Cryptocurrency, together with its underlying technology known as blockchain, have both been touted by many entrepreneurs and visionaries as two of the most innovative tools created in this era.
Digital currency’s time in the spotlight grew brightest in early 2013 when bitcoin’s dollar equivalent peaked at $266 per unit. At that time, the recorded total market value of bitcoins was pegged at over $2 billion. Soon enough, blockchain also rose in popularity well beyond the tech circle.
Blockchain technology, in particular, has been found useful in different sectors other than FinTech. It’s gradually making its way into influencing ecosystems in various business industries like healthcare, the arts, and many more.
Both cryptocurrency and blockchain have seen a steady increase of supporters through the years, as evidenced by the many famous personalities who advocate for these technologies. Tech entrepreneurs like venture capitalist twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, famed for filing a lawsuit against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg, are tagged as the first-ever bitcoin billionaires in the industry. Their initial bitcoin investment amounting to $11 million grew into $1 billion. The pair has also created their very own digital currency exchange called Gemini.
Award-winning recording artist Imogen Heap advocates blockchain technology’s application in the music industry. She has been consistently working on Mycelia, a blockchain project that has launched a ‘Creative Passport’ for musicians that could solve a host of relevant issues for musicians and benefit them in two major ways: first, in helping safeguard their music’s respective copyright ownerships, and second, in ensuring that the revenue goes directly to the artists.
Cryptocurrency, as well as blockchain, also have their fair share of critics. Some economists, along with old school capitalists who have built their wealth in more traditional ways, remain critical of cryptocurrency. One of them is well-known American businessman Warren Buffet, who has referred to cryptocurrency as a “mirage.”
We have compiled a list of cryptocurrency quotes and blockchain quotes—the good, the bad, and everything in between. See how digital currencies and blockchain could greatly impact our means of transaction in various ways.
1. Bitcoin is a technological tour de force.” —Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, investor, and philanthropist
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has spoken about how digital currencies could potentially empower the world’s most impoverished population. He says that people “trapped in an inefficient cash economy” are robbed of the opportunities to lift them out of poverty and that digital currency will help the poor directly by giving them more access to financial services. He also proposed that digital currencies could support other development efforts in the health and agriculture sector.
2. It’s money 2.0, a huge, huge, huge deal.”—Chamath Palihapitiya, venture capitalist, CEO of Social Capital, and former head of AOL instant messenger
Chamath Palihapitiya is one of the most successful venture capitalists in the Silicon Valley today. He has reportedly owned over $5 million in Bitcoin back in 2013 and is still a big believer of the cryptocurrency’s great potential in business economics. In a tweet, he has said that bitcoin dollars are “…the ultimate insurance policy against autocracy, currency curbs and other forms of value destruction.”
3. There are 3 eras of currency: Commodity based, politically based, and now, math based.”—Chris Dixon, Co-founder of Hunch now owned by eBay, Co-founder of SiteAdvisor now owned by McAfee
Chris Dixon enumerates the progression of how currency is established in different eras. He recognizes that the complicated algorithms involved in executing blockchain technology can potentially lead to a significant change in the way money is moved and stored, leading to a massive paradigm shift in the way we define and use currency.
4. Blockchain technology could change our world more than people imagine. Bitcoin, however, could be a bubble.” – Jack Ma Yun, co-founder of Alibaba, investor, philanthropist
Jack Ma believes that blockchain is a revolutionary technology that primarily benefits privacy and security protection since the technology enables the creation of a traceable, full audit trail for transactions made with cryptocurrency. He’s more skeptical about bitcoin, though, referring to it as a “bubble.” It could be surmised as a direct reference to the term “price bubble,”—in that its nature of being traded at prices astronomically higher than its intrinsic value will lead to an inevitable “burst” when its prices eventually crash.
5. When bitcoin currency is converted from currency into cash, that interface has to remain under some regulatory safeguard. I think the fact that within the Bitcoin universe, an algorithm replaces the functions of [the government] is actually pretty cool.” – Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States of America.
Former Vice President of the U.S. Al Gore seems to be delighted with the idea of bitcoin being used as an alternative to regular currency. The former politician believes, however, that this innovation should be closely regulated so that it could fulfill its purpose accordingly.
6. The bigger thing with bitcoin is not bitcoin itself, but what does that decentralized technology really do?” – Ashton Kutcher, actor, entrepreneur
The Hollywood celebrity, who has also invested in Uber, Skype, Airbnb, as well as Spotify has been a steadfast supporter of the cryptocurrency since 2013. Aside from being an investor in the digital currency exchange platform BitBay, reports say that his firm Sound Ventures has invested in UnikoinGold, a currency to be utilized for esports gambling on games such as Counter-Strike, Global Offensive, and League of Legends. He recognizes that bitcoin is big, but is even more fascinated by the many possibilities that could be achieved by executing blockchain for various applications.
