Galaxy’s Novogratz and Bakkt’s Michael Differ on Bitcoin’s Case as Digital Gold

Bakkt CEO Gavin Michael and Galaxy Digital chief Mike Novogratz each spoke on Wednesday at the Barclays Crypto and Blockchain Summit.Read MoreFeedzy

The narrative of bitcoin (BTC) being “digital gold” is beginning to “hinder” the cryptocurrency industry, according to Gavin Michael, CEO of crypto exchange Bakkt (BKKT). Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz, however, considers bitcoin “ready for prime time.”

Each made their case Wednesday at the annual Barclays Crypto and Blockchain Summit, held virtually.

Bitcoin “was designed as peer-to-peer electronic cash,” said Michael, not as “replacement for gold in a vault.” While bitcoin may be able to function as digital gold, “there’s so much more we can get from it,” he said.

Michael said El Salvador adopting bitcoin as one of its legal currencies (besides the U.S. dollar) and Twitter (TWTR) enabling micropayments for tipping via crypto give him hope things are shifting back to Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision for the Bitcoin network as a peer-to-peer electronic payment system.

In a separate presentation, Novogratz lauded bitcoin as digital gold, saying its primary use is as a hedge against “really bad fiscal stewardship.” He took note of recent currency collapses in Turkey and Russia as well as the fiscal issues facing the U.S. after a long period of Federal Reserve money printing.

Bitcoin adoption is accelerating everywhere, said Novogratz, be it by individuals, institutions or pension funds. Bitcoin, he said, is “ready for prime time.”

A research report from Bank of America last week spoke to the store-of-value proposition, noting bitcoin has been trading lately more like a risk asset and less as an inflation hedge.

The report authors said the correlation between bitcoin and the S&P 500 stock index rose to an all-time high at the end of January (but has decreased since then). The correlation between bitcoin and gold, on the other hand, has been close to zero since June.

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