Bitcoin’s price will “explode” but mass adoption is “not going to happen,” Allianz’s chief economic advisor has said.

Speaking on US media network CNBC’s Squawk segment, Mohamed El-Erian told a panel that Bitcoin should be worth half or one third of its then $4000 price.

“The current pricing assume massive adoption, and I don't think governments will allow the amount of adoption that's currently priced in,” he explained.

“I think the price will explode, but I think it will exist because it’s a peer-to-peer currency.”

El-Erian joins an increasingly high profile debate on Bitcoin’s future, after China spooked markets with unsubstantiated claims it will ban exchanges, and JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon called it a “fraud.”

Dimon also suggested Bitcoin’s only “limited” use case would be as a p2p currency, specifically for Venezuelan citizens, North Korea and drug dealers.

“It exists in that world,” El-Erian continued about Bitcoin’s use as such a currency. “But current prices assume massive adoption, which is not going to happen."

The increasing divergence in perspective between traditional finance figures and pro-cryptocurrency voices such as John McAfee, Max Keiser and investor Jeremy Liew, all of whom have given sky-high Bitcoin price predictions for the near term, is palpable.

As of press time, Bitcoin had meanwhile lost 5.3 percent in 24 hours to circle $3700. On Wednesday, analyst Tone Vays suggested the “perfect buy floor” would be $3000, where strong support meant he “didn’t think it will go any lower.”