Cryptocurrency isn’t going anywhere — in fact it’s set to take a leap forward in coming years, says tech entrepreneur and Finder.com Co-founder Fred Schebesta.
“I'm a big believer in Bitcoin,” he says. “I think it's like digital gold. I think it will last on and on and on.”
In a newly released interview, taped on March 2, Schebesta rejects pessimists who say cryptocurrency is a passing fad, noting that the price of Bitcoin (BTC-USD) has remained stable of late.
“Bitcoin's been called dead for 10 years now,” he says. “Seems to still be going. You know, I think the price is holding up pretty well throughout this as well.”
As of Thursday afternoon, the price of Bitcoin stood at $9,115, marking a 20.7% increase over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has fallen 3.5% over that period. Bitcoin surged at the outset of this year despite coronavirus fears.
“These geopolitical events including coronavirus and geopolitical tensions really improve the use case,” Tom Lee, Fundstrat Global Advisors managing partner, told Yahoo Finance’s YFi PM last month.
Critics of cryptocurrency, like Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A, BRK-B) CEO Warren Buffett, say it doesn’t hold any value as a tool of exchange or source of production. Cryptocurrency will “come to a bad ending,” Buffett told CNBC in 2018.
Along those lines, Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer asked Schebesta: “I know that's a big interest of yours, but isn't crypto over, man?”
“Crypto is in the beginning,” says Schebesta, 38, who — in additional to his role at Finder.com — is the CEO of a blockchain company called HiveEx. “I actually think it needs another five years to cook.”
HiveEx, which Schebesta co-founded in 2018, helps high net-worth traders buy or sell large amounts of cryptocurrency, according to its website. Stock transfers, for instance, offer a significant business opportunity for blockchain, he said.
“Settlement of stocks right now is a small to large disaster in terms of its paper and all those kind of things,” he says. “So it's where blockchain does so well.”
Schebesta made the remarks during a conversation that aired in an episode of Yahoo Finance’s “Influencers with Andy Serwer,” a weekly interview series with leaders in business, politics, and entertainment.
In 2006, at age 26, Schebesta founded Finder.com, a comparison shopping website that now operates in 83 countries and employs 310 people full-time, Schebesta says. Last October, the Australian Financial Review ranked Schebesta — who lives in Sydney — as the 22nd richest Australian under 40 years old, with a net worth of $193 million.
Schebesta compared the current state of cryptocurrency to the early days of the internet.
“It wasn't until Hotmail with email was the internet at all interesting to most people,” he says. “Or, you know, when really, data became fast enough on your phone.”
“It just takes time for those technologies,” he adds. “That’s the same with blockchain technologies...it’s just going to take some time to cook.”
Still, one cryptocurrency venture faced a setback this week. On Tuesday, The Information reported that Facebook (FB) would scale back plans for its cryptocurrency Libra, after the venture drew scrutiny from lawmakers and the public.