Former PayPal and Intuit boss blasts Bitcoin (again)

“We’ve got digital currencies that are more stable, more widely accepted, and have intrinsic value. We’ve already got them: it’s called the dollar, the yen, you name it”

Bitcoin is a cult which is headed straight to zero, according to founding PayPal CEO and former Intuit CEO Bill Harris.

He previously called the cryptocurrency a “colossal pump-and-dump scheme, the likes of which the world has never seen.” His latest attack, meanwhile, came on CNBC’s Fast Money.

Many people believe Bitcoin is instant, free, scalable, efficient, secure, globally accepted and useful but it is none of these, he said. And in terms of slow and expensive ways of transferring money cross-border, Bitcoins or XRP’s are not the answer, rather it is faster networks.

By way of example, he compared Bitcoin’s capability of processing seven transactions per second to Alipay’s 250. “The volatility of Bitcoin itself makes it a useless payment mechanism and ridiculous as a store of value,” he stated.

Back and forth

Brian Kelly, CNBC’s in-house crypto expert, countered: “PayPal works great. I mean, the Russian hackers were able to buy all kinds of ads on Google with PayPal this year. So, [it] works very well. And I agree with you. All your criticisms [are] 100% correct, but to me as an investor, I say those are catalysts for the future. As those things improve — I mean, we are not going to stay at seven transactions per second — we’re going to scale. We have to. Otherwise, it is going to go to zero like you said.”

“But I guess my question for you is… Let’s step back from the trading of the token because what we are really looking there is liquid venture capital, it could be worth $6,000, it could be worth $20,000. But the idea that Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies are a software programme that allows you to disintermediate parts of financial services, do you find any value in that?””

Harris: “In the US, we don’t have a broken financial system, but if you are in a country that does have a broken financial system, that’s certainly the advantage. It could be the internet of money. If you are going cross border, that’s one way to use it. I mean, there are multiple use cases.”

Kelly: “But the largest countries out there, China and India, they have much better real-time payment systems than we do in the US. So does the EU. So does the UK. I mean, it’s not like we’ve got something functional and the rest of the world doesn’t. No, actually, they are ahead of us.”

Harris: “That doesn’t mean that Bitcoin doesn’t have a use case, that it goes to zero. Nobody uses gold anymore, and it’s worth $1,200 an ounce as well. I mean, when we started Amazon, nobody thought that you’d be streaming movies to a handheld computer. It was an online bookstore.”

Kelly: “We’ve got digital currencies. And we’ve got digital currencies that are more stable, more widely accepted, and have intrinsic value. We’ve already got them: it’s called the dollar, the yen, you name it.”

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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