Other things like gold would at least have some value if people didn't see it as an investment."

Shiller remains somewhat skeptical about bitcoin, although he does not rule out the possibility of cryptocurrencies being around for a very long time. Although the prices of bitcoin and other digital currencies have fallen from their highs in the past few months, with BTC trading for less than $12,000 per coin, that nonetheless is more than double what it was when Shiller made his previous comments in the fall of 2017. (See more: Bitcoin Is Best Example of Irrational Exuberance: Nobel Prize Winner.)

Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or other ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns cryptocurrencies.

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