Bitcoin soared to a record on Sunday, touching $8,100 briefly for the first time according to CoinDesk. While investors worry over the cryptocurrency being in a bubble, Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne explained why he’s optimistic, during an appearance on FOX Business’ “Mornings with Maria.”
“You think that’s a bubble? What do you think that fiat currency you carry around in your purse is?” Byrne told Maria Bartiromo. “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 ... It’s about time the world switches to real money. Either gold or bitcoin.”
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.
Some of the world’s top leaders have criticized bitcoin over lack of regulation including Berkshire Hathaway’s (NYSE:BRK) Warren Buffett, JPMorgan CEO (NYSE:JPM) Jamie Dimon, BlackRock CEO (NYSE:BLK) Larry Fink and Saudi Prince Alwaleed.
Dimon, in September, said bitcoin is a “fraud” and will eventually blow up, while Buffet told MarketWatch it’s a bubble waiting to burst.
However Bryne proposed a different take: “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.”
BlackRock’s Fink has called it an “index for money laundering,” and Saudi Prince Alwaleed predicted it would implode, but in Byrne’s opinion, like gold, bitcoin has potential.
“We have all these currencies since Bretton Woods, fluctuating against each other, and maybe the dollar hasn’t gone to zero against these currencies but all of them have gone down 95% ... versus something that they can’t control like … gold and bitcoin. So bitcoin may be on its way to a million for all we know.”
Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Peter Thiel, who co-founded PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL), told FOX Business earlier this month, while he’s skeptical of bitcoin, it’s “very underestimated.”
Bitcoin recently gained more credibility. The CME (NYSE:CME), the world’s largest futures market operator, announced plans to launch bitcoin futures in the fourth quarter of 2017. CEO Terry Duffy, told FOX Business the goal is to ease investors’ minds.