ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees on Bitcoin’s future and Peter Schiff’s big gold mistake
Bitcoin’s rise in 2020 was marked by institutions purchasing the asset as a hedge against global inflation, a bleak economic outlook, and an overall low-yield environment in the traditional finance market. The year 2021 is not far behind in that regard. The first month saw business enterprise firm MicroStrategy conduct its “Bitcoin playbook” conference, a […]
Bitcoin’s rise in 2020 was marked by institutions purchasing the asset as a hedge against global inflation, a bleak economic outlook, and an overall low-yield environment in the traditional finance market.
The year 2021 is not far behind in that regard. The first month saw business enterprise firm MicroStrategy conduct its “Bitcoin playbook” conference, a series of legal, regulatory, and technical considerations for institutions wanting to invest in the burgeoning Bitcoin space. The event was said to be attended by thousands of business executives and companies.
Then in February, electric carmaker Tesla announced the purchase of $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin, stating that the asset was proving to be a better investment than current market options.
But where does Bitcoin go from here? Ask Erik Voorhees, an American entrepreneur known for his work with crypto exchange and products firm ShapeShift, and crypto gambling website SatoshiDICE (which oversaw millions of Bitcoin worth of bets at its time in 2013) in a previous role as founder.
Voorhees sat down with Cryptonites host Alex Fazel in the crypto edutainment show’s latest episode to discuss the Bitcoin landscape, its expected growth in 2021, and the various challenges that the asset faces as it continues to grow.
Here’s what they discussed.
How governments have failed money
Voorhees kicked off the show with a blurb about how the reckless actions of the various governments around the world ended up causing more harm than good to “money” as a concept.
“If governments and central banks were responsible, and did not debase their currencies as much as they do, Bitcoin would still end up taking over, it would just be a slower process, but it’d be one that would be less painful for normal people,” he told Fazel, remarking on the fall of fiat money as a sound concept to a flawed one.
“I’m very worried that the debasement of fiat currency is going to cause a bond market collapse. And it’s going to lead to a catastrophic, economic depression. And Bitcoin and crypto will absolutely help people get out of that.”
Voorhees added that cryptocurrencies may help people avoid/escape such a scenario and possibly rebuild the world after it, but that the process would be a “very harmful and horrible phenomenon for the world to go through.”
On Peter Schiff
Voorhees shared that his first tryst with understanding the negatives aspects of fiat money was via the talk shows/thoughts of Peter Schiff, the famous (or infamous, depending on whom you ask) American stock trader and gold bull. Schiff has gained notoriety in crypto circles in the past years for his perma bear attitude towards the crypto market — one that calls for Bitcoin and the broader market to eventually fall to zero.
“I listened to his podcast, and it’s from him that I learned a lot about what money is, how it works, how it should work, how it’s been corrupted by central banks, and why that is such a problem. And I learned a lot of that from him,” shared Voorhees about Schiff’s influence on him in his early years.
“Years later, I discovered Bitcoin, and then years later, I get to have a debate with him because he was, you know, so. So anti-Bitcoin. And it’s just been really sad that, his affection for gold itself has blinded him to an even better form of free-market money,” added Voorhees.
By his own admission, Voorhees is a “fan and advocate of gold.” But Schiff, he said, has not been able to realize that something even better has come along, in a digital, immutable, and easy to store form. “He’s too far gone at this point, like there’s zero chance that he sees the light,” said Voorhees.
(Hear Voorhees’ thoughts about Ethereum, Uniswap, DeFi markets, and the future of Bitcoin in the entire 35-minute Cryptonites episode available for steaming right below!)