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Overstock CEO: Bitcoin Is More Powerful Than Physical Money

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By    |   Monday, 20 November 2017 04:12 PM

Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne contends that the bitcoin cryptocurrency is more powerful than physical, old-fashioned money.

“This dollar stuff, it’s just some fiat currency based on … the surplus taxing authority of the U.S. Treasury of which I assert there is zero ," Byrne told Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo.

"It’s about time the world switches to real money. Either gold or bitcoin.”

For its part, bitcoin hit a new record high on Monday after smashing through the $8,000 (£6,043.6) level for the first time over the weekend, marking an almost 50 percent climb in just eight days, Reuters reported.

An eye-watering eightfold increase in the value of the volatile cryptocurrency since the start of the year has led to muliple warnings that the market is in a bubble, and institutional investors are broadly staying away.

Retail investors, however, as well as some hedge funds and family offices, are piling into the market. The “market cap” of all cryptocurrencies hit an all-time high of over $242 billion on Monday, according to trade website Coinmarketcap.

Meanwhile, Overstock was the first major online retailer to use bitcoin and is still among a handful of companies that are using it. Others include Expedia, Dish Network and Starbucks by way of the Fold app, Fox Business Network explained.

“The real question is not how high can bitcoin go. The real question is how low can fiat currency go—and at the end of the day all fiat currencies have gone to zero and that’s because they end up with irresponsible money printing,” Byrne said.

“You think that’s a bubble? What do you think that fiat currency you carry around in your purse is?”

Meanwhile, bitcoin may have surged a staggering 700 percent since the start of the year but most investors at a Reuters Summit said they had not been tempted to play the volatile cryptocurrency.

The difficulty of assigning a fair value to a speculative instrument that is less than a decade old and lacks the fundamentals that drive other asset classes was the main reason for steering clear of bitcoin, investors speaking at the Reuters Global Investment 2018 Outlook Summit said.

Others said the cryptocurrency’s use for criminal purposes such as money laundering was another reason to stay away, as was the widespread perception that the bitcoin rally was another bubble destined to burst.

“Can you live without bitcoins? Yes. Could you live without tulips in the Netherlands? Yes,” Sankaran Naren, CIO of ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company, said at the Reuters Summit in Mumbai, referring to the tulip mania bubble in the Netherlands in the 17th century.

While a single bitcoin is worth more than $8,000, Japan Post Bank Chief Investment Officer Katsunori Sago said he believed its fair value was about $100 and it would have to fall to that level before the bank would consider buying it.

The idea that the bitcoin market, which is now worth $130 billion, constituted a bubble was the broad consensus among participants at the investment summit, which took place in London, Mumbai, New York, Singapore and Tokyo.

Bitcoin was created in 2008 as a Web-based cryptocurrency to move money around quickly and anonymously but the market is not yet regulated by any mainstream financial institution.

(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).

© 2019 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.

   
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Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne contends that the bitcoin cryptocurrency is more powerful than physical, old-fashioned money."This dollar stuff, it's just some fiat currency based on … the surplus taxing authority of the U.S. Treasury of which I assert there is zero...
bitcoin, money, powerful, overstock, digital, currency
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2017-12-20
Monday, 20 November 2017 04:12 PM
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