Billionaire bias: Bitcoin and Ethereum over gold; Tesla is US$1 billion in BTC profit
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JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon might still believe Bitcoin is “worthless”, but some prominent American billionaires reckons he’s dead wrong and that both BTC and Ethereum (ETH) are more valuable than gold.
Barry Sternlicht, co-founder of Miami-based investment firm Starwood Capital Group, was speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box program yesterday, and revealed he is a Bitcoin HODLer.
“The reason I own Bitcoin is because the US government, and every government in the Western hemisphere, is printing money now to the end of time,” said Sternlicht.
Hitting back at the most recent Dimon “worthless” reiteration (the JP Morgan man is a long-time vocal Bitcoin sceptic), the billionaire countered with: “Gold is kind of worthless, and so is silver. I mean, they have some industrial uses, but they are minor…”
"Gold is kind of worthless," says Barry Sternlicht. "The reason I own #bitcoin is because the U.S. government and every government in western hemisphere is printing money now to the end of time and this is a finite amount of something and it can be traded globally." pic.twitter.com/72zYQTjF0y
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) October 13, 2021
Sternlicht did, however, also describe Bitcoin as a “dumb” crypto with “no real purpose other than a store of value, but that the “world has accepted it as a substitute for gold”.
He actually spoke more favourably about Ethereum: “So, Ether, I own some of that. It’s a programmable Bitcoin, and there are tons of other coins that are built on that system,” he said, adding… “I’ve become very interested in blockchain technology as a whole, and the digital ledger, which is going to change everything.”
Unlike gold, Bitcoin is not a point-in-time asset or entity. Bitcoin is a continuously evolving software system that includes a core network, layer 2 protocols, and emerging applications & ecosystems. Very soon a Killer App will emerge that brings in the entire global community.
— Rich Rogers (@RichRogers_) October 12, 2021
Unsurprisingly, billionaires living further within the crypto bubble than Sternlicht also took a dim view of Jamie Dimon’s FUD-spreading comments. Here’s what the former Goldman Sachs exec, now Galaxy Digital CEO, Mike Novogratz had to say…
So strange. For a man who has done a brilliant job running a giant bank, his answers around $BTC are sophomoric and he keeps doubling down on them. I pray I stay open minded my whole life. https://t.co/d4rJpUFGKH
— Mike Novogratz (@novogratz) October 11, 2021
And Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong reckons Dimon should attempt to understand what he’s talking about before endlessly bagging it on mainstream media.
Yes, I read it.
And then I wrote it (coding up our own Bitcoin node) to make sure I understood it. https://t.co/yg46xyvkMq
— Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) October 11, 2021
Meanwhile, Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA franchise and a noted crypto convert, also spoke to CNBC yesterday, backing up Sternlicht’s assertion with a simple: “Bitcoin is better than gold” stance.
Cuban went on to add that he thinks Ethereum has the “most upside” as an investment, and says he recommends Dogecoin (DOGE) “for fun”.
And then there’s the Sri Lankan-born Canadian venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya, whose strongly worded pro-Bitcoin comments raised a few eyebrows recently (although mainly gold bug Peter Schiff’s).
Chamath: Bitcoin HAS replaced Gold
— Blockworks (@Blockworks_) September 29, 2021
— Dan Held (@danheld) October 1, 2021
Tesla, the electric vehicle company owned and run by DOGE-loving Elon Musk, must be enjoying checking its crypto portfolio right about now.
Bitcoin has been floating around the US$58K level today, rallying 4.4 per cent in the past 24 hours and close to 40 per cent over the past two weeks.
And it’s roughly 65 per cent, or US$1 billion, more than what Tesla forked out for a nice, hefty bag of BTC back in February, when Musk added the OG crypto to his company’s balance sheet.
Perhaps Tesla will look to book in some of this profit before the year’s out. That’s just speculation, of course, but it’s based on the fact it already sold 10 per cent of its Bitcoin holdings, as per the carmaker’s Q2 earnings report.
Tesla made more profit from their Bitcoin treasury holdings than selling cars😁 https://t.co/bCQ5C3bTJg
— Dwaine van Vuuren (@dwaine_van) October 14, 2021