Former financial advisor Ric Edelman believes that cryptocurrencies are here to stay despite naysayers at the highest levels of the financial services industry.
“The most common [criticism] is that there’s no way to value Bitcoin, that Bitcoin has no intrinsic value. This is an extraordinarily common mistake, often perpetuated by very well-respected people in the financial field, such as [JPMorgan chief executive officer] Jamie Dimon and Warren Buffett. Jamie Dimon is infamous for saying Bitcoin has no intrinsic value,” Edelman told CNBC.
To understand crypto, one has to stop comparing it to shares of IBM, for example, according to Edelman, CNBC writes. Rather, Bitcoin should be treated as a network, such as AT&T, Facebook or Netflix, and valued based on user base and growth, he said.
“You begin to realize that the Bitcoin network is growing so rapidly that there is an exponential effect of the increased value of the network itself, which grows exponentially faster than the number of user adoption on the network,” Edelman told CNBC.
Edelman has given up all of his securities licenses and last year stepped down from his role as chairman at financial planning firm Edelman Financial Engines, according to the news network. He remains the largest individual shareholder in the company, which was reportedly worth $270 billion when he gave up his role, CNBC writes.
He has also launched a new firm, the Digital Assets Council of Financial Professionals, with the goal of educating the financial services industry about what he says is "the first major new asset class in 150 years,” according to the news network.
Edelman’s conviction about the new direction of his career stems from his belief that crypto will become pervasive within the next decade.
Crypto “will be a routine element of commerce on a global scale,” he said, according to CNBC.
“McKinsey says that 70% of global GDP by 2030 will be digital. Every central bank in the world will be offering digital currency, and the functionality of our personal finances through digital assets will be routine,” he said, according to the news network.
“It’s hard for us to remember that the iPhone is only 14 years old. And yet today, we couldn’t imagine leaving home without it. Most of us are within three feet of our phones 24/7. Blockchain technology will be as pervasive and routine a part of our lives,” he added, according to CNBC.
Edelman’s view of the future of cryptocurrency, however, may be more optimistic than even what some other insiders expect.
“I'm a CIO for one of the world's largest crypto asset managers. I live in the San Francisco Bay area. I have never bought a coffee with Bitcoin, and I don't expect I ever will,” Matt Hougan, chief investment officer at Bitwise Asset Management, said earlier this month at Pershing’s Insite 22 conference in Texas.
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