Here’s a small collection of the loudest bulls and the most ferocious bears prowling inside the Bitcoin community.
Tom Lee @fundstrat
Co-founder and head of research at Fundstrat, a financial advisory firm, Tom Lee has cemented an optimistic attitude towards Bitcoin. Tom Lee has been accused of being a permabull on Wall Street, which may lend into his current sentiment on Bitcoin. However, bullish or not, Tom Lee has a record of solid strategies and research while working at JP Morgan and now Fundstrat.
When moon? $25,000 by end of 2018
Tim Draper @TimDraper
A pioneering Silicon Valley venture capitalist, Tim Draper was an early investor in companies like Skype, Hotmail, Baidu and Overture, to name a few. Draper has continued his venture investing with a focus on seeding burgeoning tech and facilitating educational reform.
When moon? $250,000 by 2022
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss @winklevoss
Possibly most famed for their dramatic breakup with Facebook, the Winklevoss twins are touted as being the world’s first Bitcoin billionaires. The brothers currently have a large footprint in the space as owners of the crypto exchange Gemini and claim to own as much as one percent of the total BTC in circulation.
When Moon? $320,000 in 10-20 years
Not all of the Bitcoin bulls are making public price predictions, but they remain just as primed for the revolution. There is a lot of investment in Bitcoin happening that does not directly involve buying BTC. Investors and money managers have put their faith in hundreds of projects that are geared to improve and expand the Bitcoin ecosystem.
Blythe Masters @blythemasters
Current CEO of Digital Assets Holdings and former executive at JPMorgan Chase, Masters and Digital Assets Holdings focus on encryption-based processing tools that improve the efficiency, security, compliance and settlement speed of securities trading like Bitcoin.
Michael Novogratz @novogratz
Founder and CEO of Galaxy Digital. Novogratz cut his teeth initially working with Goldman Sachs after leaving the New Jersey National Guard. He would later work at Fortress Investments and be ranked among other billionaires in 2007 and 2008 by Forbes. Novogratz remains bullish on Bitcoin and claimed that “[it’s] almost essential for every investor to have at least 1% to 2% of their portfolio [in crypto]” in an interview with CNN money.
Editor’s Note: Speaking at the Economist Finance Disrupted event in Manhattan on Tuesday, Novogratz says Bitcoin won’t top $9,000 by year’s end.
Dan Morehead @dan_pantera
Active CEO of Pantera Capital which currently holds over 50 Bitcoin and blockchain related projects in their investment portfolio, Morehead has steered Pantera into over 23,000% returns for its investors since opening shop in 2013.
• There are over 24,000,000 Bitcoin addresses
on the blockchain with 49.14% carrying less than 0.001BTC (Approx $6.50 USD).
• The top three richest wallets house nearly 500,000 BTC,
each owned by a crypto exchange.
• 8% of Americans own Bitcoin.
Of those who don’t have some, another 8% plan to buy.
• Nearly 18% of millennials own bitcoin and 3% of baby boomers.
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, has not been shy in his opposition on Bitcoin, going so far as to call it a fraud and comparing it to the Dutch tulip bubble. Dimon has been skeptical about where the value of BTC comes from. In an interview with Reuters, Dimon said, “The currency isn’t going to work. You can’t have a business where people can invent a currency out of thin air and think that people who are buying it are really smart.” More recently, in an interview with CNBC. Dimon did back-pedal when he admitted that he now believes “the blockchain is real.”
Bill Harris, former CEO of PayPal and Intuit, among other prestigious positions, used strong words to cement his bearish attitude towards Bitcoin in a self-written article titled “Bitcoin is the greatest scam in history.” In his article, Harris refutes that Bitcoin has value, due to its payment processing merits, or that it’s a viable store of value. Harris strongly warns that Vitcoin is a concerted scam and is “a colossal pump-and-dump scheme, the likes of which the world has never seen.”
Charles Munger, billionaire and vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, sees little potential in Bitcoin and would rather see it stomped out. Munger has said, “It’s just disgusting. Bitcoin is noxious poison.” The investing legend is vehemently against the idea of Bitcoin and other crypto projects and shares this attitude with his CEO, Warren Buffet. Their shared feelings will likely keep Bitcoin out of the Berkshire Hathaway portfolio.
Who Is Using Bitcoin? Meet the Loyalists
Outside of investments, real-world use cases are still quite niche compared to their fiat alternatives. There are a handful of projects that are making crypto more usable on a daily basis with merchant integrations and consumer pay options. Large retailers like Microsoft, Steam and Pornhub have integrated crypto payment options but these remain seldom used.
Individual ways to spend and earn Bitcoin are currently spread out and are often opt-in rather than the default option. Spending Bitcoin takes commitment beyond the ad-hoc uses available to the majority of us. Bitcoin purists, or those most closely living a Bitcoin-only life, are the early proof of concept for mass adoption. These individuals put Bitcoin to the test by integrating it into their lives and by taking the risk of replacing fiat.
Until Bitcoin is the default, either replacing or working alongside fiat, these pioneering adopters are the best examples of Bitcoin in the wild, beyond the exchanges.
Andreas M. Antonopoulos (@aantonop), the outspoken Bitcoin advocate, has been actively designing his life to use Bitcoin instead of fiat. Antonopoulos has famously been living off Bitcoin as directly as possible since his introduction to it in 2012. He has even used this fact as the backbone to why he believes Bitcoin is real money, despite some people’s efforts to debunk it as such. Antonopoulos has said, “Why is Bitcoin money? Because other people think it’s money. You can write a dozen PhD dissertations explaining exactly why Bitcoin is not money, [but] I have lived on it for two years. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what your dissertation says because to me it is money.”
Olaf Carlson-Wee (@polychaincap) is now best known for being the founder of Polychain Capital, the crypto investment firm which turned $4 million into over $1 billion. However, prior to Polychain, Olaf reportedly lived on Bitcoin for three years. Olaf began receiving his pay exclusively in Bitcoin after joining the young crypto-exchange Coinbase and becoming its first employee. For him “…the primary benefit of getting paid in Bitcoin [was] a change in mindset.”