These days, you can’t talk about the cryptocurrency industry without mentioning Facebook. Once a social media company with loose privacy policies, now at the center of the $250 billion industry of digital currencies, and the focus of central bank and regulators the world over. Facebook has come a long way.
Libra, their latest project, aimed at bridging the gap between the banked at unbanked, by means of a mobile device with an internet connection is in hot water. Noble as it sounds, regulators didn’t buy it.
It looks like Bitcoin folks aren’t too excited about Libra either, Max Keiser being one of them. The host of the Keiser Report, in an interview, with Kitco News spoke about everything from stealing candy from children, to Area 51 aliens poking and prodding CNBC presenters. In short, it was a typical Max Keiser interview.
On the topic of Libra, the outspoken Bitcoin evangelist Keiser called the project a “non-starter.” Keiser [like many] was not sympathetic to Facebook CEO, the pale-faced Mark Zuckerberg’s five hour testimony before the US House Financial Services Committee hearing on October 23.
He called Zuckerberg’s trip to Washington D.C. as mere ‘crypto-education,’ for Congress on decentralised currency, and it simply reiterated how great Bitcoin is.
In his words,
“The only thing it [the Zuckerberg hearing] did is it educated Congress about why Bitcoin is great and why Libra is a non-starter.”
According to Keiser, Zuckerberg’s apparent discomfort during the hearing was not due to the mountain of regulators from Washington D.C. to Tokyo opposing Libra, nor was it because of initial Libra members – MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, Bookings.com, eBay, Mercado Libre, and Stripe, leaving the project. He has a different theory altogether.
Earlier in the interview Keiser made a revelation that China would soon reveal to the world the true nature of their gold reserves. It is twice the amount held by the United States – over 20,000 tonnes. He stated that China’s digital yuan, which the PBoC has been planning for over a year, will be backed by none other than gold.
Keiser added that Zuckerberg “realizes,” this threat from China and hence unveiled Libra to compete with the eventual gold-backed yuan. An interesting theory, which goes,
“He [Mark Zuckerberg] is, I think, panicking because China, he realizes, when they launch their gold-backed crypto-coin that they are going to takeover huge swathes of the global commerce business and they’re [Facebook] trying to desperately come up with something [Libra] to compete.”
To be fair, the ‘China are a threat,’ sentiment was mentioned by Facebook before. David Marcus, the lead of the Calibra project and former VP of Messaging Products at Facebook stated that Libra is what the West needs to protect the free world from China. Zuckerberg himself cautioned American companies to take note of the rise of Chinese companies in the space of finance and technology adopting a ‘if not us, then China will,’ approach.
Back to the hearing. Keiser, in typical Keiser fashion, called out the “misinformed” and “egregiously irresponsible” questioning of the congressmen, one in particular. He was of the opinion that Brad Sherman, the Democratic congressman from California has had a “lobotomy,” because his “mind has stopped functioning.”
Sherman can be painted as the perfect villain for the cryptocurrency industry. In May 2019, Sherman called for an “outlaw,” on cryptocurrency purchases by Americans as the rise of Bitcoin and other decentralised currency threaten the case of the US dollar. He even stated that the “innovation,” of Libra is the most innovative event of this century, edging out 9/11, when Osama-bin-Laden orchestrated the death of over 2,900 people by “flying two airplanes into towers.”
The Bitcoin evangelist, Keiser, hence, is not a fan of the California congressman. He quite visually spelled out his distaste for the Californian,
“When I see his face I vomit. I spew chunks. It’s like, as Brad Sherman talks, I spew chunks. He’s so stupid.”
Forgetting Keiser’s bodily functions, and going back to his earlier statements, could Libra’s script have more to do with China, than previously thought? Does China really have 20,000 tonnes of gold? Will the digital yuan be backed by gold? Did Brad Sherman have a lobotomy?
Keiser certainly left us with more questions than before.
Bitcoin can reach $25K if usage crosses 1M people: Thomas Lee
Managing Partner and Head of Research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, Tom Lee, recently made an appearance on CNBC‘s ‘Street Signs Asia‘ segment to talk about Bitcoin price movements in the future. Lee also spoke about why he thinks Bitcoin will touch $25K by 2022.
According to Lee, for an industry that’s over a decade old, these are still early days for digital assets. However, as time passes, it will become very institutional, he said. Fundstrat’s Lee added,
“Over time, it’s going to become an asset class, and once we hit that it’s actually another hockey stick.”
When asked about his prediction for the king coin’s price, Lee said that it had been established back in 2017 as a five-year prediction. According to him, the predicted goal would be easy to achieve due to cryptocurrencies being network value assets — the more people that hold it, the greater its value.
“In fact, it’s a log function, so if you double the users you get a quadrupling of value, and to go to $25,000 you essentially need a 4x rise (a little bit less than that) which means you need to double the number of people who hold Bitcoin.”
According to Lee’s estimates, there are under half a million people in the world who own and use Bitcoin widely today. He also compared Bitcoin to Internet stocks such as FAANG and attributed 70% of their returns since the IPOs to the growth of the Internet over that period of time.
“So in other words, it was a log function of the Internet growth, and that’s how cryptocurrencies are going to work. That’s just saying if you take it to a million users, you could get to $25,000.”