Peter Schiff, an American financial analyst, and stockbroker has made the news for his derogatory comments about Bitcoin and those who choose to invest in the digital asset. While speaking at the SALT Conference in Las Vegas earlier this week, Schiff took a not-so-veiled swipe at Bitcoin, calling the world’s most popular crypto asset no more than a “pump and dump scheme with no value to hold.” and saying that Bitcoin’s buyers are dumb, inexperienced kids who will eventually learn the error of their ways someday.
In his speech, he said, “A bunch of young inexperienced kids are going to be dumb enough to buy Bitcoin. Maybe they will. But as they get older they’re going to learn better.”
His comments seemed to be targeted at those within the cryptocurrency, technology, and financial industry who have compared Bitcoin to gold and have called for investors to dump the latter in favor of cryptocurrencies.
Schiff went on to argue that gold is money, and there’s no way that Bitcoin could ever function as a currency. Earlier this month, financial asset management firm Grayscale Investments kicked off its #DumpGold ad campaign, which urged investors to ditch gold in favor of Bitcoin, the “digital gold.”
While it’s impossible to know just how much of an impact the ad campaign had on Bitcoin adoption, the company’s financials don’t seem affected by it. It released its Digital Asset Management Report for the first quarter of the year, revealing that it had seen a staggering 42 percent in product inflows over Q4 2018. The company’s Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBIT) was also revealed to have attracted the majority of cash inflow, with an average weekly investment of $2.3 million.
Of course, given the fact that Schiff himself is a notable gold investor, it’s impossible to say that his argument and attack on the competing asset were simply in a self-preservative effort. The profile of Bitcoin has continued to rise, with more investors now starting to see it as both an investment vehicle and a store of value. Earlier this week, HBUS, the United States-based subsidiary of Huobi Global, released the result of a survey which showed that awareness of cryptocurrencies has doubled over the past year.
The report aimed to monitor the perception of cryptocurrencies from Americans, and it took responses from 1,067 people between March and April 2019. Amongst other things, it revealed that while adoption isn’t particularly on a significant uptick, the awareness and use of cryptocurrencies are surely on the rise.
The company reported that cryptocurrency ownership has jumped from 8 to 20 percent since 2018, while 74 percent of the survey’s respondents said that they were aware of cryptocurrencies.