Forget what Jamie Dimon (JPMorgan Chase CEO) says about bitcoin, Silicon Valley loves this shit. For context, Dimon first called bitcoin a joke in 2015 and it’s up tenfold since then. Bitcoin isn’t a currency or store of value, but a new asset. It’s like stocks, but for an ownership stake in the blockchain. And driving Silicon Valley is the fear of missing out, where greed is outweighing fear on all accounts.
The big headwind for bitcoin remains big bank adoption, but Silicon Valley is known for disrupting old and ‘dumb’ industries. What bitcoin can do to banking norms is exciting, at least for Silicon Valley. We’re already seeing the disruption of the IPO market as initial coin offerings has taken over the startup scene for raising capital. It’s the wild west right now for ICOs and that part of the market may well end up like dot-com IPO bubble of the late 1990s. China has already banned ICOs. We’re still waiting to see what the U.S. has to say.
Meanwhile, the big three crypto-coins continue to chug along - bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin. Other smaller ones are gaining traction as new investors flock to the market - including the open-source currency Monero which is completely anonymous. For Silicon Valley, cryptocurrencies are interesting because you don’t have to be a big-name venture capitalist to see 100-fold returns by investing in the next Facebook or Uber. Instead, betting on one of these cryptocurrencies could provide similar returns much quicker, and it’s open to everyone. The big issue remains, which digital currencies will be the big winners going forward. That’s anyone’s guess, as even bitcoin can be displaced - but, for better or worse, digital currencies are here to stay in one form or another.
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