With Bitcoin recently turning 10, there is a full decade of cryptocurrency quotes to catch up on if you are new to the space. Here is a select list of some of the most famous and what we can learn from them.
“If you don’t believe it or don’t get it, I don’t have the time to try to convince you, sorry.” – Satoshi Nakamoto
This is an early quote from Satoshi Nakamoto to the Bitcoin doubters on the forums. Since those early days, a whole industry has been created around his invention. With hindsight, it is easy to say that perhaps people should have listened, but what was created was something entirely unique and therefore difficult for many to understand. A key aspect of this message is that to understand Bitcoin, you need to put the time and effort in to learn on your own. Mistakes can easily be made by trusting unscrupulous actors.
“It’s a fraud” and “worse than tulip bulbs” – Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan
Unsurprisingly, the boss of JP Morgan – Jamie Dimon – isn’t much of a fan of Bitcoin. This quote from Mr Dimon in 2017 was spoken during the most recent Bitcoin bubble. Since then however, JP Morgan has announced its own form of cryptocurrency, suggesting the banking titan isn’t as adverse to crypto as the quote suggests. One of Bitcoin’s main aims is to remove the need for such huge banks as JP Morgan, so it is unlikely that Jamie Dimon will ever change his mind.
“It’s money 2.0, a huge, huge, huge deal.” – Chamath Palihapitiya, venture capitalist
Chamath Palihapitiya was an early employee at Facebook before moving on and setting up his own investment fund. By 2015, his fund had over $1.1 billion in assets, and he also became a minority shareholder of the Golden State Warriors NBA team. Despite stating he is a disciple of Warren Buffett, they do disagree on the notion of Bitcoin. Palihapitiya is a strong believer in the cryptocurrency. He believes that within the next 20 years, Bitcoin will rise to $1 million.
“Stay away from it. It’s a mirage, basically. In terms of cryptocurrencies, generally, I can say almost with certainty that they will come to a bad ending.” – Warren Buffett, legendary investor
Coming back to the traditional finance sector, the fact that Buffet isn’t a fan of Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies in general is to be expected. Buffett’s fortune has been accumulated through traditional assets and a patient approach. The risk and volatility seen in cryptocurrencies would be an instant warning sign to the famous investor. Buffett has been notoriously adverse to upcoming technology stocks, so a punt on Bitcoin isn’t going to be happening any time soon.
“I do think Bitcoin is the first [encrypted money] that has the potential to do something like change the world.” – Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal
Peter Thiel and his team had a similar idea to Bitcoin when in the process of creating PayPal. However, at the time, they were unable to get their idea off the ground. Peter Thiel is now one of the largest venture capitalists in Silicon Valley and a staunch Randian. These two factors should show why he has an interest in Bitcoin.
“Bitcoin actually has the balance and incentives center, and that is why it is starting to take off.” – Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks
Bitcoin and Wikileaks have a long relationship. Indeed, without Bitcoin, there may not be a Wikileaks as we know it. When the major credit card companies attempted to block payments to Wikileaks, the company asked for donations in Bitcoin instead, which allowed it to survive. Nakamoto was adverse to supporting Wikileaks due to the pressure it would put on the young network. Julian Assange himself is one of the earlier cypherpunks, regularly interacting with members on the CypherPunk mailing list from 1995. Ideas such as Bitcoin were common on the mailing list, so when Bitcoin was finally released, the fact that Wikileaks appropriated it is not surprising.
“The Federal Reserve simply does not have authority to supervise or regulate Bitcoin in any way.” – Janet Yellen, former chair of the US Federal Reserve
Janet Yellen highlights a key aspect of Bitcoin in her quote. Bitcoin is not a US cryptocurrency. Instead, it is the first truly global currency. It isn’t run by anyone in particular, but anyone who wants to get involved can do so. This makes it extremely difficult for the authorities to formulate regulations around Bitcoin. This also makes Bitcoin extremely difficult to stop. Many bans have been rumoured throughout the years, but this has never stopped Bitcoin from progressing.
“Whereas most technologies tend to automate workers on the periphery doing menial tasks, blockchains automate away the center. Instead of putting the taxi driver out of a job, blockchain puts Uber out of a job and lets the taxi drivers work with the customer directly.” – Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum
Buterin’s quote recognises the removal of third parties that cryptocurrencies allow for. Instead of a company like Uber or say Dropbox taking a cut of the profits, this can all be managed in a peer-to-peer manner through cryptocurrencies. This increases the profits for you and me, reduces costs, and can help remove some of the largest corporations in the world in the hope of creating a fairer economy.
“I see Bitcoin as ultimately becoming a reserve currency for banks, playing much the same role as gold did in the early days of banking. Banks could issue digital cash with greater anonymity and lighter weight, more efficient transactions.” – Hal Finney
This early quote from Hal Finney shows that he understood the possibilities of Bitcoin from a very early stage. This was helped by the many discussions that took place on the CypherPunk mailing list in the 1990s, whereby digital currencies and issues of privacy were constantly discussed and philosophised.
“Since we’re all rich with Bitcoins … we ought to put some of this unearned wealth to good use.” – Hal Finney
Hal Finney is one of the few people involved in Bitcoin who is liked by everyone. Even Faketoshi has a soft spot for Finney. Sadly, Finney passed away before he could witness the beast that Bitcoin evolved into. Finney was an early contributor to the CypherPunk mailing list like Assange, and was instrumental in helping Bitcoin grow from day one. This quote above highlights what all who have become rich through Bitcoin should do – give back and help others.