It has been said plenty of times in the past and it’ll be said again in the future. Taavet Hinrikus, CEO of TransferWise, a popular peer-to-peer international money transfer service has stated that bitcoin, is dead.
TransferWise is a prominent player in the Fintech space. Founded in 2010, the money transfers service is among the leading remittance services in the world. In six years of the company’s existence, it has raised just under $100 million in equity funding with Richard Branson and Andreessen Horowitz among the notable investors.
Bitcoin, I think we can say, is dead. There is no traction, no one is using bitcoin. The bitcoin experiment, I think we can say, is over.
As a well-funded company in the Fintech space focusing on remittance, it was clear that TransferWise would look into bitcoin and blockchain innovation. Indeed, Hinrikus stated, “We’ve certainly paid lots of attention to bitcoin and blockchain.”
While TransferWise is solely used as a means to transfer different forms of fiat money, Hinrikus opined that he’s unaware of the problems that the cryptocurrency solves and summed it up as a gold rush.
What really happened was a gold rush. People bought bitcoin because they thought it would be worth more tomorrow. And a lot of people got lucky.
But we’re not seeing real people use bitcoin. And we don’t know what problem it solves.
He is of a different opinion of bitcoin’s underpinning technology, the blockchain.
Now blockchain, I think, is a genius advancement in technology. But I’m nto sure we’re seeing yet where to apply it.
Adding that he’s excited to see the inroads made into private blockchain technology by R3 and Digital Asset Holdings, Hinrikus continued, “I think there are many areas where using blockchain is great, but it’s still early days.”
Hinrikus’ TransferWise could arguably count bitcoin as a competitor in the international remittance space. TransferWise facilitates peer-to-peer individual money transfers with quicker timelines than banks and, notably, smaller transfer fees. These are properties inherent with the cryptocurrency if it were to be used as a means of transfer or settlement.
Whilst it may be somewhat surprising for a Fintech-based executive invested in new technology have little faith in the biggest, most widely-used cryptocurrency of them all, his opinion is one shared by JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. A noted bitcoin skeptic, Dimon has previously stated that the cryptocurrency will ultimately be a “waste of time”.
Dimon reiterated those views again at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year when he stated Bitcoin as a currency was “going nowhere.”
Featured image from Shutterstock.