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Billionaire Tilman Fertitta: Bitcoin Is 'Here to Stay'

(Lorenzo Rossi/Dreamstime)

By    |   Monday, 01 January 2018 03:28 PM

Billionaire Tilman Fertitta predicts that the wildly popular digital currency bitcoin is more than just an investment fad, but he warns that a lot of people won't buy in until it's insured.

Fertitta also likened the cryptocurrency trend to the dot-com boom of the late 1990s.

"I think it's here to stay," the founder and CEO of Landry's recently told CNBC.

"It's no different than anything new. Everybody forgets that if you put '.com' at the end of your name just 20 years ago, your stock ran up," he said.

Fertitta warned that his biggest reservation about the digital currency's early days was the fact that it isn’t yet insured.

The CEO shared an example: if some eager individual tried to withdraw $1 million in cash from a bank, the bank would probably be unable to fulfill the request.

"They don't have the money. It's just paper. That's all bitcoin is, is paper, but it's not insured by the FDIC today. And until it's insured, a lot of people are never going to buy it," Fertitta said.

To be sure, one of the most dramatic market developments in 2017 was the breath-taking rise of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. While they have pulled back at year-end, many of these digital currencies have surged in value, Reuters explained.

The U.S. dollar may lag further against its peers in 2018 as investors expected other major central banks to reduce their stimulus while the Federal Reserve has signaled it would raise interest rates further, analysts said.

“The dollar will face more headwinds in 2018,” said Chris Gaffney, President of World Markets at EverBank in St. Louis, Missouri. “The Fed won’t be going at it alone in terms of taking off more gas from the stimulus pedal.”

Meanwhile, South Korea’s government recently said it will impose additional measures to regulate speculation in cryptocurrency trading within the country, Reuters said.

“The government had warned several times that virtual coins cannot play a role as actual currency and could result in high losses due to excessive volatility,” the government said in a statement.

It noted that trading prices of most virtual currencies were much higher on South Korean exchanges than they were on exchanges in other countries, although it did not provide specific examples.

The steps will include a ban on opening anonymous cryptocurrency accounts and new legislation to allow regulators to close virtual coin exchanges if needed, a measure recommended by the justice ministry, the statement said.

South Korea had previously announced its plan to tax capital gains from cryptocurrency trading to tackle what it sees as the risk of excessive speculation.

(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).

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Billionaire Tilman Fertitta predicts that the wildly popular digital currency bitcoin is more than just an investment fad, but he warns that a lot of people won't buy in until it's insured.
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2018-28-01
Monday, 01 January 2018 03:28 PM
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