Digital Currency CEO: Definition of a bank is going to change

Digital Currency CEO Barry Silbert on how the rise of Bitcoin is impacting financial services.

Not in Your Grandma’s Wallet: Bitcoin Redefining Money

Will Bitcoin replace paper money? During an interview on the FOX Business Network’s Mornings With Maria ,Digital Currency Group CEO Barry Silbert, who’s considered the most active investor in Bitcoin companies, said: “[Bitcoin] it’s going to change the way that people send money, spend money -- even think about money. It’s kind of redefining what is money.”

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As an investor of companies in over 20 countries, he sees the most Bitcoin action in places where people use mobile devices for transactions.

“We are seeing dramatic adoption in places like Kenya, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa -- places where people have mobile devices, but they don’t have bank accounts,” he said.

He also discussed how regulation is impacting the digital currency.

“[Regulators] are certainly paying attention… I used to think that regulation was Bitcoin’s biggest threat -- I actually think it’s the biggest opportunity now… Running a bank, operating a bank -- you cannot be innovative. You can’t think outside the box. You can’t do anything creative. Whereas you have hundreds of thousands of startups around the world that are looking to, again, kind of disintermediate… It is really going to eat banks alive.” 

With only $5B in market cap, Silbert believes Bitcoin’s technology is very valuable.

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“I’ll be the first to admit that Bitcoin as a digital currency is either going to be worth zero or it’s going to be worth a whole lot more money than it is today… it’s a very, very, risky investment. But this ecosystem is amazing that’s being built. There’s been a billion dollars in investment by venture capital in this industry so far.”

He also discussed how the financial services industry will change in the next 5 to 10 years.

“The definition of a bank is going to change. Banks are being disintermediated -- they are being attacked from every different angle… from startups, all the way up to different types of approaches, to finance like Bitcoin.”

 

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