Bitcoin may have had a rocky last couple months, to put it mildly, but some boosters still have their optimism goggles on. Case in point: the Winklevii.
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the erstwhile Facebook power-scrabblers who made and lost a fortune with Bitcoin’s rise and fall, are insisting that the cryptocurrency will appreciate 40 times in value.
“We think regardless of the price moves in the last few weeks, it’s still a very under-appreciated asset,” Cameron Winklevoss told CNBC. Tyler chipped in that those who can’t see Bitcoin’s potential are suffering from a “failure of imagination.”
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The twins’ argument is that people are missing the point when they try to think of cryptocurrencies in terms of person-to-person transactions. Instead, they say, the likes of Bitcoin will be extremely useful when machines trade economic value between themselves—for example, when a driverless car needs to pay another driverless car.
Cryptocurrencies’ extreme volatility dissuades many people from using them to pay for things, and vendors from allowing payments in Bitcoin—it’s too hard to accurately price things in Bitcoin, and when the value is rising there’s more to gain from hoarding Bitcoins than from spending them.
The volatility also leads to more transactions, which leads to higher transaction fees in Bitcoin’s congested network—a big problem if Bitcoin-based micropayments are to become a serious prospect.
Winklevii aside, other people who stand to gain from Bitcoin’s success also continue to talk up its prospects. A day ago it was the exchange Gatecoin, whose APAC business development chief, Thomas Glucksmann, said there was “no reason why we couldn’t see bitcoin pushing $50,000 by December.”
At the time of writing, one Bitcoin was worth around $8,470. The price neared $20,000 in early December before a series of regulatory moves around the world led to crashes that knocked it as low as $5,950 earlier this week.