The argument is as old as crypto itself. Is Bitcoin going to $1 million or zero?
On the one hand, there is a group of people—the bulls—who think crypto is going to fundamentally change every facet of the global financial system. On the flip side, some experts believe that the entire sector is speculation-driven and doomed to end in failure. They are the bears.
We thought it’d be interesting to run through some of the most notable people on each side of the divide. Here are some famous crypto bulls and crypto bears.
Famous Crypto Bulls
We’re a positive bunch here at Blocks Decoded, so let’s kick off with the bulls.
1. Elon Musk
Elon Musk has never been one to shy away from cutting edge technology, so it should come as no surprise to learn that the SpaceX entrepreneur is bullish on the crypto industry.
Musk has offered a string on positive comments about Bitcoin. In an interview on the ARK Invest podcast in February, he said:
“I think the bitcoin structure is quite brilliant. It seems like there’s some merit to Ethereum as well, and maybe some of the others […] It bypasses currency controls. And crypto is a far better way to transfer value than pieces of paper. That’s for sure. Without a doubt.”
Musk also revealed a surprising pick for his favorite coin in a recent tweet:
Dogecoin might be my fav cryptocurrency. It’s pretty cool.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 2, 2019
In typical crypto fashion, $DOGE surged more than 25 percent in the hours following his comments.
2. Jack Dorsey
Another big tech celebrity to endorse Bitcoin and cryptocurrency is Twitter founder, Jack Dorsey.
Like Musk, he’s been outspoken about his belief in the benefits of crypto. And he’s not been worried about putting his money where his mouth is. Dorsey has invested $2.5 million in Lightning Labs (a start-up developing on the Lightning Network), and even gone as far as to create a digital currency division of his financial services firm, Square.
All Square’s crypto work will be open and free.
This will be Square’s first open source initiative independent of our business objectives. These folks will focus entirely on what’s best for the crypto community and individual economic empowerment, not on Square’s commercial interests. All resulting work will be open and free.
— jack 🌍🌏🌎 (@jack) March 20, 2019
3. CFA Institute
The CFA Institute is the leading global organization for chartered financial analysts. It also accredits new analysts with either the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or the Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM) qualifications.
In late 2018, with the Bitcoin price hovering around $6,000, its managing director for general education and curriculum, Stephen Horan, told Bloomberg that crypto was set to become a more significant part of its curriculum:
“We saw the field advancing more quickly than other fields and we also saw it as more durable. This is not a passing fad.”
4. Howard Schultz
Starbucks founder and former CEO, Howard Schultz, is one of America’s most bullish businessmen on crypto. There’s a twist, however. Schultz doesn’t think Bitcoin will be the token of the future.
At the peak of the previous bull run in January 2018, the 65-year-old told investors at his quarterly earnings conference call that he believed a trusted digital currency was imminent, but he doubted that currency would be Nakamoto’s creation. Here’s how CNBC reported his comments:
“I don’t believe that bitcoin is going to be a currency today or in the future. I’m thinking about the possibility of what could happen—not in the near term, but in a few years from now—with a consumer application in which there’s trust and legitimacy with regard to a digital currency.”
Of course, since Schultz’s comments, Starbucks has become heavily involved in the Bakkt app. Check out our explanation of Bakkt if you would like to learn more.
5. Peter Thiel
Peter Thiel is the founder of PayPal. He firmly believes Bitcoin can be a store of value, like gold. Indeed, Thiel thinks that people who want to use Bitcoin to make payments are missing the point.
“I would be long bitcoin. There will be one online equivalent to gold, and the one you’d bet on would be the biggest. I’m not talking about a new payments system […] Bitcoin is like bars of gold in a vault that never move, and it’s a sort of hedge against the whole world falling apart.”
Famous Crypto Bears
So, who are the counterweights to the bulls? Here’s are our top five famous crypto bears.
1. Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett is the most famous crypto bear. The 88-year-old is widely regarded as the best investor in the modern era, so his comments carry serious weight.
And unfortunately for crypto evangelists, Buffett’s comments aren’t kind. At various times, he’s called Bitcoin investors delusional, said Bitcoin has “no unique value,” claimed it is “probably rat poison squared,” and stated that the crypto sector is still in a massive bubble despite the 2018 crash, saying “you can’t value bitcoin because it’s not a value-producing asset.”
Buffett’s second-in-command, Charlie Munger, has also weighed in. At a shareholder meeting in mid-2018, he revealed that he thinks crypto trading is “just dementia.”
2. Robert Shiller
Robert Shiller is a Nobel Prize-winning Professor of Economics from Yale University. It’s fair to say, therefore, that he knows a thing or two about the way the world’s economy works.
In a TV interview, Shiller said that while he thought Bitcoin was a remarkable entity, he had little confidence in its long-term prospects:
“I think of Bitcoin as a remarkable social phenomenon. It’s an epidemic of enthusiasm […] it is a speculative bubble. That doesn’t mean that it will go to zero. Speculative bubbles recur. We had a bubble in Bitcoin in 2013, and it looked like it was done—it fell from $1,000 to $200—but now look, it comes back.”
3. Mark Carney
Mark Carney is the current Governor of the Bank of England. In a speech to the inaugural Scottish Economics Conference in March 2018, he admitted that he didn’t think that Bitcoin would prove to be the future of money, and said he hoped to bring crypto under the regulatory umbrella.
“For many reasons, the crypto-assets in your digital wallets are unlikely to be the future of money, but that is not meant to dismiss them. Their core technology is already having an impact. Bringing crypto-assets into the regulatory tent could potentially catalyze innovations to serve the public better.”
4. Theresa May
Former British Prime Minister Theresa May is one of the few world leaders to have offered a direct opinion on Bitcoin.
Asked by an interviewer in Davos about whether the UK would clampdown on crypto with regulations, she alluded to criminals’ use of the tokens as possible justification:
“I think we should be looking at these [cryptocurrencies] very seriously precisely because of the way they can be used, particularly by criminals. And so that is something that has been increasingly developing, I think it’s something that we do need to look at.”
5. Joseph Stiglitz
Joseph Stiglitz is another winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics. He is a professor at Columbia University.
In May 2019, Stiglitz lashed out against cryptocurrencies. In a remarkable tirade, he argued that they should be “shut down.”
“It disturbs me a great deal the attention that is given to cryptocurrencies because [they] move things off of a transparent platform to a dark platform. We have a very good currency. So far, the currency has been running in a very stable way. There is no need for anybody to go to a cryptocurrency […] I actually think we should shut down the cryptocurrencies.”
Tech vs. Finance?
Interestingly, if you dig a little deeper, the vast majority of the well-known crypto bulls hail from the world of tech, whereas many of the famous crypto bears come from the traditional finance sector.
So, how much attention should we give to these groups? Are the young tech billionaires or the wise old finance heads correct? Are the two groups looking at crypto rationally, or are they being swayed by pre-existing ideas from their respective industries?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments and make sure you check out our article on when you should invest in crypto for more information.