Billionaire investor and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel thinks that people are underestimating Bitcoin (BTC) and that the original cryptocurrency has “great potential left”.
As reported by CNBC yesterday, Theil made the comments during a speech at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He highlighted the cryptocurrency’s potential as a store of value, pointing out its similarities to the traditional safe haven asset gold.
“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, as quoted by CNBC.
“If bitcoin ends up being the cyber equivalent of gold it has a great potential left,” he added.
Thiel went on say that Bitcoin was “minable like gold” and was actually “harder to mine” than the precious metal. This is a reference to Bitcoin’s limited supply, which is capped at a maximum of 21 million tokens.
Thiel also noted that the cryptocurrency is based on the “security of the math”, meaning that it cannot be hacked and its secure.
While Bitcoin has managed to attract the interest of some high-profile investors, many people in the investing circles have doubts about it chances to succeed. JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and the head of BlackRock Larry Fink are two of the most prominent critics of the cryptocurrency. Earlier this week, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal joined the doubters’ camp, saying that he did not believe in the cryptocurrency.
“I just don’t believe in this bitcoin thing,” Al-Waleed told CNBC. “I think it’s just going to implode one day. It’s Enron in the making.”
Having experienced some troubles earlier this week, the Bitcoin price (BTC/USD) bounced back in yesterday trading and made an attempt to return above $6,000 mark it first crossed on Saturday. However, the rally ran out of steam at $5,976.80 and the cryptocurrency eventually closed at just over $5,900.
In today’s trading, the Bitcoin price stood at $5,777.73, as of 14:24 BST. The digital currency has lost 2.7% of its value over the past 24 hours, according to data from Coinmarketcap.
For further information on how to buy and trade Bitcoin, see our comprehensive Bitcoin guide.