Peter Schiff Open to Singing a Different Song, Changing His Mind About Bitcoin
When it comes to the cryptocurrency sector there's no shortage of cynics and naysayers who have many reasons to doubt the use and applications of the technology. Many people including Nouriel Roubini and Kevin O’Leary to name just a few, have publicly described the cryptosphere as a scam or largely illegitimate. As with anything else, this might be quite normal. However, it’s not every day that a widely acclaimed skeptic announces a willingness to change their mind and become a proponent if they can be reasonably convinced about its advantages. This is a thought that has been expressed by Peter Schiff, a very popular financial expert, and investor.
The ‘Bitcoin Challenge’
In the past, Schiff has described Bitcoin as fool's gold and even called it a Ponzi scheme. During a recent interview with Max Keiser of the Keiser Report, Schiff said Bitcoin not only has no intrinsic value but fails because
“it has some of the monetary properties of gold but none of the commodity properties of gold and you can't be money unless you're a commodity first.”
However, in a very recent tweet, Schiff has announced the maiden edition of his Peter Schiff Bitcoin Challenge and has invited anyone who thinks they can change his mind about Bitcoin to bring forward their arguments and defend them properly.
According to the tweet:
“I will be hosting the 1st ever Peter Schiff Bitcoin challenge live on my YouTube channel on Monday July 15th at 9 p.m. EDT. If you think you can change my mind on Bitcoin, here's your chance. Bring your best argument and be prepared to defend it.”
Bitcoin in the Ring with Gold
Recently, Schiff was in the news after he predicted that the price of gold will hit $2,000 before the end of the year especially if the current concerns in the financial markets continue. When he tweeted a link to an interview where he said this, popular Bitcoin bull, co-founder and partner at Morgan Creek Digital Assets, Anthony Pompliano, replied Schiff asking him what he thinks will happen to bitcoin if gold can surge that high. This brought about the first pointer to the Bitcoin Challenge as he replied Pompliano:
“I'm doing a Bitcoin challenge live on my YouTube channel on Monday night. I'm inviting people to try to change my mind on Bitcoin. Feel free to take a shot. You never know you might convince me that I'm wrong. My mind is open.”
This exchange got a lot of comments from cryptocurrency enthusiasts and finally prompted Ran Neuner, the host of CNBC’s Crypto Trader to invite both parties to a live ‘Bitcoin Vs. Gold’ debate on the show.
A few hours later, both Neuner and Pompliano confirmed the debate will take place live on the show with Neuner as the moderator. According to Pomp’s tweet:
“Peter should get a lot of credit for agreeing to this. Hopefully he walks away a Bitcoin believer.”
Should We Believe Schiff?
Even though he has expressed a desire to change his mind on his current stand against crypto, it's unclear whether or not Schiff is to be believed. In August 2016, the price of Bitcoin dropped to $500 and at the time, Schiff took to Twitter sarcastically announcing this drop, furthering his anti-Bitcoin campaign. It's important to note that gold, which he is a strong supporter of, was trading at $1340 at the time.
Now, almost 3 years later, gold is currently trading a little above 1400 which is an increase of just about 5%.
Bitcoin, on the other hand, is currently trading over $11450 which represents an increase of more than %2000 in the same period but in all that time, there was no suggestion to a change of mind.
The Bitcoin Challenge: Why Now?
Nobody is sure why someone like Schiff has decided to welcome pro-Bitcoin arguments or why he chose now to do so. Nonetheless, it might be interesting to note that this is happening after he confirmed that he had about $100 worth of Bitcoin which he supposedly received as a gift and after this confirmation, he received more, totally about $500.
Is there a chance the bitcoin challenge might be connected to him now holding some crypto? Is it possible that Schiff has already changed his mind and is using this as a way to get into the sector? We await the Bitcoin challenge and the debate with Pompliano.