Mark Cuban has become the latest big name to cast doubt over the future of Bitcoin.
In a recent interview with Wired, Cuban criticised the cryptocurrency for its lack of “intrinsic value”, joking that he would “rather have bananas”, as at least he eats those.
The billionaire tech investor’s comments echoed those of Warren Buffett. The world’s fourth richest man – who once called Bitcoin a “fraud” – previously told Yahoo Finance that “if you buy something like Bitcoin or some cryptocurrency, you don’t have anything that is producing anything. You’re just hoping the next guy pays more”.
Cuban did acknowledge that blockchain, cryptocurrency’s underlying technology, offers potential. However, he believes that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are too complicated for the vast majority of people for it to achieve mass adoption.
“Crypto is so complicated for 99% of the population,” Cuban said. “Do you put it in a device, do you print it out, how do you keep from being hacked, who’s going to host it for you?”
Cuban’s comments come weeks after NBA basketball team the Dallas Mavericks, which is owned by the billionaire investor, began accepting Bitcoin as a payment method for game tickets and merchandise.
CoinCorner CEO says Cuban’s comments were “naïve and short sighted”
In the interview, Cuban also compared Bitcoin to gold, stating that “I say it’s like gold. Gold is a religion”.
One of Bitcoin’s believers, Danny Scott, CEO of UK-based cryptocurrency exchange CoinCorner, has come out to defend the digital currency.
“For Mark Cuban to say that Bitcoin is too ‘complicated’ is naïve and short-sighted,” Scott said.
“Technology is complicated in general and this isn’t specific to Bitcoin – you only have to think about the internet and how complicated that seemed in the ’90s. Using your dial-up modem to attempt to connect to your ISP was just one piece of the experience back in the ’90s, but these days most people’s phones are connected 24/7 and they don’t even have to do anything, it just works.
“This hasn’t happened overnight and behind the scenes it hasn’t become any simpler.”
Rather, those developing the technology have worked to provide an easy and accessible user experience. According to Scott, those in the space are aware of cryptocurrency’s complexity, but are similarly working to improve its usability.
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“We appreciate that the user experience part of Bitcoin isn’t quite ready for mainstream adoption, but this is something that Bitcoin companies like ourselves are working on.”
Twitter users respond to Mark Cuban Bitcoin comments
Cuban’s comments have drawn a mixed response from the Bitcoin community. Some have accused the tech investor of attempting to influence the Bitcoin price, while others were inclined to agree with his comments.
So, does that mean he’ll stop accepting Bitcoin for Mavs games? No? Lmao…..we thought not. He’s playing the game to move the bitcoin needle for price action. We aren’t buying the bullshit Mr. Cuban. 😘https://t.co/r9tI9KQCRT
— 🇨🇴 Colombiana Lover 🇨🇴 (@ghostaloco) October 3, 2019
@mcuban Mark – why the recent bitcoin hate during your conversation with Wired? If the Mavs are on board with accepting bitcoin, does this mean you are also ok with accepting bananas for tickets?
— Robert Sladen (@robert_sladen) September 30, 2019
Finally someone with brains. Mark Cuban is right. Bitcoin is shit and useless. https://t.co/5qwoHRwZJq
— TheBeatbox (@BeatboxThe) September 29, 2019
Despite holding steady above $10,000 between June and September, Bitcoin has struggled to climb above $9,000 since 24 September. It currently sits at $8,160 at the time of publication.