Cameron Winklevoss thinks the booming bitcoin market could reach much, much higher, saying the cryptocurrency’s current market value is still just a sliver of its potential.
“We’ve always felt that bitcoin, given its properties, is gold 2.0,” he told CNBC on Friday. “Gold is scarce, bitcoin is actually fixed. Bitcoin is way more portable and way more divisible [than gold].”
Winklevoss then compared bitcoin’s market cap, around $300 billion yesterday, with gold’s at $6 trillion. “If bitcoin disrupting gold is true . . . then you can see 10 to 20 times appreciation because there is significant delta still.”
“Long term, directionally,” Winklevoss continued, “[Bitcoin] is a multitrillion-dollar asset – I don’t know how long it takes to get there.”
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Cameron Winklevoss and his twin brother Tyler, who once argued they helped create Facebook, have turned $11 million invested in bitcoin in 2014 into more than $1 billion in value today. They have also worked to bring bitcoin into mainstream financial structures, including by working to put a bitcoin-linked security on U.S. stock exchanges, though that proposal was rejected by the SEC earlier this year. They also played a role in building a bitcoin futures product that goes live this weekend.
Cameron Winklevoss’s comparison of bitcoin to gold reflects a broad shift among cryptocurrency advocates. Bitcoin and other blockchain-based instruments, which are decentralized, were long championed as a way of disintermediating payment processors like Visa and banks. But rising fees have made transacting on the bitcoin network slower and more expensive, perhaps contributing to a pivot to emphasizing cryptocurrency as a gold-like store of value rather than a transaction tool.
Winklevoss also pooh-poohed widespread concern of a bitcoin bubble, instead emphasizing the unique dynamics of networks like bitcoin. “Social networks grow in value exponentially based on the number of users and participants . . . as more people join it gains more value.”
Since Winklevoss made his remarks, bitcoin has reminded markets of its huge volatility, dropping nearly 9% over 24 hours to around $14,300 – still a massive runup from the beginning of 2017, when one bitcoin was worth under $1,000.
Correction: Due to a typographical error, this article previously paraphrased Winklevoss describing gold’s market capitalization as $6 billion, instead of $6 trillion. According to the World Gold Council, gold’s total market value is currently estimated at closer to $7.8 trillion.