7. Blockchain has catapulted the music industry to think differently as so many other industries are already doing.”— Imogen Heap, award-winning musician, founder of Mycelia
The singer-songwriter believes that blockchain technology is the future. Her blockchain project Mycelia has launched a ‘Creative Passport’ for music artists, which she described as a “peer-to-peer verified digital identity standard which holds verified profile information, IDs, acknowledgments, works, business partners and payment mechanisms, sharing skills and projects to find our champions, fans, and collaborators.”
8. I love how new technology makes our lives easier, and to me that’s exciting. Bitcoin unites my fans around the world using one currency.” – Mel B, British recording artist
The former member of defunct girl group Spice Girls is the first British recording artist to adopt cryptocurrency for profit. Mel B has been accepting the digital currency bitcoin as payment for her music since 2014, specifically with her Christmas single, via a paid partnership with CloudHashing.
9. Just as it got easier to use email, it will be easier to use Bitcoin as people invest in it and become more familiar with it.” – Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin Core Developer
The concept of using bitcoin is still pretty foreign to a lot of people. However, Gavin Andersen believes that like any technology before it, cryptocurrency, most specifically bitcoin, has a brighter future ahead of it once people become more exposed to its practical applications.
10. I think that blockchain and crypto could be the savior for Africa in many ways because it brings the power back to the people, and brings the security back into the currency system, and also allows the people to utilize it in ways where they can advance themselves, and not allow government to do those things that are keeping them down.”—Akon, singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist
Creating his very own cryptocurrency called “Akoin,” the musician says that Akoin will be the chief source of currency in the fully crypto-based city he envisions to create in Africa. He wants to give marginalized Africans better access to financial opportunities through crypto, which he believes could better their lives in many ways.
11. Bitcoin is the beginning of something great: a currency without a government, something necessary and imperative. But I am not familiar with the specific product to assert whether it is the best potential setup. And we need a long time to establish confidence.” – Peter Thiel, Co-Founder of PayPal
The German-born PayPal co-founder and noted Silicon Valley investor believes bitcoin could greatly impact the finance sector. At the same time, he offers a realistic view of how the whole system should be carefully studied to further establish its oft-mentioned rep as a gamechanger in the way people do business.
12. Well, I think it is working. There may be other currencies like it that may be even better. But in the meantime, there’s a big industry around Bitcoin. — People have made fortunes off Bitcoin, some have lost money. It is volatile, but people make money off of volatility too.” – Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Records, investor, and philanthropist
Businessman Richard Branson seems to have more confidence and faith in the growth potential of digital currency bitcoin. Proof? His latest venture that promotes space tourism called Virgin Galactic will accept bitcoin as payment when it launches in 2020.
13. It’s a bubble that’s going to give a lot of people a lot of exciting times as it rides up and then goes down,” – Joseph Stiglitz, Economist
Back in 2017, Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said that bitcoin’s success could be attributed to “its potential for circumvention, lack of oversight.” He suggests that its volatile nature is what excites its supporters. He even went as far as saying in the Bloomberg interview that bitcoin “[It]doesn’t serve any socially useful function.”
14. Stay away from it. It’s a mirage, basically.”- Warren Buffet, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, businessman, speaker, and philanthropist
American business magnate Warren Buffet recognizes cryptocurrency as an effective way of transmitting money but does not see its intrinsic value. As a venture capitalist born at another time, he views its valuation as something too good to be true.
15. The currency isn’t going to work. You can’t have a business where people can invent a currency out of thin air and think that people who are buying it are really smart.” – Jamie Dimon, Chief Executive of JP Morgan Chase & Co.
It’s safe to assume based on the quote that JP Morgan’s chief exec believes that bitcoin cannot compete with existing regulated currencies. Some financial institutions, as well as banks, have shown concern over the cryptocurrency bitcoin’s former association with money laundering and other online crimes. It is important to note however that JP Morgan has already invested millions in blockchain.
We have seen a number of staunch advocates, naysayers, as well as people who have lukewarm opinions on crypto as well as blockchain. One thing we should seriously consider as we weigh in on the subject is that many of crypto and blockchain’s harshest critics come from traditional banking and financial backgrounds, who probably see the emergence of these innovations as a threat to established institutions. Also, it is important to note that many good things have been born out of differences of opinion. With the way things are shaping when it comes to expert insights on the future of cryptocurrency, it looks like blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are here to stay.