7 CEOs on the Future of Bitcoin
Many people have strong opinions on Bitcoin, but does anyone really know where the digital currency is going? At Fortune's recent Brainstorm Finance conference, we put the question "What's the future of Bitcoin?" to seven CEOs—and one COO.
The executives, who lead companies both inside and outside the
cryptocurrency space, offered up a series of snappy answers you can watch in the 2 minute and 30 second video above. We've also compiled portions of their responses:
Hikmet Ersek, CEO of Western Union, who is confronting blockchain companies that claim to challenge his company's money transfer business:
"Blockchain is definitely an interesting processing model. Coins and currencies have to be shipped by central banks—that's what I believe. It has to be controlled by governments. ... Bitcoin I don't think has a long run."
Sallie Krawcheck, CEO of Ellevest and a former top executive at Bank of America, had a refreshingly direct take:
"I have no idea. Anyone else think they know?"
Amber Baldet, former blockchain executive at JP Morgan who now runs the blockchain start-up Clovyr:
"[Bitcoin] technology is out in the wild and is being learned from and modified and, in some incarnation, the problems that it solves and the things people need from it will stick around."
Jeremy Allaire, CEO of long-established cryptocurrency payment service Circle, said:
"The role of Bitcoin is growing as a non-sovereign digital store of value that is private and un-censorable."
Vinny Lingham, CEO of blockchain idea management service Civic:
"Some people see Bitcoin as a store of value—everyone should be buying it to hold it and prevent against a global meltdown of governments. Others people believe Bitcoin is meant to be a cryptocurrency for peer-to-peer payments."
The CEO of buzzy credit card start Brex, Henrique Dubugras, said:
"I believe it will be a better way to store value in countries where the currency is pretty volatile."
Barry Silbert, the CEO of Digital Currency Group and investor in dozens of crypto startups:
"Bitcoin has all the same attributes as gold ... What Bitcoin lacks in history and, arguably, cultural significance, it more than makes up in accessibility and utility."
Adam White, COO of the New York Stock Exchange's crypto venture, Bakkt, had this to say:
"What we previously saw only in the domains of sovereign nation states—like money—now via technology and software, we can now do and accomplish in a decentralized way."