PayPal Co-Founder Peter Thiel: “Bitcoin Has Great Potential, Cyber Equivalent Of Gold”


Billionaire investor Peter Thiel who co-founded PayPal believes Bitcoin critics are “underestimating” the cryptocurrency’s “great potential” to become the “cyber equivalent of gold.”

CNBC reported that Thiel, a PayPal co-founder, and early Facebook investor made the comments at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, Saudia Arabia, stating that he believes Bitcoin could become the digital “equivalent of gold.”

“If Bitcoin ends up being the cyber equivalent of gold it has a great potential left,” he said, “Bitcoin is mineable like gold, it’s hard to mine, it’s actually harder to mine than gold. And so in that sense it’s more constrained,” he added.

However, Thiel added that he is skeptical that other cryptocurrencies have the same degree of potential that Bitcoin has, alluding to the fact that many altcoins have purported to achieve the ends of cryptocurrency more effectively than Bitcoin has. He stressed that Bitcoin can serve as a “reserve form of money,” so “you don’t need to use it to make payments.”

“I’m skeptical of most of them (cryptocurrencies), I do think people are a little bit … underestimating bitcoin especially because … it’s like a reserve form of money, it’s like gold, and it’s just a store of value. You don’t need to use it to make payments,” Thiel said.

Apple co-founder and fellow Silicon Valley icon Steve Wozniak recently gave a similar statement about Bitcoin earlier this week at the Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas. Stating that the government’s ability to print fiat currency at will makes fiat “kind of phony” and that he believes Bitcoin’s mathematical properties make it superior to the U.S. dollar and gold.

“Gold gets mined and mined and mined,” he said. “Maybe there’s a finite amount of gold in the world, but Bitcoin is even more mathematical and regulated and nobody can change mathematics.”

However, the Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal doesn’t feel the same way calling Bitcoin “Enron in the making” stating the cryptocurrency would “implode” citing lack of regulations.

Bitcoin is currently trading at [FIAT: $5,871.44] at the time of this writing according to Coin Market Cap.