Billionaire investor Peter Thiel told an audience at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh that Bitcoin is harder to “mine” than gold, and has “great potential” for fellow investors.
He hedged his enthusiasm, saying he’s generally skeptical of most cryptocurrencies, but with Bitcoin, he sees tremendous potential depending on its trajectory. In an interview later with FOX Business host Maria Bartiromo, he added:
"The critics are underestimating Bitcoin especially because ... it's like a reserve form of money, it's like gold, and it's just a store of value. You don't need to use it to make payments. If bitcoin ends up being the cyber equivalent of gold it has a great potential left."
This would mark somewhat of a departure from previous comments Theil’s made saying he didn’t think Bitcoin was portable enough to make it worthwhile. The billionaire entrepreneur and venture capitalist founded PayPal in 1998 and was the digital payment company’s CEO until it was sold to eBay in 2002.
In his comments to Bartiromo, he added:
"Bitcoin is mineable like gold, it's hard to mine, it's actually harder to mine than gold. And so in that sense, it's more constrained."
Thiel said the encoded limitation of 21 million Bitcoin that may be “mined” using computer calculations gives it the potential to be a very valuable commodity.