PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel has predicted that bitcoin will surpass the market cap of gold and eventually rival the value of the entire stock market, with a price 100-times what it is today.
Speaking at the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami, Florida, on Thursday, the billionaire investor claimed that shadowy and malicious figures within traditional finance and politics were currently holding back the cryptocurrency from reaching its full potential.
“The central banks are going bankrupt. We are at the end of the fiat money regime,” he said.
“It’s always hard to say where bitcoin goes from here. It’s $43,000 today, where does it go? What I’d like to say is that bitcoin is always the most honest market in the world, it’s the most efficient market... I’m still hopeful that bitcoin will go up by a factor of 100.”
Like fellow PayPal co-founder Elon Musk, Mr Thiel has been a vocal advocate of bitcoin in recent years, praising its decentralised nature and the fixed supply that makes it anti-inflationary. He has also previously lamented that he does not own enough bitcoin, saying “I feel like I’ve been underinvested in it.”
As one of the keynote speakers of what is being dubbed the largest bitcoin event in history, Mr Thiel began by throwing $100 bills into the crowd. When they were eagerly snapped up by attendees, he quipped: “I thought you guys were supposed to be bitcoin maximalists.”
It is a common narrative among crypto enthusiasts that, despite its price volatility, bitcoin’s underpinning technology makes it a safe haven asset that can serve as a store-of-value, earning it the nickname “digital gold”.
Embellishing on this idea, Mr Thiel suggested bitcoin could go well beyond this by replacing the US dollar as the world reserve currency and offer greater returns on investment than any other stocks or assets.
“The real competitor for bitcoin isn’t Ethereum... it’s not even gold, it’s something like the S&P 500, it’s the stock market as a whole,” he said.
“The benchmark for bitcoin is not gold but equities, and the question is why can’t there be parity between bitcoin and equities?”
He went on to name an “enemies list” of people within politics, media and traditional finance that were intent on holding back bitcoin’ from reaching its potential. He named Warren Buffett as “enemy number 1”, describing the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway as a “sociopathic grandpa”.
“Why has bitcoin not yet gone to $100,000, $1 million? Why has it not yet converged with gold or the equity markets more broadly? What is it going to take for this to happen?” he asked.
“We should think of it in one dimension as a political question, whether this movement is going to succeed, or whether the enemies of the movement are going to succeed in stopping us.”
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and BlackRock chairman Larry Fink were also named on Mr Thiel’s list.
“There’s always the sense that if you’re a money manager you want to pretend that it’s complicated to invest. And if all you have to do is buy bitcoin, that’s ridiculous, all these people are out of business,” he said.
“It is the finance gerontocracy that runs the country versus a revolutionary youth movement. And we have to go out from this conference and take over the world.”
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