Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov went to the Web Summit, in Lisbon, this year while representing cybersecurity firm Avast. PROTESTE INVESTE, a Portuguese investment website known for helping novice and experienced investors, managed to speak to Kasparov in an interview about bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
In it, Kasparov revealed that bitcoin’s popularity doesn’t surprise him, and compared the cryptocurrency to “fake money” that’s “issued by governments in large quantities.” The chess grandmaster sees bitcoin as “fake money” because, according to him, about 80% of all available bitcoins are circulating in exchanges and financial markets, and are never truly used in any other industry, meaning they only serve investors.
Born in 1963 in Azerbaijan, Garry Kasparov added that, given our technological evolution and subsequent increase in online market investments, it’s “expected, in the current global age, the rise of virtual money, of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.”
Kasparov became the world champion when he was just 22 years old, and was the highest rated chess player ever recorded, until current champion Magnus Carlsen surpassed him in 2013. He described himself as an “admirer of Winston Churchill and Steve Jobs,” and classified bitcoin as a “product of the free market.”
Referring to bitcoin, he added that wherever there’s an opportunity, there are smart individuals creating tools to seize it. According to the publication, Kasparov also highlighted bitcoin’s security, stating that “whatever’s anonymous can’t be 100% safe.”
When asked whether the cryptocurrency could improve the economy and people’s lives, Kasparov stated that he doesn’t think so, and added that “a phenomenon as unstable as Bitcoin being attractive nowadays is a sign that the whole economy is in a huge state of stagnation.”
The Portuguese publication went one step further, and asked the former world chess champion if he invested in bitcoin. He notably replied (roughly translated):
It’s pure speculation, I’m not an investor, just a former professional chess player and now professional speaker. Investing is very individual, it depends on the character of the people, if they’re available to risk it, if they’re available to speculate.
Kasparov finished the interview stating that “betting on electronic tools can yield a lot of money, but can also lead investors to ruin.” He concluded that, therefore, an investment in cryptocurrencies depends on every investor’s appetite and attitude towards risk.
In its piece, PROTESTE INVESTE further added that given the risk, it doesn’t recommend investors put their money on cryptocurrencies. According to the publication, virtual currencies like bitcoin have no intrinsic value, and are worthless if they don’t “represent a product or something to exchange,” adding that no currency can do that if its value keeps rising and falling.
An economy that only used bitcoin in its current stage would keep on fluctuating between inflation and deflation, the piece’s author suggests, adding that the fact “nothing can be done” with the cryptocurrency facilitates speculation, as there’s nothing to compare its value to.
The interview with Kasparov comes at a time in which bitcoin is struggling, due to the cancellation of the SegWit2x hard fork, high fees, and due to a large number of unconfirmed transactions being stuck in a backlog.
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