The rise of cryptocurrency has, perhaps, caught many of the mainstream big-tech tycoons off-guard. Some, like renowned investor Carl Ichan and other big-name Wall Street investors, have dismissed the arrival of Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) as another bubble, similar to the dot-com bubble of the turn of the century. Others, while not that quick to dismiss cryptocurrencies, have remained highly skeptical; while a few forward-thinkers have either embraced it or, like figures such as Mark Cuban, were first dismissive of it, then changed their minds. Investor Robert Hervajec, a cybersecurity expert, has this to say about the world of crypto: “To me, it’s the wave of the future.” In about 25 years, he predicts, there will be a form of electronic cryptocurrency with which people will pay, and cash will simply disappear.
We’ve looked up some of the most prominent names in the big tech/investment world to find out what they have to say about the world of crypto, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, et al.
Elon Musk is one of the world’s most influential entrepreneurs and business personas. Although ambivalent towards the world of crypto at first, speculation is that Elon Musk is showing some interest in the world of cryptocurrency…
Although he has kept relatively quiet publically on the topic, in an interview, Musk was quoted saying: “Bitcoin is probably a good thing… It will be useful for legal and illegal transactions. Otherwise, it would have no value as a use for illegal transactions.”
Founder & CEO of Facebook
In his 2018 mission statement, Mark Zuckerberg wrote this about the crypto world:
“There are important counter trends to this –encryption and cryptocurrency – that take power from centralized systems and put it back into people’s hands.…I’m interested to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies, and how best to use them in our services.”
There are rampant speculations that Facebook intends to release its own crypto token, via the Ethereum (ETH) Blockchain, especially in light of the latest privacy scandal.
Warren Buffet has been successful largely by investing long-term in companies he believes in. To him, the world of cryptocurrencies is an enigma, and he had this to say about it:
“If you buy something like Bitcoin or some cryptocurrency, you don’t have anything that has produced anything. You’re just hoping the next guy pays more.”
Although he has no actual stake in cryptocurrency, his words ( like those of Bill Gates) had a negative effect on the crypto market, and it took a dip after crossing the $10,000 value mark.
Former CEO of Google
In addition to his previous role of Google CEO, Schmidt was also a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)and co-wrote The New Digital Age and Google: How Google Works. Now a technical advisor to Google’s parent company, Alphabet, Schmidt sounded enthusiastic about the crypto world:
“[Bitcoin] is a remarkable cryptographic achievement and the ability to create something that is not duplicable in the digital world has enormous value” and incredibly useful for many applications. Schmidt is also impressed by the Blockchain ledger technology.
The Winklevoss Twins
Twitter: @winklevoss @tylerwinklevoss
Famous perhaps for their legal entanglement with Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook, which ended in a 2008 settlement, the former Olympic rowers have become major players in the Crypto market, founding the Gemini Cryptocurrency exchange. Big crypto enthusiasts, the twins said that:
“The biggest joke is the fastest way to get money from NY to London is to jump on a plane with a bag of cash, because if you try and wire something on Friday, it’s not getting there until Tuesday.”
Answering to criticism of figures such as Warren Buffet about the stability of Bitcoin and other Crypto tokens, the brothers say that for many people in the world who have no access or cannot have access to a bank account, cryptocurrencies are a completely viable solution. And while many other Bitcoin or other crypto token investors turn to other stocks or indices such as gold, the Winklevosses intend to hold firm to their crypto coins for the long haul, believing that they will appreciate many times over their current value.
There is no doubt that the emergence of the crypto markets and the cryptocurrencies has disrupted many businesses and the investment world, in terms of the way they think. The fact that billionaires such as Mark Cuban have changed their tune on crypto coins, and big-tech magnates such as Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk are strongly rumored to be entering the field, speaks volumes. Even Goldman Sachs has launched its own cryptocurrency in anticipation of the continued, expanded use of crypto coins such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum. In what seemed at first a tug-of-war between the “old guard” who believe in the “old-fashioned” way: investment, acquisition, vision, patience and don’t believe in crypto (Warren Buffett as an example) and the “new guard” (see: The Winklevoss brothers) in the world of investment, the bottom line is that with cryptocurrencies and Blockchain disrupting a wide-ranging number of industries from tech to healthcare, it will be something that even “old school” investors will not be able to ignore.