PayPal Co-Founder: Cryptocurrency the “Elephant in the Room”
PayPal co-founder Max Levchin believes cryptocurrency has been the “Elephant in the room” over the past few years. Bitcoin is an ongoing controversial issue which is obvious to everyone in fintech, yet few have been willing to address it until recently.
Levchin connected with the Associated Press to explore and analyze the current shape of digital payments, cybersecurity, and cryptocurrencies.
When asked whether regular digital payments are progressing as quickly as he hoped since he started PayPal, Levchin responded:
“They are moving at a good pace, adjusted for just how large and complicated the market is. It’s highly regulated, and there are a lot of things to be careful about. The elephant in the room for the last seven or eight years has been cryptocurrency.”
Levchin Is No Speculator, But Thinks Bitcoin Is Something Different
Levchin added that cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, are translation tools that are “locked into areas where credit and cash don’t really serve the purpose. So you wind up finding up in somewhat darker corners.”
Levchin also clarified that he does own a fair sum of bitcoins:
“I wound up with a lot of bitcoin as an early investor in one of the early bitcoin startups. But it wasn’t a conscious decision to go buy a bunch of bitcoin.”
“I generally don’t speculate. I am very old-school in that sense. I try to understand how value is traded and what is going to happen to it in the very long term, not because I am a stranger to speculative investing. It’s because I don’t have time to time the market. So what I end up doing is committing to a stock or committing to a company.”
In the past, Levchin has stated that he is still trying to “figure out” Bitcoin. Yet with the launch of Bitcoin futures this December, Levchin’s probably doing his homework now.
Other PayPal Founders Intrigued
Peter Thiel is another mega-fintech player who also helped to co-found PayPal. According to recent remarks from Thiel, Bitcoin has great potential which even crypto critics are currently undervaluing. He’s labelled Bitcoin as the “cyber equivalent of gold.”
Likewise, former PayPal Chief Operating Officer David Sacks has commented that decentralized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are fulfilling PayPal’s original vision of creating a “database of money.”
The Bitcoin battle seems to be between two financial mindsets, one that believes in long-term stable investment and the other being a speculative investment. And it seems that the industry titans that were the brains behind PayPal are now observing how the debate develops just like the rest of us.
Is Bitcoin the future of money? What do you think? Sound off in the comments below!
Images via Forbes, Business Insider