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Whose Minds Is Bitcoin Changing This Cycle And Why?

While the crypto markets went quietly into the correction, we reflect on the major flip-flops on crypto brought by this cycle. Donald Trump, Larry Flink, and Peter Schiff are among the public figures and billionaire investors who have recently changed their minds about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

When the peer-to-peer electronic cash system Bitcoin entered the public consciousness, many people who had made their fortunes in traditional finance were skeptical about it. Despite all the growth the cryptocurrency industry has witnessed throughout the years and the astounding value that crypto assets have reached, their minds have been hard to change.

Warren Buffett, one of the world’s most successful investors of all time, called Bitcoin a “gambling token” with no intrinsic value. Jamie Dimon, CEO of the U.S largest bank for the last 18 years, said crypto is a “waste of time” and called Bitcoin a “hyped-up fraud.”

After breaking an all-time high of $73,835 on Thursday, Bitcoin’s market cap reached $1.4 trillion, surpassing silver to become the eighth most valuable asset in the world.

With so much on the line, skeptics are changing their minds, and those who have so far kept a cautious approach now seem ready to step up their crypto game.

Donald Trump

The currently leading republican candidate for the 2024 U.S. elections, Donald Trump, has been a vocal critic of cryptocurrencies, which he believes to be competing against the dollar hegemonic status as “the currency of the world.”

In 2019, the then-president of the United States stated, “I’m not a fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air.”

Two years later, before the 2022 Bitcoin rush, his stance remained unaltered. “Bitcoin, it just seems like a scam,” he stated.

Lately, however, the real-estate billionaire has taken a more constructive approach to cryptocurrencies. While his devotion to Benjamins persists, “I always liked one currency. I call it a currency. I like the dollar,” Trump has recently admitted that Bitcoin has “taken on a life of its own,” and that now he “can live with it one way or the other.”

The apparent openness of his all-American public theatrics doesn’t mean he has stopped thinking of BTC as a scam. In fact, despite praising a minimum state interference in the national economy, he defended the idea that “You probably have to do some regulation, as you know, but many people are embracing it.”

Larry Flink

The CEO of Blackrock has never been against cryptocurrencies, but for many years, he remained rather cautious. As early as 2018, he understood that “one day where we could have electronic trading for a currency that could be a store of wealth,” but thought that despite the underlying promise of technology and the fervor of its community, Bitcoin was yet too small of a project to be reliable as a store of wealth.

In a 2021 interview on Squawk Box, he said, “I’m probably more on the Jamie Dimon camp,” referring to JP Morgan’s CEO’s hard stance on crypto.

Flink public opinions about Bitcoin remained evasive and detached until Blackrock began its process of having a BTC short-term ETF approved. Since the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission gave the green light on the asset management firm application, its CEO began to express some of the most excited comments on Bitcoin coming from traditional finance.

"It's like digital gold and I believe that you still can buy a slice of pizza with it, but you can't buy a slice of pizza with palladium or gold. You could buy and sell your Bitcoin, no different than gold."

In a Fox News interview earlier this month, Flink went as far as to state that China’s government’s reason for banning crypto assets is their international range. “It is a ledger, but it’s an international ledger. It’s cross-border. It’s bigger than any government.”

Peter Schiff

The financial commentator Peter Schiff has always advised his legion of followers to stay away from crypto. The New York Times bestselling author says that he doesn’t believe in the fundamentals of the decentralized currency and that, fundamentally, Bitcoin is nothing but an investment fraud.

"Bitcoin is a pure ponzi, it's a pyramid, the demand for Bitcoin is based on the belief that you can sell it to somebody else at a higher price."

Yet, in an interview in Impact Theory on March 13, Schiff admitted that he regretted not buying Bitcoin when a friend offered him the chance to do so in 2010 when each BTC was around $1.

At the time, the American stockbroker thought that the potential investment was “ridiculous”, and the truth is that today’s opinion is not much different. He explained, “I would have bought it; I’m just betting on other people being dumb enough to buy it and pay a higher price.”

Schiff still thinks Bitcoin is a “dumb” investment, yet, as time has shown, there is too much money on it to miss over a presumption of intellectual superiority.

Three amongst many

Trump, Flink and Schiff aren’t the only ones who changed their minds or succumbed to the proliferation of cryptocurrencies and their value increase over time.

Jamie Dimon was forced to soften his opinion amidst Bitcoin’s rise in popularity.

While continuing to voice the harshest critics over cryptocurrencies, Warren Buffett is making a lot of money with them through his investment company Berkshire Hathaway investment in the pro-crypto Nubank - the largest FinTech bank in Latin America.

Elon Musk

The CEO of electric car manufacturer Tesla has been a proponent of cryptocurrencies for many years. Musk's loose and sporadic show of support for Dogecoin (DOGE) has contributed to temporary price increases of the meme-coin. In January 2022, his car company began accepting payments in DOGE for Tesla merchandise.

Yet, SpaceX founder and CEO has also cautioned people against investing in the meme-coin, saying, “I’m not advising anyone to buy crypto or bet the farm on dogecoin,” adding, “That would be unwise.”

Doge developers have been trying to make the currency step away from the speculative meme-coin cycles by creating a means of payment in more real-life scenarios, and Musk seems ready to help them.

At a public forum on March 14 held at the Tesla factory in Germany, Giga Berlin, the billionaire was asked by a university student, “When will I be able to buy a Tesla with dogecoin?” to which he replied, “At some point, I think we should enable that.”