Bitcoin Has Replaced Gold, Virgin Galactic Chairman Says

October 4, 2021

Virgin Galactic Chairman and CEO of Social Capital, Chamath Palihapitiya, sat down with CNBC at the Delivering Alpha Conference last week.

The billionaire executive said that bitcoin has effectively replaced gold and that Bitcoin’s “market cap is just going to grow.” Palihapitiya previously predicted the top digital currency to hit at least $200,000 in the coming five years. At time of writing Bitcoin is valued at $47,697 with a market cap of $897.9 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

To CNBC, Palihapitiya said on Wednesday:

“It’s very hard for me sitting here to give you a price prediction, 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.”

Palihapitiya is a long-time hodler who got in as early as 2013 which he announced last year:

“In 2013, I bought a lot and at one point I think I had almost 5% of all the bitcoins. My basis is about 80 bucks a coin. I’ve never bought more.”

To that he added when speaking to CNBC’s Scott Wapner last Wednesday:

“I haven’t put a lot of money outside of bitcoin obviously. 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 we all need to pay attention to it because I think the implications are enormous.”

The Virgin chairman also spoke about the evolution of the internet and said that Web 3.0 is here. While Google and Facebook dominated the past 20 years, cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance (defi) will shape Web 3.0 and “rebuild all of that stuff without an obvious leader,” he said. He added:

“It’s completely headless. It’s entirely peer-to-peer. And I think that that’s both scary and exhilarating.”

Palihapitiya also commented on what increased regulatory pressure could mean for crypto and Bitcoin specifically. Tesla CEO Elon Musk already hinted last week that Bitcoin cannot be destroyed and advised government to back out from regulating or controlling crypto by “doing nothing”. Palihapitiya said:

“I think it’s very hard to kill [bitcoin]. 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.”

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Author: Peter Siu

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