Alexis Ohanian, Reddit co-founder and more recently, co-founder of Initialized Capital, spoke to the CNBC ‘Power Lunch’ team, on July 25, 2018, to share his thoughts on the long-term trajectory of the cryptocurrency market.
Bitcoin Will Continually Go Up in the Long-Term
According to the CNBC interview, Ohanian recognized that, while Bitcoin has experienced a degree of fluctuation in value, it is “the most robust, and certainly one of the best proofs of crypto being a possible store of value.”
Ohanian also noted that many other cryptocurrencies are “far less robust, and far more frankly…fraudulent.”
Instead of going into detail, Ohanian reflected on the big picture and told viewers that the rise of cryptocurrencies is a change that will impact society significantly.
“This technology, the blockchain, is enabling things like Bitcoin to work, and to scale, and as volatile as it’s been, we see it continually going up over the long-term, because more and more people are going to look for alternatives to fiat as a store of value,” said Ohanian.
During the interview, Ohanian also mentioned that political and economic uncertainties are key factors driving the cryptocurrency market. Digital stores of value like Bitcoin, unlike fiat currencies, are not tied to or dependent upon a government or a bank, which makes them very appealing for those in uncertain economic and political conditions.
Ohanian’s Cryptocurrency Price Predictions
According to Fortune, Ohanian predicted in May 2018 that “at the end of the year, Bitcoin will be at $20,000. And Ethereum will be at $1,500. Great now people can call me out if I’m wrong.”
He mentioned in the CNBC interview that he still stands by his statement; however, he does not like to speculate too much about cryptocurrencies in the short-to-medium term. Ohanian instead likes to invest in the potential and growth of the cryptocurrency industry in the long run.
Ohanian mentioned that he was one of the earlier investors in Coinbase, because he “believed in the underlying technology.” He knew that if blockchain technology worked, we would still need third parties to handle the fiat-to-cryptocurrency transfer process.
Coinbase is now one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world and is still rapidly expanding. Most recently, Coinbase has begun to produce products for institutional investors who are keen on entering the cryptocurrency market.
Ohanian stated that Initialized Capital invested in companies like Coinbase rather than purchase cryptocurrency tokens because the firm wanted to invest in the underlying infrastructure of the cryptocurrency industry.
“What we’re looking for are the people who are building the robust, very unsexy infrastructure….infrastructure that all these things will need for it to work,” said Ohanian.
Since Initialized Capital is a venture capital firm, they are also still looking for equity investments and have not participated in any token sale or initial coin offerings. He noted that in the token and coin space, there is still a lot of speculation. While he’s a big believer in cryptocurrencies, he sees the industry and infrastructure as the greatest investment opportunities.
Cryptocurrencies Vs Fiat Currencies
The CNBC panel also questioned Ohanian on whether he thought cryptocurrencies may one day rival and threaten the existing fiat currency system.
Ohanian mentioned that many countries are fearful and therefore attempting to stop the rise of cryptocurrencies because of the belief that they could rival the fiat currency system. He, however, noted that “the internet as a technology is a very robust and resilient one.” While there are many governments banning the use of cryptocurrencies, Ohanian believes that people will always find a way to get around these bans.
While Ohanian does not believe cryptocurrencies will overthrow fiat currencies, he noted that the technology is very promising and has shown to be more credible over time. Although token prices are still extremely volatile, cryptocurrencies have a very unique value which will help them prosper in the long run.
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