- Chamath Palihapitiya has put hundreds of millions into bitcoin, he told CNBC on Wednesday.
- The billionaire said it’s hard for regulators to kill crypto, calling it “the most profound iteration of the internet.”
- He was reluctant to reiterate his previous bitcoin price prediction, saying it’s hard to do so.
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Chamath Palihapitiya has invested hundreds of millions into bitcoin, and believes it’s tough to impose a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies, he said in an interview with CNBC’s Scott Wapner on Wednesday.
The billionaire investor was asked what he thinks of SEC Chair Gary Gensler saying the crypto market is “rife with fraud” and Ray Dalio saying regulators will try to “kill” bitcoin if it becomes really successful.
“I think it’s very hard to kill,” Palihapitiya said. “So technically, it’s very difficult. Just the way that it’s architected, it is the most profound iteration of the internet that we’ve seen.”
Google and Facebook dominated the first two versions of the internet by creating, or organizing, everything that now exists on it, while decentralized finance and cryptocurrencies are part of the next stage of the evolution to what is known as Web 3.0, he said. The problem with Big Tech’s dominance of the internet, according to him, is that it’s down to two companies.
The third version “is rebuilding all of that stuff without an obvious leader. It’s completely headless. It’s entirely peer-to-peer. And I think that that’s both scary and exhilarating,” he said.
Still, SEC’s Gensler has continued to ramp up his calls for regulating cryptocurrencies and DeFi. This shows that Wall Street’s top regulator is keen to create a set of rules to oversee the volatile markets while balancing the interests of American innovators and investors at the same time.
The Social Capital founder said he’s been studying the crypto market for the last 18 months in particular, making him a “huge intellectual bull” in the space. But his holdings seem to be mostly limited to bitcoin.
“I haven’t put a lot of money outside of bitcoin obviously,” he said. “You know, tens of millions, hundreds of millions – like small capital right now. It could get very big. But irrespective of what I do, I will say is we all need to pay attention to it, because I think the implications are enormous.”
Palihapitiya has been a bitcoin enthusiast for about a decade now. He began investing in it in 2012, only a few years after its inception. Early this year, he predicted the coin could hit $200,000 in five years. But on Wednesday, he said it’s hard to predict where the price could go.
“It’s very hard for me sitting here to give you a price prediction,” he told CNBC. “But I can pretty confidently say that bitcoin, I think, has effectively replaced gold. And it will continue to do so. And so that market cap is just going to grow.”
Bitcoin was last trading 3% higher on the day at $43,073 per coin on Thursday, according to data from CoinDesk. It’s risen about 50% so far this year, according to Coinbase data.