Last updated on May 20th, 2014 at 01:25 pm
Just how big will bitcoin become? A lot of people have asked that question and usually the answer is proceeded by a financial number: one bitcoin will be worth $10,000 or one bitcoin could eventually become valued at $100,000.
According to the Winklevoss twins, the peer-to-peer decentralized virtual currency bitcoin will be bigger than Facebook, the social media juggernaut that the twins had a five-year legal battle with. The company is presently worth an estimated $100 billion and it maintains a userbase of more than one billion.
The two men, who some say represent the new generation of investors, presented the case to the London Guardian that someone who donates 50 cents to someone else across the globe “has more impact than potentially sharing a picture.”
Tyler Winklevoss stated that Facebook is similar to the Internet in its vastness and being an application. Bitcoin, meanwhile, “is a protocol for decentralization” and there can be a company constructed on top of that premise. Facebook allowed them to be open socially, while bitcoin has encouraged them to be financially open.
When it comes to volatility, the virtual currency is no different than the early days of the Internet, says Tyler.
“Calling bitcoin volatile – it’s a non-statement. Unregulated assets with unclear regulatory landscapes are always going to be volatile. That’s what unregulated assets do,” said Winklevoss. “I can make the same argument about the Internet in the early days. But sure enough, technologists came and worked hard at the problem, and it’s getting better.”
The co-founders of Winkdex say that bitcoin critics can be defined in two categories: protesters who opposed machinery that saved on labor costs between 1811 and 1817 and teenagers who are unable to grasp the Internet in its infancy. Since he delivers orations at universities, he often speaks of what is holding bitcoin back from taking the next step.
“As we spoke, I came to discover that Tyler spends most of his time preaching the gospel of bitcoin, including at Oxford University this year. “It’s the only thing people want to know. The promise of the internet is being held back by Visa, Master Card, American Express,” he explains. “You can’t buy stuff in the majority of the world – the majority of the world doesn’t have the financial inclusion we take for granted, which is a bank account and a way to save money.”
In the end, the Winklevoss twins think Wall Street will get involved in bitcoin because if a new technology arrives on the scene and the former product doesn’t evolve then it loses. It’s a case of adapt or die and the Winklevoss twins know who will stand tall by the end of it all.
At the time of this writing, bitcoin is trading at just more than $450.