There have been few subjects as polarising the last years as cryptocurrencies, the blockchain and Bitcoin. That is why we decided to see what the absolute wealthiest persons on the planet had to say about the subject. But there are no surprises here since it seems that the topic is as polarising among the billionaires.
Jeff Bezos – Amazon (net worth $112 B)
We could not find any direct statements made by Jeff Bezos, the founder of the third most valuable company in the world. However, we did see that Amazon has registered three domains showing their interest in cryptocurrencies. With domains like amazonethereum.com, amazoncryptocurrency.com, and amazoncryptocurrencies.com it would not surprise us if we soon saw Amazon accepting cryptocurrencies. Who knows maybe we will see Amazon coin that works like a gift card morph to Amazons own cryptocurrency soon?
Bill Gates – Microsoft (net worth $90 B)
Recently Bill Gates stirred up some controversy when he criticised Bitcoin for being anonymous. We are not sure if this has changed his overall view of Bitcoin as being affordable, available worldwide and a global good alternative to cash but we could at least agree.
“Bitcoin is exciting because it shows how cheap it can be. Bitcoin is better than the currency in that you don’t have to be physically in the same place and, of course, for large transactions, currency can get pretty inconvenient.”
Warren Buffet – Berkshire Hathaway (net worth $84 B)
One of Bill Gates friends and one of the world’s wealthiest men Warren Buffet is more sceptical in regards to Bitcoin.
“We don’t own any; we’re not short any, we’ll never have a position in them. In terms of cryptocurrencies, generally, I can say with almost certainty that they will come to a bad ending.”
Wheatear Warren Buffet is right or not and Bitcoin comes to a bad end time will tell, but we are seeing a shift in people’s mindset towards cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin.
Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook (net worth $71 B)
From one older billionaire to a younger one, what is Mark Zuckerberg’s view of Bitcoin? Well, he recently went out criticising the centralisation of power online and pointed out that cryptocurrency and encryption is a countermeasure of centralised systems giving the power back to the people. He has also pointed out that the blockchain could come to be a part of Bitcoin in the future.
“Technology powering Bitcoin could come to Facebook in the future”
Larry Ellison – Software (net worth $58,5 B)
It is hard to argue that the fifth richest American in the world Larry Ellison cofounder of Oracle doesn’t understand technology and that might be the reason he is so confident in regards to the foundation of Bitcoin, the Blockchain, and it’s used outside the realm and currencies.
”Blockchains are often thought of in the context of bitcoin or other cyber currencies. But increasingly, companies outside of finance are using blockchain technology to replace long-held authentication practices in law, real estate, and shipping.”
Richard Branson – Virgin, Self-Made (net worth $5 B)
The outlier, entrepreneur, and founder of the world famous Virgin brand, Richard Branson is one that seems to see eye to eye with other tech-savvy individuals. We think his statements regarding Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies speaks for itself:
”Well, I think it is working. There may be other currencies like it that may be even better. But in the meantime, there’s a big industry around Bitcoin. — People have made fortunes off Bitcoin, some have lost money. It is volatile, but people make money off of volatility too.”
He also seems to have a lot in common with Bitcoin as his company Virgin Galactic (you know the space tourism company) are accepting payments in Bitcoin!
“Virgin Galactic is a bold entrepreneurial technology. It’s driving a revolution. And bitcoin is doing just the same when it comes to inventing a new currency.”
Ray Dalio – Hedge Funds (net worth $17,7 B)
On a more sceptical note, we find Ray Dalio famous Hedge fund investor and author calling Bitcoin a bubble. With quotes like these it’s not hard to figure out where this billionaire stands regarding Bitcoin:
”It’s not an effective storehold of wealth because it has volatility to it, unlike gold.”
“Bitcoin is a highly speculative market. Bitcoin is a bubble.”
However, it seems that he is not entirely sceptical towards Bitcoin, only the volatility.
“It’s a shame; it could be a currency. It could work conceptually, but the amount of speculation that is going on and the lack of transactions hurts it.”
Eric Schmidt – Google, self-made (net worth $13,3 B)
The entrepreneur, businessman and software engineer that made his riches when being the CEO of Google, praises Bitcoin and points out how remarkable it is to create something that is not duplicable in the digital world (referring to the security and verification in the blockchain).
“Bitcoin is a remarkable cryptographic achievement and the ability to create something that is not duplicable in the digital world has enormous value.”
Ken Griffin – Hedge Funds (net worth $9 B)
Another Hedge fund billionaire that has spoken out about Bitcoin is Ken Griffin. It seems that he is a bit sceptical of Bitcoin but confident on the blockchain. He raises a good point in that a lot of people seem not to understand the difference between the two.
“I think what is happening is people confuse bitcoin with blockchain.”
”Block chain’s a very interesting technology that will have some very profound applications for society over the years to come.”
Jerry Yang – Yahoo (net worth $2.6 B)
The founder of Yahoo believes in cryptocurrency and the role it might play in our society. He seems to see Bitcoin being driven by hype at the moment which makes it harder to use as a medium of exchange which might explain his view on Bitcoin at the moment.
“Bitcoin as a digital currency is not quite there yet.”
”Personally, I am a believer in how digital currency can play a role in our society… but for now, it seems like it’s more driven by the hype of investing and getting a return rather than using it as a transaction currency.”
Peter Thiel – Facebook, Palantir, Self-Made (net worth $2.5 B)
The co-founder of PayPal and the first outside investor in Facebook Thiel has made his money in the online technology field. It seems that he has mixed feeling regarding Bitcoin and points out some problems that Bitcoin enthusiast needs to tackle.
“PayPal had these goals of creating a new currency. We failed at that, and we just created a new payment system. I think Bitcoin has succeeded on the level of a new currency, but the payment system is somewhat lacking. It’s very hard to use, and that is the big challenge on the Bitcoin side.”
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss (net worth $1.1 each B)
The Winklevoss twins were made famous after being portrayed in the movie Facebook which is based on the true story of the founding of the most significant social network in the world. The twins might once have been famous for accusing Zuckerberg of stealing their idea and settling for 65 million in Facebook stock and cash but are now renowned for investing in Bitcoin in 2012 and starting Gemini a Bitcoin exchange.
“We’ve always felt that bitcoin, given its properties, is gold 2.0 — it disrupts gold. Gold is scarce; bitcoin is fixed. Bitcoin is way more portable and way more divisible. At a $300 billion market cap, it’s certainly seen a lot of price appreciation, but gold is at $6 trillion and if bitcoin disrupting gold is true, and it plays out … then you can see 10 to 20 times appreciation because there is a significant delta still.”
Well, there you have it folks, some opinions about Bitcoin, the blockchain and cryptocurrencies from the mouths of some of the wealthiest persons in the world. As you can see the subject is quite polarising even among the wealthiest people in the world, however, you quickly see that the younger billionaires are more open to the technology than the older generation. We guess only time will tell who is right and who is wrong. In the meantime, be sure to check out our other articles about Bitcoins and cryptocurrencies.