Peter Thiel, the co-founder of Paypal, has in 2018 reportedly bought $ 15–20 million of Bitcoin. Many tech tycoons are betting ‘long’ on Bitcoin, and believe it has the greatest chance of becoming a standard digital gold for the next era.
Bitcoin has a digital store of value, instead of a means of transaction, is nothing new. However its volatility has made the entire cryptocurrency altcoin group — a highly risky investment for most investors. There are stories of huge gambles and even huge losses.
However increasingly, Silicon Valley types are buying into crypto investments as a sort of “a hedge against the whole world falling apart”, the exact quote by Peter Thiel on March 15, 2018.
“It’s like bars of gold in a vault that never move, and it’s a sort of hedge of sorts against the whole world going falling apart.”
Meanwhile, Peter Thiel’s conviction of Bitcoin’s long-term viability is truly incredible. Peter Thiel’s investment arm, Founders Fund, has apparently, purchased hundreds of millions of the cryptocurrency.
In repeated interviews with CNBC, Thiel really believes in Bitcoin as the main catalyst of crypto stores of value. Why exactly tycoons such as Thiel trust Bitcoin as if it will be “the biggest” of the cryptocurrencies for all-time, isn’t quite certain. Bitcoin is not an ecosystem of smart-contracts like a platform, but operates more like a pyramid scheme with a finite number of tokens.
Peter Thiel is to put it mildly, a high net worth individual (HNI), with net worth of $2.6 billion in 2017. He can put a few million in a certain kind of investment, and it’s not such a big deal. Peter had made comments as far back as 1999 that monetary sovereignty’s time is limited and encrypted money will revolutionize the entire world. Thus for these Silicon Valley types, Bitcoin and crypto is a self-fulfilling prophecy of the kind of group-think they have been telling themselves and perpetuating for years; since the idealism of their youth.
While Peter Thiel remains in the long game of Bitcoin, he’s not a total idiot, he knows the odds and pegs them at around 80 percent, that the world’s first cryptocurrency would ultimately become worthless. People have been claiming the end of money for decades now, and if fiat converted into blockchain digital money is one interpretation — that reality could be upon us as central banks pivot to the blockchain. In the act of doing this however, cryptocurrencies take on a new light and tangibility.
If Facebook is building its own blockchain, it’s peer to peer form of payment will probably be a cryptocurrency. A FaceCoin or whatever, could change how consumers and users in countries where access to a bank account is limited, transact with the world, much like how WeChat pay rules transactions on the internet of New China.
Peter Thiel according to a recent interview with CNBC, also believes as of 2018, that there is a 20–50 percent chance of Bitcoin going higher in its price. Consensus among Silicon Valley players appears to be that Bitcoin could become a long-term storage asset rather than a go to-asset. Meanwhile in Japan, Bitcoin as a means of transaction is becoming more universally recognized. Asia’s adoption of cryptocurrency markets inspite of regulatory pressure remains years ahead of America.
Is Bitcoin the new bar of gold for the crypto investor elite? It’s too expensive to be as such for the average consumer or retail investor. It’s probably too volatile for any sane person to invest in post 2014 prices. It’s sky-rocketing value in late 2017 however, created an artificially high-demand for Bitcoin. It’s given cryptocurrencies a kind of long-tail mystique. There are thousands of altcoins and dozens of decentralized app platforms now, could one among them be the winner to usurp Bitcoin as the next digital gold?
Peter Thiel with Paypal, let’s be honest, failed to turn PayPal in to a “new world currency”. PayPal’s fees to this day are as about as alternative as Coinbase, with ludicrously high transaction fees. But the product is convenience, works and has myriad partnerships.
Peter Thiel’s ties to Facebook and Paypal makes him an important figure in the history of cryptocurrencies, and whether his bet on Bitcoin rises or falters doesn’t really matter as a footnote in history. Bitcoin was something they believed in, and that built the foundations of a new way of thinking on the blockchain and the emergence of a utility token economy.