Market values and traders are not the only ones raging over the weekend: the debate on cryptocurrencies is also on fire.
So the $6,000 end-of-year prediction came true, albeit earlier than expected as bitcoin (SegWit1x/BTC) rose to $6,200 for the first time over the weekend. More and more people are trying to get in on the trend, so much so that high demand enabled an exchange in Zimbabwe to trade the cryptocurrency at $9,600—over 54% above its peak market price.
And as people scurry to exchanges to get a shot at the quick profits brought about by the cryptocurrency boom, industry notables are going all in on the word war too.
At an interview with CNBC at yesterday’s Money20/20 in Las Vegas, American inventor and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said the cryptocurrency is better than gold and the US dollar. He said unlike the US dollar, which was “kind of phony” as the US government can print more for political reasons, Bitcoin is “more genuine and real.”
“There is a certain finite amount of bitcoin that can ever exist,” Wozniak said. “Gold gets mined and mined and mined,” Wozniak said. “Maybe there’s a finite amount of gold in the world, but Bitcoin is even more mathematical and regulated and nobody can change mathematics.”
Meanwhile, on the other side of this episode of the cryptocurrency word war is Royal Bank of Canada CEO David McKay, who yesterday told CNBC that while he doesn’t think Bitcoin is fraudulent, its current use revolves highly around fraudulent activities instead of a main need.
“The purpose it seems to serve today is really to help move money in a hidden way and facilitate, potentially facilitate, criminal activity of moving money in an undetected way,” McKay said on Life Hacks Live. “I think some people will call it a fraud. I don’t think it’s fraudulent … But it doesn’t solve a main need in society right now,” he added.
In the past month or so alone, we’ve heard a few industry authorities weighing in on the debate on cryptocurrencies. JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s infamous tirade on Bitcoin cast a bit of shade on the market last month, although the effect was temporary and overshadowed by JP Morgan getting caught red-handed taking advantage of the price drop and hoarding BTC’s themselves. International Monetary Fund (IMF) head Christine Lagarde, on the other hand, said that while virtual currencies are at their infancy stage, they may eventually give current currencies and policies a run for their money.