Bitcoin may be a bigger idea than Amazon or Apple. That’s according to Catherine Wood, CEO and CIO of Ark Investment Management, and reporters from The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.
In a PBS interview, with Charlie Rose, they spoke about the future of bitcoin, blockchain technology, and the future of digital currency. During the interview, Wood compared the market value of bitcoin and bitcoin cash to those of Amazon and Apple.
“The market cap of bitcoin, when you include bitcoin and bitcoin cash, is a little over $100 billion. So it’s come up and it’s very fast, but it’s at a fraction of Apple’s valuation and Amazon’s valuation, but we think it’s a much bigger idea than either of those,” said Wood.
Yet, while bitcoin has reached a stage where it is now more mainstream, Paul Vigna, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, said that the global economy is worth ‘tens of trillions of dollars,’ making bitcoin’s very small in comparison.
However, while that’s the case, bitcoin’s value has increased six-fold since the beginning of 2017. It currently has a market value worth $94.2 billion. Considering it was worth around $16.5 billion at the beginning of the year, according to CoinMarketCap, it has seen its value increase rapidly.
As a result of the cryptocurrency’s rising value, more people are turning their attention to the crypto market as an alternative to the traditional banking industry. During the debate, the discussion focused on how bitcoin will disrupt the banking sector. One of the reasons why it has gained traction is the fact that it doesn’t require a middleman to conduct transactions. This is primarily why major bank CEOs are against it. Most famous of them all was Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, who called bitcoin ‘a fraud’ last month. He followed that up by claiming that bitcoin was ‘worth nothing.’
Yet, it is because of Dimon’s attitude toward bitcoin that it is increasing public interest in the market, said Wood.
“This is actually increasing the public’s interest in [bitcoin]. So you have Jamie Dimon, very public figure, very well known, along with Howard Marks of Oaktree and Jim Chanos, all negative,” Wood added. “Interestingly, the following week, after Jamie’s comment, James Gorman, CEO of Morgan Stanley and Lloyd Blankfein were speaking of it in a very different tone and I think it’s because they are beginning to see trading opportunities.”
However, despite Dimon’s disdain towards bitcoin he’s investing in blockchain technology. Earlier this month, CNBC reported that JPMorgan Chase is launching a blockchain-based system, called the Interbank Information Network, with two other banks. The aim is to reduce global payment transaction times from ‘weeks to hours.’ The other banks involved are the Royal Bank of Canada and the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group.
With interest in the cryptocurrency market increasing, several central banks are now considering launching their own digital currency. Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, has called for a state-issued cryptocurrency, called the CryptoRuble. Whereas, Dubai is to introduce its own blockchain-powered digital currency, known as emCash. However, regardless of these advancements, Vitalik Buterin, doesn’t believe central banks have the ability to create their own digital currencies.
Last week, he said that it would take them years to achieve their goal, reports Fortune, adding:
“If there is [such a launch] it will be a server and a bunch of marketing buzzwords to make it look like a blockchain.”