Bitcoin to touch half a million in the next 10 years: Michael Terpin – CNBCTV18


Bitcoin will reach half a million in the next ten years and a vast majority of the population will be using digital currencies in the next two decades, the founder of Transform Group, Michael Terpin said, adding that cryptocurrencies are where the internet was in 1997.

In an interview with the author, Terpin, who has also co-founded BitAngels, the world’s first angel network for digital currency startups, said outright banning of cryptocurrencies by any government was difficult and for that to happen, the internet would have to be shut down.

“Cryptocurrencies are here to stay. Bitcoin and Ether are not scams. They are the safest way of entering the market. You may hold and store for value and sell them whenever you want. They can be your savings account. In fact, cryptocurrencies are still where the internet was in 1997. There’s a lot of evolution to happen yet. Even the crypto wallets will undergo changes. Look at Bitcoin, which was about $5 in 2011 and is now at $55,000. It will be at half a million in the next 10 years. In 20 years, a vast majority of the world population will be using cryptocurrencies,” he said.

The co-founder of Aspire, an asset creation blockchain platform also said if governments have over-reaching regulations, people may simply ignore them and continue using cryptocurrencies, for instance, Nigeria banned cryptos but their popularity hasn’t dipped.

“It is difficult to outrightly ban cryptos. For that, one would have to shut down the internet. Governments don’t like to be ignored. Ultimately, it will probably do what is in its interest like taxing or adoption, etc. Overregulating does not help an upcoming industry too. For instance, the automobile sector grew slowly in its initial years, largely due to regulations like the requirement of a man who needs to wave a red flag to alert people of an oncoming car. In short, overregulation will hamper the crypto industry’s growth,” he said.

Asked to state the top three trends in the crypto industry, Terpin said adoption in emerging markets is one trend, in countries like El Salvador and Argentina, where a high level of inflation has been a problem are switching to cryptocurrency. “I believe cryptocurrencies will see the end of the US, G20, and European Union influence on emerging markets,” Terpin said.

The second trend, according to Terpin is that DeFi is revolutionising the finance world, eliminating intermediaries like banks and brokers. “In the future, financial markets too will join the revolution and offer ‘DeFi funds’. DeFi provides high interest to savers and people can borrow from DeFi markets at low rates. Around $70 billion is now locked in DeFi markets and the figure will touch $1 trillion in the next 10 years,” he said.

The third developing trend is NFTs, having seen a 1,000 percent growth in the last year, more than bitcoin. “NFTs are changing the way artists are making money. NFTs have eliminated middlemen like agents in the industry. Artists have become their own distributors, reaching out to buyers directly. The internet empowered writers. NFTs will now empower artists.”

Asked to comment on criticisms that crypto mining is environmentally unsustainable, Terpin said over 70 percent of the mining uses renewable energy, which is a cleanest and least expensive form of energy, and that ATMs and gold mining are more power guzzling than crypto mining. “In fact, there are bitcoin miners who are also earning through selling their unused electricity to the power grid,” he said.

Asked about the future of cryptocurrencies in India, having low financial and digital literacy, especially in rural areas, Terpin said, “I am sure that at least one person in a village has a smartphone and active internet. That is all one needs. He or she can educate the village about cryptocurrencies like an evangelist. Moreover, I believe the large Indian diaspora can help cryptocurrencies grow in India if they begin to send remittances via crypto.”

– Murtuza Merchant is a former journalist who works at The Transform Group and takes a keen interest in the ever-evolving world of cryptocurrencies.

(Edited by : Yashi Gupta)

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