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In an interview on FOX Business Network’s (FBN) Mornings with Maria (weekdays, 6a-9a/ET),  PayPal Co-Founder and Founders Fund Partner Peter Thiel speaks with anchor Maria Bartiromo live from the Future Investment Initiatives (FII) conference in Saudi Arabia. Thiel tells Bartiromo that while he is “skeptical of most” cryptocurrencies, most people are “underestimating bitcoin.”


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On people underestimating bitcoin:

“If you ask what are the things where this is, you know, what is very charismatic and that people are not paying enough attention to. I think there are these pockets in bio-tech that I find like that. The one other one that I’ve been looking at a lot more have been then cryptocurrencies. And while I’m skeptical of most of them, I do think people are a little bit maybe underestimating bitcoin specifically because it’s like a reserve form of money. It’s like gold. And it just a story of value, you don’t actually need to use it to make payments, and there’s about $70 billion worth of bitcoin in the world. There’s 9 trillion worth of gold. And if Bitcoin ends up being the cyber equivalent of gold,  it has a great potential left. And it’s a very different kind of thing, people in Silicon Valley normally focus on companies, not algorithms or protocols, but this may be one exception that’s very underestimated.”

On bitcoin being compared to gold:

“Well, the argument, [bitcoin] is based on the security of the math, which tells you that it can never be -- it can never be diluted by government.  It can never be -- it can't be hacked.  And it's a form of money that is absolutely secure in an absolute way.  And you could ask the same question about gold.  That's why I used gold analogy, you could say what is gold based on, why is gold about valuable. It's a tangible asset but it's also hard to mine.  So if it was easy to mine gold then it wouldn't be that valuable.  So you would just have way more gold.  So bitcoin is also it's mineable like gold. It's hard to mine, it's actually harder to mine than gold.  And so in that sense, it is more constrained and so, yes, there are a number of things that -- that I think make it somewhat similar to gold.”


On investing in bio technology:

“There are a lot of, there are lots of problems that I find myself very passionate about.  You know, the area that -- one area that we've done a fair bit in, for a Silicon Valley venture firm, is biotech investing.  You know there are questions, could we really do things to cure cancer?  Could we find cures for Alzheimer's, for other diseases? And I think it's been a very challenging area to invest in but it is one where there is sort of a -- there's obviously some very natural set of problems that we should be working against.  And I think that the fact that progress in many of these places has been so slow and so difficult is not just a law of nature, it's not the fact -- it's that we have often not been trying the right way, we've not been funding right scientists. And so I think that is a place where I often think there's some very good opportunities and it can also make the world a much better place.  So biotech is something that I think is naturally charismatic in that way.”

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